Doran, Brown headline Astros' 2023 HOF class

January 21st, 2023

HOUSTON -- Bill Brown's election into the Astros Hall of Fame on Saturday left the long-time broadcaster searching for words, which has never been a problem. Brown always had a way of painting a perfect picture with words while calling Astros games for 30 years.

“I still haven’t really been able to process it very well,” Brown said. “I’m just happy for Billy Doran. If I can hang out with him, it will be a good day.”

Brown and Doran, a two-time team Most Valuable Player in the 1980s, make up the 2023 Astros Hall of Fame class and will be inducted Aug. 12 by slipping on orange jackets prior to the game against the Angels at Minute Maid Park. It’s fitting they’re going in together considering Brown called much of Doran’s career in Houston.

“I’m just flattered and honored and shocked and thankful -- all rolled into one,” Doran said from his home in Cincinnati.

Doran was a steady, dependable and popular player for the Astros for nine seasons, and the team’s MVP in 1985 and '87. Drafted by the Astros in the sixth round in 1979 out of Miami University (Ohio), he played 12 seasons in the Majors and was a lifetime .266 hitter with 84 homers, 497 RBIs, and 209 stolen bases.

The switch-hitter was called up on Sept. 6, 1982, to take over at second base and started 991 games at the position over the next seven seasons, including all 162 games in '87. In helping the Astros win the National League West in '86, he hit .276 with a .368 on-base percentage, 37 RBIs and 42 stolen bases as the team’s leadoff hitter. He slugged a two-run home run against the Mets in Game 3 of the '86 NL Championship Series.

Doran also helped Craig Biggio make the move from catcher to second base, paving the way for a Hall of Fame career.

“It’s been a storied franchise for quite a while now, and there are so many good players coming through, and they’re enjoyable to watch, and I root for them all the time,” Doran said. “Just to be a part of it again brings back so many good memories with all the people that I was associated with, from the clubhouse guys to the media to the players -- the whole atmosphere there was something that I’ve always appreciated.”

Brown served as the primary television voice of the Astros from 1987-2016. In that span, he became one of the most well-respected broadcasters in baseball. His professionalism and knowledge of the game, along with his powerful voice and relentless preparation, made him one of the top play-by-play men of his generation.

Along the way, he called Biggio's 3,000th hit, Jeff Bagwell's 400th home run, two no-hitters -- including the historic six-pitcher no-hitter at Yankee Stadium in 2003 -- and the final game at the Astrodome. He also was behind the microphone several times for final outs of division-clinching and postseason-clinching victories.

Brown has previously been inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame, the Astros Media Wall of Honor, and received the National Sportscasters Association Texas Sportscaster of the Year Award and the Fred Hartman Award for Long and Meritorious Service, which is given out annually by the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.