There are legends in sports and there are legendary sports calls.
Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton made one of these calls. As the Atlanta Braves play-by-play announcer, he called the play in 1974 when baseball great Hank Aaron hit his historic 715th home run at the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium against the Los Angeles Dodgers
Hamilton died in Houston on Thursday. He was 88 years old.
Atlanta was just one stop along the road in a 60-year career that took Hamilton to seven different major league clubs starting in 1953, including both the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox.
The famed announcer started in the radio days of baseball when listening to a ball game on the radio was the next best thing to being there, then moved into television sports broadcasting.
Longtime Atlanta sports journalist I.J. Rosenberg first remembers hearing Hamilton during the late 1960s.
“I was very young and started listening to the Braves on radio, you know, him and Ernie Johnson,” Rosenberg said during an interview on “Closer Look.”
In fact, Rosenberg said he was at the game with his grandparents when Hamilton called Hank Aaron’s historic 715th run.
“He made a great call.”
Rosenberg said Hamilton did two things very well. “Number one he had great pipes and he took care of himself.” Many of the sports announcers at the time were big drinkers and partiers, Rosenberg remembered, but he said Hamilton took care of himself.
“The other thing Milo did was he did a really good job of preparing for the game … he kept very extensive statistics on the players before computers and programs did that.”
Hamilton won the prestigious Baseball Hall of Fame Frick Award, the industry’s greatest honor for excellence in broadcasting, in 1992.
Hamilton is survived by his son, Mark Hamilton.
WABE’s Rose Scott and Denis O’Hayer contributed to this report.