Results tagged ‘ Tom Hamilton ’
By Alex Gimenez
It’s been quite a year thus far for the Hamilton family.
Indians play-by-play man Tom Hamilton was honored with his sixth Ohio Sportscaster of the Year Award by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. His oldest son, Nick, has continued to develop in the Indians farm system and received a start with the big league club in Spring Training with his proud father watching from the press box.
Most recently, Hamilton’s youngest son, Brad, a senior and starting catcher at Avon Lake, made a splash at Progressive Field through the Cleveland Indians Charities Hardball Classic, presented by Novacare Rehabilitation.
As part of a family with strong ties to Northeast Ohio, Brad grew up living in the shadows of Progressive Field, coming out to the ballpark in the summers once school had closed out for the year. The allure of Major League Baseball hooked the youngest Hamilton and helped to drive him towards a future in the game. The opportunity to play at Progressive Field thus carried with it some extra emotions.
“This is just an awesome experience, getting to play where we all grew up watching the Tribe and wishing we could play on that field. It’s a really neat opportunity,” he said of the experience.
Brad is unquestionably a leader on the Shoremen varsity baseball team. As a senior, team captain and catcher, he is charged with managing not only his pitching staff but the entire Avon Lake roster, and it is clear that his teammates look up to his leadership both on and off the field. On the field, he has done quite well for himself, following in his brother’s footsteps by earning an offer to play for Kent State as a member of the Golden Flashes baseball team.
With high school baseball season just under way in Northeast Ohio after one of the harshest winters in recent memory, Brad and his Avon Lake teammates were faced with an early test, taking on a powerhouse St. Ignatius. The Shoremen had lost this same matchup at the big-league ballpark last season, and in what would amount to his final high school game here, Brad wanted nothing more than a victory for his team.
Standing underneath the ballpark in the Indians batting cages, Brad was living the life of a big leaguer. He was hitting in the same batting cages that many of the players he’d looked up to over the years had used during their stay with the Tribe. Moments later, he walked out towards the home bullpen to warm up his starting pitcher, Avon Lake ace Logan DeLong, following the same path that Tribe great Sandy Alomar Jr. might have taken to warm up Charles Nagy before an early April Indians game in the 1990s.
“Bradley was so excited about getting to warm up his pitcher in the bullpen and hitting under the ballpark in the batting cages, all things that when you are around the game you take for granted,” Tom Hamilton said. “Every kid dreams of being able to play in the big leagues and they got to experience what that would be like for a day.”
Brad Hamilton was behind the plate for the first pitch, and it would not take much longer for him to take center stage in the ballgame, where he struck early and often. In the bottom of the first, Avon Lake loaded the bases with nobody out, bringing Hamilton to the plate. Standing confidently in the box, he lined a two-run single into left-center field to put the Shoremen on the board. The rally would continue as Avon pushed across a total of five runs in the first inning.
Not wasting any time, Hamilton came to the plate in the second inning, again with the bases loaded. On the first pitch, he drove a ball into the gap in left-center field, driving home two more runs to give his team a 7-0 lead. The hit wound up being the game-winner as Avon Lake held on for a 7-5 victory, and Hamilton would finish 2-3 with 4 RBIs.
“It was an unbelievable experience and to get the win is just a bonus,” he said. “I was really happy with everyone’s approach, the guys really battled before me and I was just lucky to be in that situation [to drive in the winning runs].”
The Hamilton family is enjoying a strong year in baseball this year, but understand very well that this game can be unrelenting, with every hitting streak there comes a slump and with success there comes failure.
“We’ve been very blessed and we know how fortunate we are. Baseball is a game with many ups and downs and my kids know that, and we cherish that the boys have had these great experiences thus far this year,” said Tom Hamilton.
Since 1989, CIC has donated nearly $10 million to youth-oriented agencies and organizations of Northeast Ohio, including a $1 million donation in April 2012 to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland’s “Save the Kids” campaign. Additionally, Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school baseball and softball programs are made possible due to the multi-million-dollar commitment from CIC.
Hardball Classic game recaps
Avon Lake 7, St. Ignatius 5
Avon Lake struck first in the bottom of the first inning with five runs off of Ignatius starter Bennett Kinzel. After loading the bases with nobody out, Hamilton delivered a two-run single to get the scoring started. In the second, Hamilton again delivered for Avon Lake with the bases loaded, driving in two more runs to give the Shoremen a 7-0 lead. Hamilton would finish the day at 2-3 with 4 RBI.
“I don’t know if you can find a hotter hitter in baseball in Northeast Ohio,” Avon Lake head coach Jay Fowler said of Hamilton . “He’s a fabulous talent and a hard worker, and we’re just really happy for him.”
