Edited by: Tommy Parrill (@DearTommy)
If you haven’t noticed already, the one thing that I enjoy talking about more than anything is the wonderful game of baseball. I eat, sleep and drink the game, and if the Cleveland Indians would let me, I would live in the Jake. As much as I enjoy talking about, and debating the game, I find myself discussing something different about the game much more often. I have noticed that baseball fans are very loyal to their respective teams, and just as loyal to that team’s radio announcer. As any fan grows up with the game, it seems that the growth begins with listening to their home team on the radio. Los Angeles Dodger fans are loyal to the great Vin Scully, while the Red Leg faithful will always worship Marty Brennaman. I, on the other hand, grew up with the Cleveland Indians and my allegiance will always be with one of the best of all-time, Tom Hamilton.
I started listening to Indians games when I was five years old with my Grandpa Stricker. Whether we were driving around or sitting in the living room, the radio would be on and the television would be muted. A new season has always meant a new memory, and as there have been different color announcers for the Tribe over the years, Hamilton has always been there. When I was younger, he was the best because he was with my team. There is a special relationship that a fan has with his/her radio announcer. For the most part, they call them their own. As I grew older and matured, I realized how good he really was. He brings intelligence, a non-bias style and an excitement to the game that I have never heard before. Hamilton is my kind of announcer. Not only does he have a blast when he is on the air, the guy can make a foul ball exciting. I will never forget when the Indians were playing the Yankees a few years ago. For about five minutes on the air, Tom was wondering why Alex Rodriguez was dating actress Cameron Diaz because in his eyes, all of her movies sucked and she was a terrible actress. You may not be a fan of that, but I always get a good chuckle out of it. Along with having fun, Hamilton has a way of putting you on the edge of your seat and giving you goose bumps. Oh, and don’t even get me started on his walk-off home run call, by far the best in the entire league. I know that you Cincinnati fans are probably telling me to screw off and thinking that I have no idea what I am talking about. I get that. You will always be loyal to Marty Brennaman, and coming from a guy who has met him twice, he is one of the nicest and greatest people that I have ever met, but that is what makes him the Voice of the Reds. Marty at one point was the best, but nowadays, it is pretty tough to beat, “And we are underway from the corner of Carnegie and Ontario!”
I could literally go on for hours about the Voice of the Tribe, but the point of this blog is to get your opinion. I want to know who your favorite baseball radio announcer is, and whoever it is, I respect it and want to know. So no disrespect to any other announcer out there, you are much better than I ever will be, but since I was a little boy, baseball has come through the same summertime voice. I tip my cap to you Mr. Hamilton, thank you for everything.