Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton, who got his start calling baseball games in the Quad Cities, announced his last game as a full-time radio broadcaster Wednesday. The Houston Astros (51-105), his home team for the past 28 seasons, have been awful this season, but they mustered a win for Hamilton’s swan song, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 at Minute Maid Park.
Hamilton, 85, has been broadcasting for 67 years, including 59 in the major leagues. He’s best known as the voice of the Astros, but he also did stints with the Chicago Cubs, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Atlanta Braves, the Chicago White Sox, the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Browns. The Baseball Hall of Fame honored him with the Ford C. Frick Award in 1992.
Hamilton began in radio while serving in the Navy in 1945 and, as I mentioned in a blog post earlier this week, got his first job in professional baseball broadcasting Quad City Tigers games in 1950. Coincidentally, that team’s descendant, the Quad Cities River Bandits, announced a new affiliation with the Astros this week. The River Bandits held a “Milo Hamilton Day” in the Iowa native’s honor at John O’Donnell Stadium (now Modern Woodmen Park) in 1997.
During the seventh-inning stretch of Wednesday’s game, Hamilton took the public address microphone and spoke to the crowd, thanking them for their support. You can watch footage of that here.
Hamilton hopes to be back in the radio booth for Houston’s series against the Tigers in Detroit next year. If he does so, Comerica Park will be the 70th MLB ballpark from which he broadcast a game.