Making Airwaves: 60+ Years at Milo's Microphone

Making Airwaves: 60+ Years at Milo's Microphone


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"Being around [Harry] Caray, day after day, was a real challenge. Harry´s handling of people was poor to say the least. It didn´t matter if he was dealing with the starting pitcher, traveling secretary, the public relations person, or an usher. He treated everyone the same way. In short, he was a miserable human being." ­- Milo Hamilton

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-1950s and again in Chicago during the early 1980s. 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 the Authors
MILO HAMILTON has been the radio voice of the Houston Astros since 1985 and is a member of three Halls of Fame. The man who called Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run has also worked for the Browns, Cardinals, White Sox, Cubs (twice), and Pirates. The Iowa native made his radio debut in Guam as an 18-year-old U.S. Navy seaman in 1945. He began his long career behind a big-league microphone eight years later. In 2006 he will work spring training, Astros home games, and two road trips.

DAN SCHLOSSBERG is the author or co-author of 29 baseball books and has contributed to Baseball Digest, The Sporting News,, and the All-Star Game and World Series programs. The former Associated Press sportswriter is also managing editor of "BallTalk," a syndicated weekly radio baseball show, and president of the North American Travel Journalists Association.

BOB IBACH is the author of three previous books, including Caught in the Net, soon to be a major motion picture about cheating in college basketball. The former public relations and publications director of the Chicago Cubs previously worked for The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Journal, and CBS Radio. His PR firm, Ibach & Associates, has offices in Illinois and Florida.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596702189
Publisher: Sports Publishing LLC
Publication date: 04/01/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 226
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Dan Schlossberg is a former AP sportswriter and author of 33 baseball books, including "Baseball Gold: Mining Nuggets from Our National Pastime" and the 2006 autobiographies of Ron Blomberg and Milo Hamilton; as well as more than 25,000 articles about baseball. His 38-year journalism career runs the gamut from broadcast analyst and commentator to writer, author, and entrepreneur. He is managing editor of aBallTalk, a a syndicated weekly radio baseball show, and is the originator of the baseball theme cruise, coordinating and hosting more than 20 such cruises featuring major league stars.

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