Oriole fans will finally have something to cheer about tomorrow afternoon as Jon Miller, the former Radio Voice of the Orioles, is inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. There is no broadcaster more deserving of induction than Jon. As a kid growing up in Baltimore I listened to Jon religiously, often turning off the sound on the TV to listen to the always entertaining radio broadcast. Whether Jon was doing his Vin Scully impression or telling stories of his days working in the minors he managed to make rain delays and blowouts into Emmy worthy performances. The Sunday games when Jon would team with the legendary Chuck Thompson were a real treat. There was no better way to spend a typical hazy, hot and humid Baltimore Summer day than with Chuck and Jon on WBAL, some steamed crabs on the picnic table and cold beer in your mug.
We didn’t know it at the time, but Jon’s departure from the Orioles after the 1996 season spelled the beginning of the club’s downward spiral. Peter Angelos wanted a lead announcer who would “bleed a little orange and black”, rather than one with integrity, talent and the uncanny ability to make the Orioles of the early 90s interesting. Other class acts like Pat Gillick and Davey Johnson would soon follow Jon out of the Warehouse. Fourteen years later there are very few people left who bleed orange and black at all. The best thing a manager can do is hire good people and let them do their jobs. Peter Angelos has always failed to grasp that concept. Jon Miller will achieve his ultimate vindication tomorrow on a stage in Cooperstown, NY.
Enjoy the moment O’s fans. Tell you kids about Jon’s time in Baltimore and the details of his departure. Be proud that Jon Miller once called Baltimore home. It may be quite awhile before an O’s fan can be proud of anything, until Robbie Alomar gets his much deserved place in Cooperstown.