For the Shoremen, starter and ace Logan DeLong worked a scoreless first inning before being lifted from the game to preserve his arm after throwing earlier in the week. He was relieved by Logan Montague, who worked four strong innings, surrendering just one run on six hits.
Trailing by six in the sixth, Ignatius would rally for four runs off of Shoremen reliever Logan Cherni to make it a two-run game. Nick Longo led off the inning with a walk, then swiped second base and scored on a throwing error to ignite the Ignatius offense. Jake Kucia then singled home a run followed by a Sam Fuller two-run double to cap off the scoring for the Wildcats.
Leading by two, Avon Lake put the game into the hands of sophomore reliever James O’Connor, who was making his second appearance for the Varsity team. O’Connor delivered in a big spot, shutting down the Ignatius sixth-inning rally and returning in the seventh to close out the game retiring all four batters he faced.
University School 4, Gilmour Academy 0
In Friday’s Hardball Classic nightcap, Gilmour Academy and University School faced off under the lights of Progressive Field. With school out for the weekend, students from both schools were out in full force to support their teams, lining the home and visiting dugouts creating a playoff-like atmosphere for the players.
Pitching dominated the first two innings, as starters Brandon Jaces and Chandler Waszak traded zeroes for Gilmour and University respectively. Waszak had the strikeout pitch working, retiring five of his first six outs via the strikeout; Jaces pitched to contact.
In the top of the third, the Preppers struck first, scoring two runs on a well-hit ball to deep left-center field off the bat of Waszak. Andrew Domonkos followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0. In the fifth, Domonkos helped University tack on an insurance run with an RBI double to make it 4-0.
Waszak was a force to be reckoned with on the mound throughout, holding the Lancers to just five hits. In the bottom of the sixth, Waszak faced his biggest test of the game, allowing runners to reach second and third with nobody out. He retired the next three batters without surrendering a run on two groundouts and a strikeout, his 12th of the game. He finished with 13 punchouts.
“This is probably one of the first and only times I’ll be playing in a Major League stadium and to be able to come out here and play as well as we did was awesome,” Waszak said of his team’s performance.
For University Head Coach Ben Boka, the opportunity for his players to play at Progressive Field was special.
“This certainly is a tremendous place to play and these boys really appreciate the opportunity to come out here and play and it really makes them come out and play the best that they can,” said Boka.
Elyria Catholic 12, Highland 2
The Panthers scored nine runs in the third inning on their way to the victory over the Hornets. EC won for the second year in a row in the Hardball Classic; the Panthers beat Berea, 10-0, in last year’s event. Noah Bland had two triples and three RBI.
The Cleveland Indians again have a packed schedule of pregame festivities leading up to next Friday’s home opener, set for 3:05PM at Progressive Field vs. the Minnesota Twins.
The game, the Tribe’s 21st Home Opener at Progressive Field, marks the 114th as a charter member of the American League, and the 22st consecutive Home Opener sellout dating back to the team’s final year at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. This year’s game sold out in 15 minutes on March 3.
April 4 is the 20th anniversary to the day of the first game at then-Jacobs Field, and this year’s Home Opener theme will celebrate those 20 years. Progressive Field’s gates will open at 1PM, and the team is encouraging fans to be in their seats by 2:30PM to enjoy a bevy of pregame activities, including:
- Video tribute to the first game at then-Jacobs Field, on April 4, 1994 vs. Seattle
- Raising a 20th-anniversary flag, which features eight Postseason pennants
- Recognition of select Season Ticket Holders who have been with the Indians since 1994
- Recognition of the 2013 Postseason team
- Mike Hargrove throwing a ceremonial first pitch to Sandy Alomar Jr.
- Moment of silence for late broadcaster Mike Hegan
The team also will honor all branches of the United States military, as members of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard will present the colors, while an oversized American flag will be presented by 250 employees of Progressive Insurance, the Presenting Partner of the Opening Series.
The national anthem will be performed by the Cleveland Orchestra Double String Quartet, some members of which performed the anthem on Opening Day in 1994.
