After 19 years in the booth, Joe Angel had a classy goodbye for O’s fans

After a 42-year broadcasting career and 19 seasons in the Orioles radio booth, Joe Angel announced his retirement last night. He appeared on the “Orioles Hot Stove” radio show on flagship station 105.7 FM The Fan.

He had a quite a career broadcasting Major League Baseball for the San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees and Florida Marlins in addition to the Orioles. He was at the mic for seven no-hitters and 44 postseason games, including the Marlins’ championship season in 1997.

He had three stints in Baltimore. He was first with the club from 1988 to 1990 and returned in 1992. He came back for good starting with the 2004 season.

orioles oriole park at camden yards tarp.jpgNot bad for a native of Bogata, Colombia, who did not speak English until the age of 9. It’s been quite a life and a great career in baseball. But O’s fans will no longer hear signature calls like “Wave it bye bye” or that the Orioles are “In the win column!”

Angel, 71, has certainly noticed the outpouring of appreciation and affection for him in recent days from Orioles fans everywhere.

“It’s flattering, it’s humbling,” he said last night. “I feel great about it. After 42 years of doing that, I think that’s enough. I think I’ve had my time. I think it’s a good idea to let a young guy have a chance to do what I’ve done for 42 years. The Orioles have been fantastic. This is something that has been in the works for several months. We finally came to the point where both the Orioles and I agreed this was a good time to say goodbye. I’m looking forward to it. I don’t know what it feels like yet, but I can’t wait to find out. I’m going to miss all of it. But I think it’s time.

“When the game starts, you try to talk to one person. If you do that, you talk to a lot of people at the same time. All the great comments on Twitter and the Internet and the phone calls that I’ve heard, it’s been flattering. It’s a reminder how people feel about you and it’s humbling. I’m going to miss the everyday communication and the banter, but I think it’s time and I think it’s good for everyone concerned.”

The Orioles are expected to soon announce their 2019 broadcasters for radio and television games.

But over the years, Orioles fans have had plenty of time to get comfortable with Angel’s talent, big voice and sense of humor. He kept it fun while never missing a play on the field.

“You show up and you broadcast the games. You make it as entertaining as possible,” Angel said. “You try to be honest and have some credibility, and I think the rest will take care of itself. I think I was able to do that in Baltimore.”

He was, twice heading elsewhere but twice returning to the Orioles broadcast booth.

“The other thing about being in Baltimore,” Angel continued, “and you don’t see this too much in the major leagues on the broadcast side, to have a guy go with a ballclub, to leave once and be able to come back, then to leave again and again be able to come back, you just don’t see that very often.

“I’m grateful that the Orioles were kind enough and generous enough to have me back a couple of times so that I could wind up my career as an Oriole. And I’ll tell you, it’s never going to happen, but if I were ever to wind up in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, in the broadcasters’ wing, I would take an Oriole hat with me. Or maybe the Oriole Bird. That’s how I feel about it. And I’m tickled to death that the Orioles and I have agreed to part this way. I’m going out on my terms and on Oriole terms, and it’s great for everyone concerned.

“I’m going to miss every facet of being in that booth,” Angel said. “Thanks to the Orioles. It’s been wonderful and I’m never going to forget it. I’ll be an Oriole fan for the rest of my life.”

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