On Tuesday Jan. 19, the manager of the Houston Astros Brad Mills, Golden Glove receiver Michael Bourn and Astros broadcaster Milo Hamilton ate breakfast and had a Q&A with the baseball and softball teams in Shelton Theatre.
The Houston Astros were on tour for their winter caravan throughout Texas to help drum up interest in the upcoming season.
Hamilton is entering his 64th year as a major league baseball broadcaster. He has also begun his 25th season as the voice of the Astros on the
radio. In addition to making his resonant voice familiar to thousands of Houston baseball fans throughout the seasons, he also hosts the off-season live talk show, Astroline.
Students witnessed Hamilton in action as he narrated the breakfast discussion with his roaring voice and quirky jokes.
Senior marketing major David Keil said it was neat to meet the new manager
and the Golden Glove winner.
“I’m interested in how Brad Mills will manage the team and have a winning season,” he said. “It was cool that I got to shake Michael Bourn’s hand after he had received his first award last year. It is a great award to receive.”
Bourn became the second Astros outfielder to win a Rawlings Golden Glove for his defensive play in 2009, joining five-time winner Cesar Cedeno (1972-76). He was named the team’s Most Valuable Player by the Houston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He is the first to win the title since Lance Berkman in 2002.
“In this game there is always something to be worked on,” Bourn said. “You have to keep going at it day to day, especially on this level. If you have a bad day, put it behind you. If you have a good day, hopefully, it will carry on to the next.”
Bourn had a breakout season at the plate, too, hitting .285 with a .354 on-base percentage and leading the NL with 61 stolen bases, just four shy of the club record. He hit .353 with runners in scoring position.
“Speed is a God gift that was given to me for the job,” Bourn said. “So, I try to use it on my best defense and offense. When you see the crowds clapping, it sends chills through my body.”
In October 2009, Mills signed a two-year contract with the Astros. He has managed 11 seasons in the minor leagues with the Cubs (1987- 92), Rockies (1993-96) and Dodgers (2002), moving into managing immediately upon the completion of his playing career.
He has coached 11 years at the major league level, including the past six as Boston’s bench coach. It was Mills’ 52nd birthday the day he spoke at the breakfast.
“I’m thrilled to death to be in Houston,” Mills said. “It’s always been one of my favorite cities and has a special place in my heart. We’re on a continual mission to get where we want to be in this organization, and I love this game. Winning teams work together. As a team we can accomplish things a lot better than individually.”
Recent rumors have surfaced that the team owner Drayton McLane is considering an offer to sell the team at the end of this month.
“I know it’s been suggested,” Mills said. “From what I understand, anytime you have a guy like Drayton McLane, you luck out to have him as the owner of the ball club. He’s a special individual.”