Rally Alley presented by RTA will get things started at Noon from Larry Doby Way. Opening Day Rally Alley will feature:
- Alumni autographs (2-2:30PM)
- Live music
- Street performers
- Live broadcasts from WTAM and SportsTime Ohio
- Budweiser Build-a-Bar will be featuring Day-Fresh Drafts, along with the Hot Corner Bar in Section 175 and the Bud Patio
- Flo’s Rock N’ Rally trailer, presented by Progressive Insurance
- Chevrolet car display
Additionally, concession stands will offer many options for Catholics in attendance who observe Lenten traditions. They include:
• Veggie Dogs: Sections 162 and 541
• Salads: Sections 108, 162, 550
• Nachos: Sections 121, 154, 162, 171, 181, 311, 529, 556 and 558
• Cheese Pizza: Sections 101, 152, 555
• Fish Sandwich: Sections 101, 152, 164, 562
Tribe Broadcaster Jim Rosenhaus talks about a special day for the Voice of the Tribe Tom Hamilton as his son Nick plays in a Major League Spring Training for the first time. Also visits from Jordan Bastian, and Indians pitcher Danny Salazar. Plus Terry Francona and Chris Antonetti explain the most recent player moves.
Monday was a special day for the Hamiltons.
Nick Hamilton, an Indians 2012 draft pick after helping lead the Kent State Golden Flashes to the College World Series that June, found himself in the lineup as the designated hitter on Monday as the Indians took on the Cincinnati Reds from Goodyear Ballpark. Originally, Nick Swisher was in the lineup as the DH, but when the Reds said pitchers should bat — Cincinnati was the home team — Indians Manager Terry Francona sent Swisher home.
When the DH was re-installed into the game, Hamilton got the call. And his dad, Indians radio play-by-play man Tom, was on hand for the incredible moment:
Said Nick Hamilton after the game: “It was really just a lot of fun. I’m just grateful for the opportunity to be able to get out there and get that first taste of playing in the big leagues. It was just a lot of fun and something I can learn from and build on from here.
“Eventually, looking back, I’m sure this is definitely something that I’m going to cherish.”
The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association announced on Thursday that Cleveland Indians’ radio play-by-play announcer Tom Hamilton of WTAM won his sixth
Ohio Sportscaster of the Year Award.
Hamilton, the “Voice of the Indians” will enter his 25th season of calling Cleveland Indians games on the radio in 2014. In his 24 seasons since 1990, he has called 69 postseason games for the Tribe from 1994-99, 2001, 2007 and again in 2013, including the 1995 and 1997 World Series.
Finalists for the award were nominated by NSSA members from mid-October to mid-November. Final balloting took place during the month of December.
All NSSA award recipients will be honored during the 55th Annual NSSA Awards Weekend, June 7-9 in Salisbury, NC. The three-day NSSA Awards Weekend will feature a welcome reception and dinner, issues forum, seminars, a golf tournament and tennis tournament, as well as the Awards Banquet and Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Information on the Weekend will be posted at nssafame.com as details are finalized.
You may have heard that the Indians clinched a Postseason berth on Sunday with their 10th consecutive victory and seventh four-game sweep of the season — the first time the latter has been done since 1943.
Here’s photographic evidence of the feat. Enjoy. Go Tribe!
Think these guys are excited about the Postseason push? Sure looks like it to us…
–Photos by Kyle Emery
Obscure fact of the day: The Voice of the Indians was actually hired by the other Voice of the Indians.
Yes, Bob Tayek, the man behind the public address microphone at Progressive Field, was the man who hired Tom Hamilton way back in 1989 to join Herb Score in the Indians broadcast booth. Hamilton, of course, now is one of the most recognizable radio men in pro sports.
Little did Tayek know at that time that, 10 years later, he’d join Hamilton as one of the voices most recognized by Tribe fans.
Tayek is in his 15th season as the Tribe’s PA man, prepped by a long career in broadcast news. He was a broadcast major at Ohio University way back when, and cut his teeth doing high school football and OU Bobcat basketball land football.
After OU, he landed at WEOL in Elyria, then entered grad school at Akron and worked at a couple radio stations in Akron. He then moved to Cleveland, with AM-850 (then WJW), then 3WE, now Indians flagship WTAM, then did morning drive on AM-1300 WERE.
He moved to TV news in a managerial capacity, followed by another stint at 3WE as the program director. It was then that he and the operations director had to choose a replacement for then-play-by-play man Paul Olden – who now, coincidentally, is the public address announcer at Yankee Stadium, replacing late legend Bob Shepherd.
“Tom got his tape in late, because his wife had just had their son, Nick (now in the Indians farm system),” Tayek says. “But he was great. I had to have a meeting with Herb, who I feared would look at this young broadcaster (Hamilton was in his early 30s) and push back.
“He could not have been more gracious.”
Later, in 1999, Tayek was the managing editor at WKYC when the Indians were looking for a PA man, and he got what he calls a dream job.
“My dad grew up here, and never missed an inning, and I followed those footsteps,” Tayek said.
