Deep Throat(s)

Baseball Heaven collected to itself a motley collection of flowers this month: Joaquin Andujar, Gene Elston, Milo Hamilon and Yogi Berra.

Joaquin was a pitcher. The first time I heard his name I thought they were saying “Walking Underwear,” but once I saw the name onscreen, I understood, but in the back of my head from then on, I always thought, Walking Underwear.

Gene Elston was the Astros announcer from 1962 to 1986. To me, milquetoast at best. Not much emotion in the calling of a game.

Along comes Milo. I first heard Milo when I was 12 years ago and thus began cutting my baseball teeth on him and his brilliant descriptions of the game of baseball. And the players. If Ralph Garr came to the plate 0 for three, he was “wearing a collar.” On April 8, 1974, I was soooooo sure of Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record, I called in sick to work from my job at a library for the blind in Alabama. And I watched it on WTCG channel 17 in Atlanta (it would become WTBS), and I taped it on the radio. I have a smidgen of it on a tape, for real. I have Milo’s first few words of that historic home run call.

I was ecstatic when Milo came to Houston. Lots of people thought he was too rah-rah and denounced him and hated him, wanting Elston to come back. Milo was a great ambassador for the game in his own right, he was both positive and negative. A player got thrown out trying to steal, next batter hits a double, and Milo would say, “if Fastfeet had stayed put, he’d be home now.” My husband Joe and our friend Dale Hamm had the chance to spend a few minutes with him and he was very nice to them. He was always appreciative of his blind listeners.

Yogi Berra was a guy good for the game also as a player then as a manager and bench coach and just someone good to be around with to soak up his aura and revel in his personality and presence.

I have two pictures here: one is the last picture I took of Milo off television in April and the other is the baseball card of himself he always handed out and I have kept mine.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
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Milo1
http://www.amazon.com/Wisp-Barbara-Shaidnagle/dp/1511630515/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
http://www.amazon.com/Trashy-White-Girls-Barbara-Shaidnagle/dp/1512159948/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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