Bill Brown returns for his 30th year as the club's primary play-by-play voice on television. Brown, commonly known as "Brownie," celebrated his 25th year with the club in 2011 in style. He was named to the Astros Media Wall of Honor, earned the Fred Hartman Award for Long and Meritorious Service to Baseball and represented the Astros on the fan ballot for the 2012 Ford C. Frick Award. In 2013, Brownie was named the Texas Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
A true professional, Brownie has been around the game since 1976 when he joined the Cincinnati Reds television crew. He remained with the Reds until 1982, and in 1987, came to Houston where he has been on the air for 27 full seasons. On November 12, 2004, Brown was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame.
Brownie has co-written two books. The first, My Baseball Journey, A Sportscaster's Story co-authored by Tim Gregg, documents his career and personal influences (2012). His second, The Houston Astros: Deep in the Heart co-authored by Astros Authentication Manager Mike Acosta, gives a pictorial history of the Astros franchise from its inception in 1962 through its 50th anniversary (2013).
Alan Ashby returns to Houston as the primary color analyst and road play-by-play voice on television for the 2016 season. Before rejoining the Astros, Ashby called games on radio and television for the Toronto Blue Jays for six seasons (2007-12). Ashby's hiring marks a return to Houston for the popular former Astros player and radio broadcaster. Ashby spent 11 of his 17 Major League seasons as a catcher with the Astros from 1979-89, and was a part of three postseason teams over that span. From 1998-2006, Ashby worked as the Astros color analyst on radio alongside Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton. Prior to his broadcasting career, Ashby served as a coach and minor league manager in the Astros farm system.
As part of the club's 50th anniversary celebration in 2012, Ashby was named to the Astros All-Time 25-man roster. He was also named to the All-Time Astrodome team in 1999, and in 2000 was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame. Ashby compiled a career average of .245 with 90 home runs and 513 RBI in 1370 games, and caught three no-hitters (Ken Forsch, Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott).
Geoff Blum, who retired after 14 Major League seasons as an infielder (1999-2012), made the transition from the playing field to the broadcast booth in 2013. He returns to the TV broadcast booth in 2016 as color analyst alongside Alan Ashby and Bill Brown.
During his playing career, Blum played two stints with the Astros, totaling five seasons in Houston (2002-03, 2008-10). A switch-hitter, Blum was known as one of the top pinch hitters and utility players in the game, appearing at all four infield positions for nine straight seasons (2000-08). He appeared in the postseason on three occasions (2005-06, 2011). In 2005, Blum hit a go-ahead solo home run in the 14th inning in Game 3 of the World Series to become the 30th player to homer in his first World Series at-bat.
Robert Ford was named to the Astros radio broadcast team as the play-by-play commentator on February 13, 2013. Prior to joining the Astros, Ford had served as the radio pre- and postgame host for the Kansas City Royals on 610 AM KCSP, the Royals flagship station, since 2009. He has seven years of experience broadcasting minor league baseball, having called over 800 games during stints with the Binghamton Mets, Kalamazoo Kings and Yakima Bears. Ford was twice named Frontier League Broadcaster of the Year (2003 and 2004). He also has extensive play-by-play experience in college basketball. He is a 2001 graduate of Syracuse University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. Ford lives in Houston with his daughter Elena.
Steve Sparks joined the Astros radio broadcast team as the color commentator on February 13, 2013. Sparks, 51, has served as a pre- and postgame analyst for Astros television games over the last several seasons and has also filled in as a color analyst on Astros radio and television broadcasts. A knuckleballer in his playing days, Sparks pitched in the Major Leagues in parts of nine seasons (1995-2004) for the Brewers, Angels, Tigers, A's and Diamondbacks organizations. His best season was in 2001 while with Detroit when he went 14-9 in 35 appearances (33 starts) with a 3.65 ERA while leading the Majors in complete games with eight. He also tallied a career high in innings pitched (232.0) that season. Sparks, known not only for his pitching but also for his ability to read tea leaves, attended Sam Houston State University. He and his wife Michelle currently live in Sugar Land and have three children: Alexa, Blake and Chloe.
Francisco Romero enters his ninth season as the primary play-by-play voice for the Astros Spanish radio network. Romero joined the Astros after spending five seasons broadcasting Milwaukee Brewers games in Spanish on Telemundo Wisconsin. He also has Major League experience calling select games for the Minnesota Twins and Arizona Diamondbacks.
His additional sports broadcasting experience includes both football and basketball for the University of Arizona Spanish Radio Network from 1999-2008, as well as three seasons on the Arizona Cardinals radio halftime report. In 2003, the Arizona Daily Star named him as one of the Top 100 Sports Figures of Southern Arizona.
Former Astros catcher Alex Treviño, who wore the gear for the Astros from 1988-90, begins his 21st season with Houston's Spanish broadcast team. A native of Monterrey, Mexico, Treviño played for 13 seasons in the Majors, primarily as a catcher, spending time with the Mets, Reds, Braves, Giants, Dodgers and Astros organizations. Overall, he played in 939 Major League games and had a .249 lifetime average.
In September 2014, Alex was inducted into the Houston Baseball Media Wall of Honor for his significant and lasting contributions to the landscape of Houston baseball through his work in broadcasting. As of 2016, his 21 seasons in the broadcast booth were tied for the most in franchise history by a Spanish broadcaster with Orlando Sanchez Diago's 21 years.