R.I.P. Mike Hegan, 1942-2013


Credit: Thomas Ondrey, The Plain Dealer

Mike Hegan Passes Away

Mike Hegan, the longtime Indians radio and TV play-by-play man, has passed away. He was 71 years old.

Born in Cleveland in 1942, Hegan grew up in the shadow of his father, Jim Hegan, who was a member of the last Cleveland Indians team to win a World Series. As a graduate of St. Ignatius High School, Hegan achieved a great deal of academic and athletic success. He would later be inducted into the St. Ignatius Hall of Fame in 1989, the same year he returned to Cleveland to begin play-by-play for the Indians.

Prior to his return to Cleveland, Mike Hegan spent 13 years bouncing around the Major Leagues making stops as a first baseman and outfielder in a number of cities. These stops included two stints with the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers, and single stints with the Seattle Pilots and Oakland A’s. Following his retirement in 1977, Hegan spent 12 seasons as a color commentator for the Brewers honing his craft.

In 1989, Hegan returned to Cleveland in order to become the color commentator for the Indians telecasts on WUAB 43. Partnered with Jack Corrigan, It was in this role where Hegan endeared himself to many Tribe fans both young and old. I personally remember growing up listening to Corrigan and Hegan announce games on WUAB. Growing up without cable, it was the only chance I had to watch the Indians and Mike Hegan played a significant role in forming my Indians fandom.

Later in his career, Hegan was moved to the radio booth where he teamed up with the legendary Tom Hamilton. Along with Hamilton, Hegan served as the play-by-play man for much of the 2000’s. It wasn’t until 2011 when Hegan moved out of the radio booth in order to focus more on his family and health. In order to do this, but also maintain a relationship with the team, Hegan transitioned into an alumni ambassador role. He often returned to the radio booth as a fill in and on special occasions. Mike Hegan announced his final game for the Indians on May 23 2012.

As someone who grew up listening to Mike Hegan, I can honestly say that he will be missed. While he hadn’t announced a game in over a year, his presence within the organization could be seen at various events and game day functions. He will go down as one of the great personalities not just in the history of the Cleveland Indians, but in the history of the city of Cleveland.

Mike Hegan, you will be missed.