Astros play-by-play man Milo Hamilton has decided to retire following the 2012 season after broadcasting Major League baseball games for the last 59 years.

Milo, 84, began his legendary career in the Major Leagues with the St. Louis Browns of the American League in 1953. After stops with the Cardinals organization along with the Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs, Hamilton finally landed with the Houston Astros in 1985, and has become a Houston baseball fixture for the last 27 years.

I’ll miss Milo.

When I think of the Astros, I think of Milo Hamilton, just like I think of Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Jose Cruz and the other great Astro players that have helped craft the love of the game in this city.

I think it’s particularly disappointing that in recent years, Milo hasn’t been able to call games for a more competitive club. However, listening to Milo bring the passion, knowledge and love of the game to the microphone each and every game night, almost makes me forget the club is hardly worth watching. Yet, I never forget why their actually worth listening to.

There will and should be many things written about Milo’s Hall of Fame broadcasting career, many great words and some not so great. Fans will be reminded of  Milo’s sour relationship with long-time Chicago Cubs voice Harry Caray for instance and how he should have walked away from the broadcast booth years ago.

From some of baseball’s all-time greats like Willie Mays, Steve Carlton, Rickey Henderson to Biggio and Bagwell here locally to athletes like Brett Favre, Jerry Rice and even Muhammad Ali. All of these guys may have hung around way too long, but all helped transcend their sport, whether it be nationally,  internationally and/or locally.

There have been countless of our favorite players over the years, that  have crossed generations that we looked up to and respected that may have hung on too long.

And whether or not some fo those players hung on for the wrong reasons, maybe it was money, greed, whatever. Some hang around because it’s what they love to do, it’s the only think they know how to do.

For Milo, he’s hung on for the right reasons, he loves this game, he loves the people in the game, the relationships you develop during a career.

Milo has been a guy that I’ve looked up to for years, that I’ve respected since I was just a young kid.

I hope when fans think of some of the great moments in Astros baseball history, like the Chris Burke home run in 2005, the Astros clinching their first pennant in 2005, Craig Biggio collecting his 3,000th hit on a blistering hot June evening in 2007, and one of the most memorable moments and calls in baseball history, Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, that fans remember Milo for being a fabric of those moments. I hope that fans remember him for the exclamation mark he helped put on some unforgettable moments in baseball.

I know there have been many other great moments and calls that Milo has been apart of here in Houston, so I’d like for you to comment with some of your favorite memories of Milo and the Astros.

I can’t wait for Milo’s final call this season, I know it’s going to be special and he’ll have a great sign-off. But, until then, listen to Milo this season, really listen to him and try to really take it all in. He’s one of the last great, legendary voices in sports, enjoy it this season!

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