Indians, Multimedia

Listen: Tom Hamilton calls Francisco Lindor’s grand slam

Tom Hamilton Indians
Chuck Crow/Plain Dealer

When early April hits, there are a few things that remind Ohioans that summer is closer than it may appear: Warmer weather, the start of baseball season, and hearing Cleveland Indians play-by-play man Tom Hamilton on the radio. While some may show dismay toward Hamilton at times, the way he calls home runs can not and will not be beat by anyone.

Wednesday night’s game may have only been the third game in a very, very long season, but it was the chance for the Indians to begin the season 3-0 for the first time since 1998. Throughout the game, there were plenty of plays, runs, and strikeouts, but the only at-bat anyone will remember will forever be  Francisco Lindor’s game-winning grand slam in the top of the ninth to give the Tribe a 9-6 lead after scoring five runs in the inning.

What made it even better was hearing Hamilton call the grand slam, the Indians’ first home run with the bases full since September, 2015. Fair warning, Indians fans: You will have goosebumps after listening to Hamilton’s call.

Whether it’s having his own Facebook page of Hamilton home run calls or people throughout social wanting to hear the call immediately following the play, the 60-year-old has a special talent. The Indians have taken notice, giving Hamilton his own bobblehead night over the years. Over his 27 years of broadcasting, he has made quite a name for himself.  While WTAM 1100 is lucky to have an announcer like Hamilton, the luckiest people are the fans who get to hear his game-winning home run calls all summer. How. About. That?

  • NankirPhelge

    Cleveland has been really fortunate to have a series of excellent play-by-play men over the years: Hammy, Joe Tait, Gib Shanley, Nev Chandler, and Jim Donovan. If the TV and radio are synched up (increasingly rare these days), I listen to the radio every time.

  • LogicalLeopard

    He’s the only reason why I get MLB At Bat each year.

    I unfortunately didn’t get to see or hear the game last night, but I saw a clip of grand slam on the At Bat app….what’s with that Rangers fan crying? *LOL* ITS THE THIRD GAME! *LOL* Somebody give that lady a flute.
    http://i.imgur.com/SMGqyRp.gif

  • Hopwin

    My understanding is that is Dyson’s fiancée… Her bawling her eyes out like makes me worried for her.

  • Garry_Owen

    Without knowing this, my wife made that observation. “It has to be the pitcher’s wife.” Intuition is strong with that one.

  • LogicalLeopard

    Oh! Thanks for clearing that up, because I was wondering!

  • Eric G

    “While some may show dismay toward Hamilton at times…” I have no desire to meet or speak to any such person.

  • Saggy

    This team is FUN to watch play. WOW. This is why you let young guys play – they try harder, have more fun, keep the audience more involved thus become more endearing.

    And I don’t know why there are so many Hammy Haters out there. I love the guy.

  • Hopwin

    There are people who feel Hammy drives unfair narratives that are not backed up by statistical analysis. (Carlos Santana criticism). I love him and listen for entertainment value, not for a lecture on SABR Metrics.

  • Steve

    You couldn’t go for fewer “get off my lawn” rants?

    I’m also pretty sure no one has done more damage to the reputation of Santana in this town.

  • Harv

    I’ve always loved his game-turning home run calls, and have listened to this one on a loop for the last 3 minutes. But I am critical of how Hamilton’s booth personality has morphed into something far different than it was 20 years ago. The problem is the way he now tries to create in-game drama by pumping up the volume in response to minor happenings, not something he did previously and usually a characteristic that young announcers wean from their style. And the way he’s ever more frequently intoning his had-it-up-to-here opinions, like daily snarking about “these analytics whizzes,” like blasting opponent Giambi for steroids until sainting him when he arrived, and never criticizing Almonte. Or the juvenile private joke yuk-it-ups he did with Hegan like a bad Terry Bradshaw imitation. He is better – and his style used to wear better – than that. Suspect his local sacred cow status has something to do with his not curbing some bad instincts.

    Also, why was the grand slam’s landing spot filled with Tribe fans? Opening series for an excellent Texas team – seems weird.

  • Hopwin

    You could hear loud chants last night and tonight of “Let’s go Cleveland!”

    Very odd.

  • jpftribe

    I’ll listen to Hammy any time, but won’t go out of my way to do so. I read a lot of the complaints and my reaction was , Huh? But now I can hear it, especially his love of all things KC. That drives me crazy.

  • Garry_Owen

    I hate the whole “Let’s go _______” chant. Come on, Cleveland fans, we can do better than a mindless Red Sox knock-off that everyone knocks off.

  • jpftribe

    Hegan was one of my favorites on the TV broadcasts. Maybe it was just my feeble understanding of MLB, but he seemed to have an uncanny knack for calling pitches and hitting approaches.

    I can also see why people don’t but I do like Manning. I kind of view him as the sign language guy in the PIP box for us stat-nerd impaired geezers.

  • RGB

    Him and Herb were the best.

  • Saggy

    Contrast that, however, with the way that Rajai Davis’s WS homer was called. It was almost with disdain or disappointment that Joe Buck announced that play. It is one of the greatest moments in World Series history, deserving of all pomp and circumstance, yet Buck played it like a homer – for the other team.

    When the alternative is something like that, I can overlook some of the Hammy stuff because, deep down, he wants the Tribe to win. And so do I.

  • scripty

    piccolo, no?

