Legendary Astros broadcaster Milo Hamilton passes away

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton, who called Houston Astros games for decades, has passed away. He was 88 years old.

Hamilton retired from broadcasting after the 2012 season, ending a career that spanned 67 years, including 50 of those in the Major Leagues.

PHOTOS: Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton


Before joining the Astros in 1985, Hamilton spent time calling games for the Cardinals (1954), Cubs (1955-57, 1980-84), White Sox (1961-65), Braves (1966-74) and Pirates (1975-79).



He called Hank Aaron's historic record-breaking 715th home run in 1974. He also called 11 no-hitters, Nolan Ryan's 4,000th strikeout and Barry Bonds' 70th home run in 2001.

Thirty years ago, Hamilton joined the Astros and never left.

"He fell in love with the city, the ball club, the fans. He really felt the passion here," His son, Mark Hamilton, told Eyewitness News.

The Astros will honor Hamilton's legacy during the upcoming home stand. His son said there will likely be a public memorial.

"What the fans have said about him has given me goose bumps. It's just blown us away today. The outpouring of emotion--that's just been incredible. It's making this day easier," said Mark Hamilton who added his father's health had been declining over the last two months.

Former players remember Hamilton fondly.



"I was fortunate enough to play a long time," said former Astros pitcher Roger Clemens. "He had numbers and different stats on me that he'd run by me that I didn't even know. So I really enjoyed my time with him. Very personable man. Made all of our events that we asked him to come because of that legendary voice."

Statement from Astros president Reid Ryan

"Today, the entire Astros family and many throughout the baseball world are mourning the loss of our friend, Milo Hamilton. For decades, Milo had a special connection with the Houston community, bringing Astros baseball to the cars and homes of fans throughout the great state of Texas and beyond. During his legendary career, we enjoyed the privilege of Milo calling some of the greatest moments in Astros history. In addition to his great work in the booth, Milo was also an outstanding ambassador for Astros baseball, a mantle he carried with a great deal of pride. While we mourn his sad passing, we should also celebrate Milo's long, wonderful career. He was one of the all-time greats and a true icon whose contributions to the game and beyond will be remembered always. "

Statement from President George H. W. Bush

"Barbara and I mourn the loss of Milo Hamilton, a genuine baseball icon, a Hall of Fame sportscaster - and, happily for us, a good friend. In time, Milo was so endeared he became his own Houston institution, and the countless good causes he helped made him one of the brightest Points of Light we knew. It was hard for him, and indeed all Astros fans, when he stepped away from the booth in 2012 after his legendary career, but from this day forward we can take comfort that he will always have the best seat in the house. Holy Toledo, what a good man he was - and we were fortunate to know him."

Statement from Houston Mayor Annise Parker

Holy Toledo! Houston has lost a legend! My heart goes out to the Houston Astros organization and the family, friends and fans of Major League Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton, who died today at the age of 88. There was no mistaking the distinctive voice that called Astros games for more than 25 years. He was a beloved member of the Houston community and will be greatly missed. "

Statement from Astros Hall of Famer Craig Biggio

"This is a huge loss for the Astros and for the baseball world. Milo was one of the great ones. People don't realize how hard it is to call games on radio, but Milo made it look and sound easy. I had the great pleasure of having a Hall of Fame broadcaster call games for my entire career, and that's pretty special. He was a great friend."

Statement from Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan

"Milo had a classic radio voice. When he arrived in Houston, he raised the broadcast to another level. He loved the game and was very committed to the organization. Milo was also a friend that I enjoyed hunting with in the offseason. He touched a lot of people and will be missed."

Statement from Hall of Famer Hank Aaron

"Milo and I were friends for many years. I had great respect for him and his knowledge of baseball. For me, he was in the class with Vin Scully".

Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully

"Milo Hamilton was an enthusiastic and highly-accurate broadcaster, who was also a dear friend of mine."

Statement from Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker

"This is a sad day for baseball and for Houston Astros fans. Milo was a longtime friend and one of the best ever. He left his mark on baseball with one of the greatest calls of all time--Henry Aaron's big home run. To Milo's friend, family and to his many fans, I send my deepest condolences.

Statement from Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane

"We were extremely fortunate to have Milo as a part of our organization. An entire generation of Astros fans grew up listening to Milo. He truly is an icon and was synonymous with Astros baseball for many years. Milo was a great asset not only for the Astros, but also for the City of Houston as well."

Statement from Former Astros player and manager Phil Garner

"For me, Milo was part poet and part PT Barnum. He was a great ringmaster and he loved painting the prose of baseball. He had a special talent. I have wonderful memories of Milo off the field as well from our hunting trips. He was an absolute treasure."

Statement from Former Astros pitcher Roger Clemens

"Houston and all of the baseball world lost a piece of history today. Anyone who knew Milo know how sweet and fun-loving of a man he was. He brouth energy and a one-of-a-kind voice to every event and broadcast. You could tell how much he loved his work. The lunches and dinners at Trulucks will never be the same without Milo!"

Statement from Longtime Astros TV broadcaster Bill Brown

"Milo brought passion and energy to the booth. He had the ability to create drama and to involve the fans like no other. He delivered so many great memories that Astros fans can relive over and over again. Milo was a tremendous broadcaster with as much passion for the game that anyone ever has had.

Statement from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred

"During his 60 years covering our game, Milo became one of the National Pastime's most distinguished announcers, serving seven different Major League Clubs. He chronicled some of our game's most historic moments during the era of Hank Aaron, Stan Musial and Ernie Banks. As 'The Voice of the Astros' since 1985, he ushered into the homes of fans Houston's first World Series appearance, the Hall of Fame careers of Nolan Ryan and Craig Biggio, and countless other memories. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Milo's family, friends, admirers throughout the game and to all Astros fans."

Statement from National Baseball Hall of Fame

"By the time Milo Hamilton was presented the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence in Cooperstown in 1992, he was already a titan among the sport's greatest voices, yet he was seemingly still in his early era for Astros fans, with many of his signature moments in Houston baseball yet to come. Visitors to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum are graced by his calls over a half-century, from Hank Aaron's 715th home run to Mike Scott's no-hitter in 1986 to clinch the N.L. West. His is a voice that will remembered for generations and his legacy is one that will resonate with baseball's greatest moments - in Houston and throughout the country."

Statement from Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan

"Today, the entire Astros family and many throughout the baseball world are mourning the loss of our friend, Milo Hamilton. For decades, Milo had a special connection with the Houston community, bringing Astros baseball to the cars and homes of fans throughout the great state of Texas and beyond. During his legendary career, we enjoyed the privilege of Milo calling some of the greatest moments in Astros history. In addition to his great work in the booth, Milo was also an outstanding ambassador for Astros baseball, a mantle he carried with a great deal of pride. While we mourn his sad passing, we should also celebrate Milo's long, wonderful career. He was one of the all-time greats and a true icon whose contributions to the game and beyond will be remembered always. "

In 1992, he was given the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually by the Baseball Hall of Fame for excellence in broadcasting.

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