Milo Hamilton declares the 2012 season his last in the broadcast booth.

Jim Crane, left, Milo Hamilton and George Postolos announce that 2012 will be Milo's last season behind the mic.

Milo Hamilton mentioned a couple of times last year to friends and colleagues that the 2012 season would likely be his last as a lead play-by-play announcer on Astros broadcasts.

Milo will turn 85 in September, and, as he said last year, “That’ll be enough.” On Wednesday, he made that official, formally stating that he’ll retire at the end of the season.

Perhaps there’s no “best” time for a beloved figure to step down, but the timing of the announcement will allow the Astros to weave a season-long salute to their long-time broadcaster in with the celebration of the franchise’s 50th anniversary.

Plans to honor Milo this year will be officially announced in full at a later time, but here’s a sneak peek:

* Sept. 2, Milo’s 85th birthday, will be “Milo Hamilton Day” at Minute Maid Park.
* The Astros plan to host a special dinner in Milo’s honor during the season, with proceeds benefiting the Astros In Action Foundation.
* There will be an online vote for fans to select Milo’s greatest calls.
* We’ll start an appreciation Facebook page, dedicated to fans saluting Milo’s great career.
* The Astros plan to create a Milo Hamilton college scholarship for broadcasting students.

Stay tuned for more announcements.

“We will provide a fitting tribute for one of the all-time great broadcasters in our industry,” said Astros President and CEO George Postolos. “The unique bond that Milo has built with our fans is very special. With that in mind, we have created ways for our fans to participate in our tribute to Milo. They will have an opportunity to do that throughout the season.”

Milo’s plan is to only retire from the broadcasting side. He will still be a part of the organization in 2013 and beyond as an emcee for special events and fundraisers, and will take part in the caravan and FanFest. He’ll also appear at events for sponsors and season ticket holders and will be incorporated into the radio broadcasts.

Watch the video from Milo’s announcement

More video: Biggio, talking about Milo and his retirement

Milo, by the numbers:
66 — years as a broadcaster.
58 — years as a baseball broadcaster.
27 — years an Astros broadcaster.
5 — Halls of Fame that have honored Milo, including the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 1992.
715 — Hank Aaron’s milestone, record-breaking home run, which Milo called as a Braves announcer in 1974.
4,000 — Nolan Ryan’s milestone strikeout, which Milo called as an Astros announcer in 1985.
3,000 — Craig Biggio’s milestone hit total, which Milo called as an Astros announcer in 2007.

From the photo archives: first, a few good ones from the past…

Jeff Bagwell and Milo in 2006, the day Bagwell announced his retirement.

Milo and former skipper Phil Garner at FanFest a few years back.

Milo celebrated his 84th birthday last year by wearing a gigantic blue bow on his head.

Keeping with the theme of intesting head gear, here's Milo and Brad Lidge a few years ago at Spring Training, reading Dr. Seuss books to kids.

…and finally, images from Wednesday’s press conference…

Craig Biggio, who announced his retirement from this very room a little more than four years ago, attended Milo's press conference.

Later, the two convened for an impromptu photo shoot.

The Houston media contingent surrounded Milo following the formal part of the presser.

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4 Comments

Let the platitudes begin! Oh, enough cannot be said about Milo.
There’s no better way to hear a ballgame then from THAT voice. It will not be the same. No offense to the ‘new guys’, who do a great job, but there can never be any voice to replace Milo’s.
And if you’ve ever been a fan, do yourself a favor an pick up one of the CDs that is available at the gift shop or online. It’s a wonderful insight to Milo’s life and career.

Just don’t ask him what he thinks of Harry Caray!

Thank you Milo, for your dedication to the sport and the fans. I will miss not hearing you after this season ends.

Thanks for making Astros games so much fun to listen to over the years! You are a living legend. I think the Astros should rename the radio booth in your honor because you have meant so much to the Astros organization and to the city of Houston! Listening to the games will not be the same without you! Thank you for your years of service to Major League Baseball!

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