Now, Tayek spends his days as the director of communications for the Cleveland Catholic Diocese and his evenings at Progressive Field in a job that’s harder than many think. Tayek says he arrives at the park at 4:30 for any 7PM game, and 75% of his job is preparation: studying rosters, any transactions or changes, checking with umpires on signals and more.
But there’s more to the game than the action on the field, though that is Priority No. 1. There are reads for corporate partners, Play Ball Kids, national anthem singers and more.
“I want to get names right,” Tayek said. “In many cases, this is their one moment and I want to help make it special.”
While he acknowledges he’ll never be perfect, the reason you probably don’t know Tayek’s name is that he’s good at his job. He likes a quote from former Indians third-base coach Jim Riggleman, in which Riggleman said the only time the PA guy or the third-base coach get headlines is when they mess up. (Current Tribe third-base coach Brad Mills has been similarly anonymous this season until Indians beat writers approached him last week.)
Tayek says he has two favorite memories: The 2007 Bug Game, which requires no explanation, and Asdrubal Cabrera’s unassisted triple play on May 12, 2008 – the Tribe’s first since 1909. He also calls Robbie Alomar the best player he’s seen in an Indians uniform.
Tayek allows himself one vice: he keeps all scoresheets. Now that’s a collection that we’d like to see.
“Herb used to say, ‘You never know what you’re going to see at the ballpark,’ and I love coming every day and seeing those things,” Tayek said.
–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond
The Cleveland Indians announced today that Carlos Baerga, one of the best second basemen in Cleveland Indians history and a member of the 1995 World Series team, will be inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame on June 22.
Baerga always has been a fan favorite and is warmly remembered throughout the organization as being an uplifting, positive force in the clubhouse.
“As difficult as it is to identify one player who made the most significant impact on the renaissance of Indians Baseball in the 1990s, I would have to have Carlos Baerga at the heart of the discussion,” said Indians Vice President of Public Relations Bob DiBiasio. “It took Carlos’ passion and enthusiasm to awaken a baseball franchise and its fan base from a 40-year slumber. His energy was infectious. Constantly moving, constantly dancing and talking whether in the clubhouse, during BP or during a game, Carlos provided an enthusiasm that helped create perhaps the best run of Indians baseball in club history.”
Tom Hamilton, voice of the Indians, agrees. “The guy unified the clubhouse. His personality was so magnetic; he made sure everyone was ready to play. Baerga didn’t have a problem getting guys fired up. He was never one of those guys that said, ‘that’s not my job.’ He did things others hadn’t done before.”
His impact on the field was just as — if not more — incredible. A switch hitter, Baerga was the first (of only three players) to have ever hit a home run from both sides of the plate in the same inning. He had back-to-back seasons with 200 or more hits; Kenny Lofton, in 1996, is the only Indians player to accomplish the feat since Baerga.
“In 1993, he had cellulitis after fouling a ball off his leg with 199 hits. He spent five days in the hospital and on the sixth day came out and got his 200th hit,” said Indians Director of Media Relations Bart Swain. “That 200 was a magical number for him. Most guys would have shut it down, but Carlos gutted it out and got his 200th hit legging out a swinging bunt down the third base line in the last game at the old stadium.”
“Whether leading the team in hits or hustling from first to third, Carlos was in constant motion,” DiBiasio said. “Most remember Carlos’ highlights on the field — hitting homers from both sides of the plate in one inning to set a Major League record or producing seasons for a second baseman that rivaled baseball legend Rogers Hornsby — but my memories of Carlos focus on what an incredible teammate he was. Always smiling, always keeping the clubhouse a fun place to be. And when our franchise suffered the tragic deaths of Steve Olin and Tim Crews, it was Carlos who represented his teammates at a press conference the morning following the accident. Few have worn the Cleveland Indians uniform with more pride than Carlos.”
Baerga currently works as an Alumni Ambassador for the club and is assisting new manager Terry Francona’s staff at Spring Training in Goodyear, Arizona. Most recently, he was named Manager of the Year in la Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente Walker in Puerto Rico.
Out in Goodyear, it seems Baerga’s passion has been revived. “Having (new outfielder Nick) Swisher here reminds me of the energy and enthusiasm that Carlos brought day in and day out,” Swain said.
“He has never changed,” Hamilton added. “That’s why you knew it was genuine.”
Baerga will be honored in a ceremony before the Indians’ game against the Minnesota Twins and later will be recognized in Heritage Park, behind the center field wall at Progressive Field. Sincerest congratulations to Carlos Baerga on being the 39th member inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame.
–TribeVibe contributor Courtney Shilling