CLEVELAND -- From playing under nine managers to winning seven division titles and even calling two ballparks home, the Indians and their fans have seen plenty of changes over the past 25 years. One constant has been radio man Tom Hamilton, who has shouted all of the highs and mourned over the lows of Cleveland baseball since 1989.
The Indians honored Hamilton's years of contribution with a pregame ceremony ahead of Friday night's tilt with the Rangers before later broadcasting his more famous radio calls throughout the game at Progressive Field. The longtime voice of the Indians was of course honored, if somewhat overwhelmed by the acknowledgment.
"I'm kind of uncomfortable with it, just because I don't feel like I deserve this," said Hamilton. "I'm very grateful for what they're doing, but I'm the lucky one. I should be thanking them. I'm the one that's been able to work here for 25 years thanks to them continuing to rehire me. We're very grateful."
Fans are well-acquainted with Hamilton's booming voice conveying emotional home runs and walk-off wins.
Members of the Tribe clubhouse, it seems, have also found time to hear Hamilton's work over the years.
"I never get to hear Hammy, just for obvious reasons," manager Terry Francona said. "When I do hear the calls, I think he's pretty good. You get to hear everybody, pretty much, because there's a top 10 of everything nowadays. And when Hammy comes on, I think he's pretty good. I'm certainly biased, but I bet you other people agree."
For Hamilton, some of his best moments have come when a player has taken the time to compliment one of his calls. Even better than that, he said, has simply been his opportunity to work around baseball for so many years.
"We've had great guys here," Hamilton said. "I've been very lucky to be around not only some of the best players in the game who are going to be in the Hall of Fame, but some really good people, too."
Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less