  • chrisdottcomm

    Tribe 95 but with elite starters and bullpen… must see TV all year long.

  • CBiscuit

    “Manny Wamiwez with a drive to deep wight field….way back….gone!”

  • CBiscuit

    I actually like Manning. I get he oozes a bit of smarm (much like a Cris Collinsworth) which might go to the unlikeable thing, but the guy knows his stuff and he’s definitely not a homer. He’s dryly calls it like it is, which is a nice counterbalance to Underwood.

  • Saggy

    Not quite the same dynamic personalities but I thought it was a similar thing. I haven’t been this excited about the Indians since the mid-90’s. These guys just love to play and they’re resilient, just like the ’95 Tribe.

  • Garry_Owen

    I love “Uncle Grouchy” (our family name for Manning). I also really like Underwood, and think he gets unfairly maligned. Sure, his homerun call is horrible, but apart from that, I think he does a fantastic job, and is a good match with Manning. It’s a good crew.

  • LogicalLeopard

    Edited to piccolo from flute.

  • tsm

    Herb – “there’s a long fly ball, it could be fair, it could be foul, it is”

  • RGB

    I remember listening once, and Hamilton re-entered the booth after a break and he scared Herb because he had fallen asleep.

  • Steve

    There’s no need for a lecture on sabermetrics. Vin Scully was a master of keeping the fan well informed without throwing relatively unknown metrics at them.

  • Steve

    “The problem is the way he now tries to create in-game drama by pumping up the volume in response to minor happenings”

    Does he still do Big Ten basketball games? I still remember a few years ago turning on the Big Ten Network as a game was about to start, walked into the other room to grab something, and within 30 seconds, I hear from the other room that announcer is screaming about something. I come back and realize it’s Hamilton, and the opening tip just took a funny bounce and went out of bounds.

    The intensity works for me only in a lot smaller doses. Especially, even with 30 years in the business, as he is still awful at judging fly balls.

  • chrisdottcomm

    Encarnacion trots out homers with a fake parrot on his arm, JRam keeps a total of how many times his helmet flies off, FRANKIE FREAKING LINDOR, the Slim Reaper, the Dirtbag, Dr. Smooth, Klubot and oh yeah… the drone kid.

    I’d watch that sitcom.

  • Harv

    remember as a kid listening to Herb way late at night in a game in Oakland. He was alone in the booth for a while and repeatedly went silent for 30 seconds at a stretch. Totally eerie – Oakland drew no fans and you could just hear the ambient crowd whisper and food vendors calling until Herb would just say: “strike,” and then fall silent again. Sorta cool but made one wonder what the hell he was doing.

    In that same era I would wait outside Muni after games for player autographs and Herb would come out with them. And he was an animated, back-slapping, nick-name calling one of the guys. Opposite of his reserved on-air stoicism.

  • Harv

    I like Manning, too, But I chuckle when he upbraids a player for not running out a ground ball. As a rookie he ran to first like his hair was on fire. But from then on he hit countless bobbled grounders he could have beaten out had he not totally given up. Local fans were on him for that all the time. So hard for me to listen to any “back in my day” talk from Rick.

    Sort of weird that he never dogged it defensively, never gave up on a ball. His loafing was very situation specific.

  • CBiscuit

    Indeed. Plus Dennis Eckersley said he was not a good roommate either. Too soon?

    I’ll answer that…too soon.

  • tsm

    Agree on Manning not running out ground balls. With the small crowds at the stadium, your could hear the fans yell – “Manning you bum” – after one of his many 4-3 ground outs. I used to joke with one of my buddies that he should change his last name to that phrase.

  • Eric G

    No. If Hammy says it, is gold. No matter that he sounded like a video game announcer at the end if that grand slam call, “The Indians…and the Indians…”

  • mgbode

    I even mentioned Herb Score this morning on one of these threads…

  • mgbode

    Cleveland has a large base in Texas. I don’t travel up to Dallas too often, but the Astro games are usually at least 25% or so Cleveland fans.

  • mgbode

    I read this on the comment filter and thought it was a reply to my own comment about listening to Herb for late night Oakland games. Woah.

  • Harv

    I don’t see that comment of yours but …. (cue twilight zone theme)

  • mgbode

    It was in my Salazar post:

    I used to fall asleep on my alarm
    clock radio with the sound super low so my parents wouldn’t know I was
    listening to Herb Score call games in Oakland and such. Those morning
    lines on my cheek were the worst.

  • Harv

    Ha, same thing with the volume and parents. Back in the day it was a transistor radio that you could hold right up to your ear but you had to twist around just so to reduce the AM static. But then the plastic radio cover would heat up just enough to make you sleepy.

  • dukem1

    Jimmy Dudley!…” Three and two…..The string is out!”

  • Hopwin

    I am glad I am not alone in like Matt and Rick (and Andre). I hear people talk so much trash about them that I just don’t get.

  • Hopwin

    I love it when you take another team’s thing and do it better. Let’s Go Cleveland is a perfect example.

    “Let’s Go Cleveland!” >> “Laht’s Gah Rad Sawks!” (Screamed through a mouthful of chowdah)

    Just like “Roll Tribe!” in Cleveland is a million times better than “Roll Tide!” in Alabama because we don’t have to date our cousins.

  • RGB

    Speaking of baseball announcers. Did anyone catch Brockmire last night?
    Hilarious…but, definitely not for the kiddies.
    Hank Azaria is fantastic.