Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton is once again serving as the host of Astroline and is joined each week by Astros Social Media Director Kelly George, who will take fan questions via Twitter at twitter.com/astros either before or during the broadcast. Fans may also post questions prior to the broadcast on the Astros Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Astros. As always, fans will also have the option to call the show with questions at 713-212-5790.
Astroline, which is presented by Budweiser, is being broadcast live each Thursday from 7-8 p.m. during the offseason. The show will continue to broadcast from Houston through March 28 before moving to Florida on March 7 to be near the team and their Spring Training facility in Kissimmee, FL.
Sparks will team with play-by-play man Robert Ford for 33 Astros Spring Training games and all 162 Astros regular season games in the 2013 season. Sparks is a new, full-time member of a broadcast booth, but has filled in on select Astros radio and television broadcasts and has regularly served as a pre- and postgame analyst for Astros telecasts over the last several seasons.
A knuckleballer by trade, Sparks pitched in the Major Leagues in parts of nine seasons (1995-2004) for the Brewers, Angels, Tigers, A's and Diamondbacks. His best season was in 2001 while with Detroit when he went 14-9 in 35 appearances (33 starts) with a 3.65 ERA while leading the Majors in complete games with eight. He also tallied a career high in innings pitched (232.0) that season. Sparks, who currently resides in Houston, attended Sam Houston State University.
Hamilton, who retired from the radio booth in 2012, began his Hall of Fame radio career as a disc jockey on the Armed Forces Radio Network during Thanksgiving week in 1945. The 2012 season was his 28th with the Astros and his 59th year broadcasting Major League Baseball. Although he retired from calling games, Hamilton will remain active with the Astros moving forward.