Holy Toledo!

Astros broadcaster Hamilton is man for all seasons

Michael P. Davis

Staff Writer

With one of the most distinguished careers of any announcer, Milo Hamilton, the voice of the Houston Astros, epitomizes the balance between fame, the game he loves and the desire to help others.

"Holy Toledo" boomed out of the microphone from inside of an announcer's booth in the Astrodome. Every pitch of every Astro game is described by the profoundly recognizable voice of Milo Hamilton.

He is a painter, an illustrator and a teacher. It is his unique talent to keep an audience of millions tuned in to his every word and know beyond question

he is clearly describing the whole story.

Through the magical microphone of Hamilton, the picture is painted, the action is described and insight is delivered to listeners across the land.

Milo Hamilton has broadcast games with legends such as Harry Cary and Bob Elson.

"It was really special getting the privilege of working with someone you grew up listening to," Hamilton said.

Hamilton is more than just the voice of the Astros. Milo has been closely associated with charity also.

"We have raised over $8 million for charity," he said. "They needed me."

His sincerity is evident and his devotion unmistakable.

"Baseball is a radio game," Milo said, "and is overexposed on television."

In fact, Milo has a huge following with blind fans of the Astros. "They tell me they feel like they are at the game, like they can see the game."

Milo attributes his success to being himself. "The voice you hear is me. It is not phony."

The sincerity of Milo is evident in every word he utters, like when he describes a foul ball traveling into the third row or a homer into center field. "People feel like they are in the Dome. I want people to experience the game as it takes place."

Milo was in Atlanta calling the game when Hank Aaron tied and later broke the single season home-run record previously held by Babe Ruth.

Hamilton has also had the pleasure of announcing seven no-hitters, ironically none of which were by former Astro Nolan Ryan.

Milo got his start in Davenport, Iowa in 1950. He broadcast the major leagues for the first time in St. Louis in 1953. He made stops in Chicago, Atlanta and Pittsburgh before coming to Houston.

Milo was inducted into the broadcast wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY in 1992. He is also a recipient of the Ford C. Fricke Award.

Hamilton recalls his best experience being with the 1979 Pirates. "This was a team filled with overachievers. It was fun to be around them," he said.

Hamilton, despite his many years of announcing, said he is interested in working for a while longer. "If my health is good and I still sound good, I would like to continue in the booth. As long as I can still contribute."

And contribute he does. Hamilton's career has given baseball more of what has made baseball the greatest sport on earth: class.

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