Making Airwaves by Milo Hamilton

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Millions of sports fans know the dulcet tones of Milo Hamilton's melodious voice. They remember his call of baseball's most magic moment: the home run that made Hank Aaron the new home run king in 1974. However, he was also behind the mike when Roger Maris hit his 61st home run in 1961, when Stan Musial hit five home runs in one day, and when Nate Colbert duplicated Musial's feat two decades later. Now in his seventh decade at the baseball mike, Hamilton was the oldest active announcer who worked the entire 162-game schedule in 2005. He still has not lost his youthful enthusiasm.

Hamilton has called 11 no-hitters and two World Series, often in tandem with such broadcast legends as Jack Buck, Jack Brickhouse, and Bob Elson. Those pairings did not always prove to be perfect. In the book, Hamilton speaks frankly about his tenuous relationship with Harry Caray when the two were paired together in St. Louis during the mid-1950's and again in Chicago during the early 1980's. He also discusses his rocky relationship with former Astros broadcaster and manager Larry Dierker. The talented but brash Hamilton was certainly known to sometimes make waves in addition to airwaves, but his work was so well-received that he was enshrined into the broadcasters' wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992. He received an even more unexpected honor eight years later - election to the exclusive Radio Hall of Fame, of which only seven other baseball broadcasters belong. He has truly managed to work his way up from humble origins.

After listening to Ronald (Dutch) Reagan during his schoolboy days in Iowa, Hamilton got his first broadcast gig as a fluke: his commanding officer in the Navy needed someone to announce a game in Guam, just after the end of the Second World War. After admitting that he played baseball and knew something about the game, he was placed behind the WXLI microphone on the Armed Forces Radio Service. He got his big league break with the lowly St. Louis Browns in 1953. It was not easy, but he knew how to make a bad team sound good. When the Browns headed to Baltimore, Hamilton moved into the Cardinals broadcast booth for a year. He then worked for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Cubs again before becoming the Voice of the Houston Astros in 1985. He is now in his 21st season with the team. The story he tells in Making Airwaves: 60 Years at Milo's Microphone is a profile in courage, a tale of talent and determination, and a behind-the-scenes look at seven decades of baseball history.


About Milo Hamilton

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Sportswriter Dan Schlossberg has written more than 20 novels and over 10,000 articles on the topic of baseball. His works include Pitching (An Official Major League Baseball Book), The New Baseball Catalog and several editions of The Baseball Almanac.
Published March 1, 2006 by Sports Publishing. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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