Some sad news to report – longtime Indians broadcaster Mike Hegan passed away at the age of  71 this morning.  Hegan, who had worked as an Indians broadcaster since 1989, stepped down from his full-time roll as the radio partner to Tom Hamilton after the 2011 season.

As a fan, one of my favorite broadcast teams of all time was Hegan and Hamilton.  I think you tend to gravitate toward the broadcasters that you either listen to growing up, or perhaps the ones you pay attention to once you really start to appreciate the game.  I know folks that still fondly remember Jack Graney, one of the first players to move to the broadcasting end of the game.  Others talk about Herb Score, who retired after the 1997 season.  For me, I never fully appreciated listening to broadcasters (particularly on the radio) until I was a little older.  I really took to the combination of Hegan and Hamilton on the radio; I loved Hamilton’s exuberance and Hegan’s more straight-laced knowledge and insight.  I felt like I always learning something new when I listened to them, and I think that’s one of the marks of a great broadcaster.  That, and someone that can really bring what’s happening on the field to life.  You don’t even need to see what’s going on, because it’s described so colorfully and so succinctly.

Hegan wasn’t a stranger to the playing side of the game – he started his career with the New York Yankees in 1964 and also played for the Seattle Pilots, Milwaukee Brewers, and Oakland Athletics.  Hegan won a World Series ring with the Athletics in 1972; his dad Jim Hegan had also won a World Series with the Indians in 1948.

One of my fond memories of Hegan (and Hamilton) was during the 2007 postseason.  I couldn’t stand listening to the Tim McCarver-Joe Buck team on television, so I would mute my TV and listen to the Indians radio broadcast instead.  There was a slight delay on the television, so I would hear what was happening before I could see it.  I didn’t care, because it was still worth it to listen to Hegan and Hamilton.  We later went and watched away games at Progressive Field, since they would properly sync the television broadcast on the scoreboard with the audio.

Even though I like Jim Rosenhaus, I was very disappointed when Hegan retired.  He came back as a substitute (with Rosenhaus) in 2012, but otherwise he broadcasting days were over.  It made me very sad to read that he passed away this morning.  Even though we won’t get to hear him broadcast another game, his memory will live on with some of our favorite Indians games of the past.

Please feel free to share some of your favorite memories of Hegan (or any broadcaster, really) in the comments.



  • Swift says:

    Hegan always had good background info about the game. Sad to see him go.

  • Vern Morrison says:

    I remember watching a game on TV, had to have been about 10 years ago, maybe longer. The broadcast had its normal commercial break between innings and when they came back, the first thing you heard was Hegan’s voice saying “Huggies! Jesus Christ!” He clearly didn’t know the mic was hot, but when he figured it out, he didn’t acknowledge having said anything inappropriate–he just said something like “And we’re back at Jacobs Field, where the score is 3-1 Indians,” or whatever it was.

    Later in the inning, Hegan said something like this: “And you’ll want to come to the park on Sunday, May 15 for Family Day. Each of the first ten thousand fans will be given a free packet of diapers compliments of Huggies.” I almost fell off my chair in laughter. Clearly, he read ahead the sheet which told him which promotions he’d be mentioning in the next inning. I don’t blame the guy–I would have said something like that too. I’ll miss him.

  • Sean Porter says:

    I was born in 1975, so while Cleveland sports has blessed me with year after year of disappointment or heartache, I/we’ve been very lucky when it comes to our hometown announcers, Mr. Hegan definitely included. Sad day for Tribe fans, for sure.

  • Glenn says:

    Although Herb Score will always mean Cleveland Indians baseball to me, I don’t think there was a better broadcasting team than Tom Hamilton and Mike Hegan. Mike kept Tom in check. After he left, Tom was not nearly as good. Sad to hear he is gone.

  • DaveR says:

    Vern, my brother and I listened to that one. Prob 15-19 yrs ago since we stopped after I went to college. Nice memory.

  • Peter says:

    Mike Hegan was a great announcer. Loved listening to him and Hamilton. I was sad when he retired. He and Hammy seemed to genuinely like each other and their broadcast was like watching the game with family. I always felt like I was never alone when driving down the road and listening to those two.

    My heartfelt sympathies to his family and friends. 71 is so young these days.

  • medfest says:

    Hegan was too much of an apologist for my taste,but he had a professional voice and manner that made him eminently listenable.He got Cleveland as well,having been born and raised here.

    Hamilton is one of the best,although he does tend to whine a bit.

    Rosenhaus is terrible,a Paul Olden clone with that nasal delivery….yeeech.

    Herbie was Herbie….he was ours.

    I liked Bob Neal when I was a kid,Joe Tait was mediocre.

    Nev Chandler was probably my favorite of them all…..but Hamilton is closing in.

  • Sean Porter says:

    Am I the only one who used to think, in the 90s, that Rick Manning detested John Saunders? Saunders would say something and you could almost cut the contempt Manning had in his response with a knife.

    I’ve heard Rosenhaus do a few interviews, and he seems like a genuinely nice guy, but… he’s as mediocre as it gets. Not horrible, mind you, but incredibly vanilla. I really wish Hamilton would do the entire game… makes Rosenhaus better.

    Herb Score to me will forever be the voice of my childhood summers. He should have won a Purple Heart for having to announce so many godawful Indians games throughout his radio career.

    Always thought Jack Corrigan was underrated, and while it seems very popular to hate him, I actually like Matt Underwood. I never understood why he seems unpopular with many Tribe fans.

    Nev Chandler, hands down, will forever be the voice of the Browns for me.

    • Tf says:

      That’s funny. I always thought Manning didn’t like Saunders too. I remember Saunders trying to make a point and Manning would either think it was wrong or he’d be annoyed because its was the most obvious thought.

  • Jon says:

    His around the horn triple play call a few years ago was classic. I’m so sad that he is gone. I loved Hammy and Hegan together. He told great stories from his playing days and his sense if humor with Hamilton was awesome, espically during tough games. Ill really miss him.

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