Former Cleveland Indians broadcaster Mike Hegan dies

The former TV and radio broadcaster, who played 12 seasons in the majors, was 71.

The Indians have announced that former Indians broadcaster Mike Hegan died this morning.

Although Hegan didn't play for the Indians in his 12-year major-league career, he had a lifelong connection with the team. He was born in 1942, the son of Indians catcher Jim Hegan. He grew up watching his father play with the Indians (Jim played with the Indians through the 1957 season) and attended St. Ignatius High School, where he starred in several sports, including baseball. He would later attend John Carroll University in the offseason after his professional career began. And after his playing career ended, he spent 33 seasons in the broadcast booth, 23 of them in Cleveland.

Hegan didn't have a flashy delivery on TV or radio, but you quickly gained an appreciation for his insight into the game. He always tried to explain what was going on without knocking the listener over the head with the explanation, a balance that few analysts are able to maintain, never mind over a 33-season career. He also did play-by-play both on TV and the radio, a rarity for a former player.

Hegan would play 12 seasons in MLB after signing with the New York Yankees in 1962. He first and only All-Star appearance would come with the 1969 Seattle Pilots. The Pilots moved to Milwaukee after the season, and Hegan would remain with the Brewers until 1971, when he was traded to the Oakland Athletics. Hegan was a key cog on the 1972 World Series champions, and would stay in the majors through the 1977 season thanks to his excellent defensive skills at first base.

Hegan returned to Cleveland in 1989, teaming with Jack Corrigan to broadcast Indians games on WUAB (Channel 43). He would eventually move over to radio, broadcasting games with Tom Hamilton until 2011, when he retired to his home in South Carolina.

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