Hero of the Day: Jon Miller, Hall of Famer

Today, SSTOL offers a laurel and hearty handshake to San Francisco Giants voice Jon Miller, who today was announced as the 2010 winner of the Ford C. Frick Award — meaning his induction this summer into the broadcasters’ wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

“The Big Kahuna” — as his broadcasting partners lovingly refer to him — joined the Giants’ on-air team in 1997, replacing another beloved local legend, Hank Greenwald. Before coming to San Francisco, Miller was the voice of the Baltimore Orioles for 14 years, preceded by brief stints with the Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers, and Boston Red Sox. He’s also been the play-by-play announcer for ESPN’s weekly Sunday Night Baseball telecasts since 1990.

Big Jon’s trademark humor and literate style have endeared him to Giants fans, as well as the national audience. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s a genuine Bay Area native — born in The City and raised in the East Bay. As an even more narrowly specific local angle, one of Miller’s first broadcasting jobs was doing the evening sports news at Santa Rosa’s KFTY-50 back in the early 1970s. (A youthful Kahuna appears at 1:19 in the linked YouTube video clip.)

Among Miller’s signatures is his pronunciation of the names of Latin ballplayers, for which he uses a pitch-perfect Spanish accent. He frequently tosses an “Adios, pelota!” into his home run call when, say, Pablo (Kung Fu Panda) Sandoval crushes one over the left field wall at AT&T Park.

The Kahuna is under contract to broadcast Giants games for at least the next three seasons. Here’s hoping the newly minted Hall of Famer enjoys another couple of decades calling baseball by the Bay.

Explore posts in the same categories: Celebritiana, Hero of the Day, I Love the Giants, My Home Town, Ripped From the Headlines, Sports Bar, Teleholics Anonymous

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