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Jon Miller headed for Cooperstown

Not that anyone should be the least bit surprised, but the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced today that Jon Miller will be this year's winner of the Ford C. Frick Award, which is given for lifetime achievement in broadcasting and admits Miller to the broadcaster's wing of the Hall.

Miller said during a conference call that he was stunned by the news, but he was probably the only one who could have been surprised. He has long been recognized as one of the greats of baseball broadcasting.

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"John is one of those special human beings who was given extraordinary God-given talents, but never stopped working at developing those talents,'' said his agent, Baltimore attorney Ron Shapiro. "He works as hard today as he did many years ago. The other special thing about John is how he cares about other people. I never had a client worry about me more than himself, and worry about other people."

What a great and well-deserved honor for a guy who still is very much loved here in Baltimore for all the years when he was the play-by-play voice of the Orioles. He moved on to the San Francisco Giants after the Orioles moved too slowly to renew his contract. There has always been speculation that owner Peter Angelos didn't want him back because he was too honest about the team -- which is certainly plausible -- but it's more plausible to me that Angelos' deliberate, wait-you-out bargaining style left Miller on the market too long and the Giants swooped in and lured him away.

Whatever the reason, his departure was a huge blow to Orioles fans and one of the early organizational missteps that would lead to the club's precipitous drop in fan interest and attendance.

ESPN photo

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