INDIANAPOLIS -- Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton
of the Houston Astros was named the "2009 King of Baseball" Thursday night at the annual Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet. The "King of Baseball
" is a long-standing tradition in which Minor League Baseball salutes a veteran from the professional baseball world for long-time dedication and service.
Hamilton, who has been announcing Astros games for the last quarter century, began calling Major League games in 1953. He started his baseball broadcasting career with the Davenport Quads in the Three-I League in 1950.
His previous Major League experience includes stops with St. Louis, the Chicago Cubs and White Sox, Atlanta and Pittsburgh, where he served as the play-by-play announcer of the 1979 World Champion Pirates.
Hamilton has called 11 no-hitters, and he was at the microphone for Roger Maris' 61st homer in 1961 and Henry Aaron's historic 715th home run in 1974.
During the Astros opening series against the Cubs this past April, Houston Mayor Bill White renamed Hamilton Street near Minute Maid Park to Milo Hamilton Way.
An Iowa native, Hamilton is a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame and the Texas Radio Hall of Fame and was the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award in 1992 from the Baseball Hall of Fame. The honor is presented annually to a member of the broadcasting fraternity for major contributions to the game of baseball.