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Bill King Rumor

OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: Bill King Rumor
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By raiderjohn on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 12:44 pm:

http://forums.warriorsworld.net/main/msgs/963781.phtml

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By cal_90 on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 01:03 pm:

I just heard the news of his death on KNBR. There is crying in baseball today.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By washfan on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 01:07 pm:

OMG!!! Let's all put our differences aside and have a wake for him in the Coli parking lot.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jerryo1 on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 01:11 pm:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 18, 2005

A’s Announcer Bill King Passes Away

OAKLAND, Calif. – Longtime Oakland Athletics play-by-play announcer Bill King passed away this morning at San Leandro Memorial Hospital after suffering a pulmonary embolus. King was originally admitted to the hospital last Friday where he underwent hip surgery.
“We are deeply saddened by Bill’s passing,” said A’s President Michael Crowley. “He was arguably the most recognizable voice in the history of Bay Area broadcasting. One would be hard-pressed to find an announcer who served as the lead play-by-play voice for three major sports franchises for as long as Bill. He was a broadcasting icon and true renaissance man in every sense of the word whose loss will be felt in many circles. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bill and his family.”
As a longtime play-by-play announcer for both the San Francisco/Golden State Warriors (1962-83), the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (1966-92), and since 1981, the Oakland A’s—King spent five decades thrilling fans with his vivid descriptions of some of the most historical moments in the annals of three of the Bay Area’s major sports teams. He is on a short list of announcers who balanced play-by-play duties with three major sports franchises simultaneously as King did during a three-year period in the early 1980’s.
His accounts of Raider games—from the infamous “Heidi” game against the New York Jets in 1968; a string of last second victories on George Blanda field goals during the 1970 season; the “Sea of Hands” game against Miami in the 1974 AFC Playoffs; Dave Casper’s “Ghost to the Post” touchdown reception that gave the Raiders a 1977 play-off win at Baltimore; the memorable “Holy Roller” play against the San Diego Chargers in 1978; and “Old Man” Willie Brown’s interception return for a touchdown in Super Bowl X—are regularly replayed and will forever be a part of the game’s lore.
When the Philadelphia Warriors moved west to San Francisco following the 1961-62 season, it was the voice of Bill King that introduced professional basketball to fans in the Bay Area and Northern California. For the next 21 seasons, King described the action from courtside during the Wilt Chamberlain era and saw the transition to the Nate Thurmond and Rick Barry eras and beyond. His play-by-play descriptions of the Warriors improbable run to the 1974-75 NBA championship remain etched in the minds of Bay Area basketball fans.
Because of his immense talents as a football and basketball play-by-play announcer, many thought of baseball as being his third sport. However, after 25 seasons of broadcasting A’s games—beginning with the “Billy Ball” teams of the early 80’s, continuing with the “Bash Brothers” era that saw the A’s make three consecutive World Series appearances from 1988-90 and transitioning to the talented A’s teams of present day, King took his place alongside the game’s great announcers, both past and present.
King was stationed on the island of Guam at the end of World War II when he began his broadcasting career with the Armed Forces Radio Network. He launched his career in the late 1940’s in Pekin, Ill., broadcasting minor league baseball, along with high school football and basketball games. He later added duties calling Bradley University basketball games along with Nebraska football and basketball contests.
King came to the Bay Area in 1958, when he was hired by KSFO radio to join legendary talents Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons on the San Francisco Giant broadcasts. He also served as the voice for Cal football and basketball games.
A native of Bloomington, Ill., King resided in Sausalito, Calif. He is preceded in death by his wife, Nancy Stephens and is survived by his stepdaughter Kathleen Lowenthal and her husband Barry of Woodacre, stepson John Stephens of Sausalito and grandchildren Julia and John Lowenthal. Memorial services are pending.
Those wishing to make donations in memory of Bill may do so through the Smuin Ballet, 300 Brannan Street, Suite 407, San Francisco, CA 94107 or the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, P.O. Box 809, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chris_d on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 01:37 pm:

I don't know what to say other than there's no one I'll miss more in sports. This is a really, really sad day, obviously.

Bill King was the best. I'm seriously bummed out.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By simplefan on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 01:41 pm:

This is just to hard to take -

Rest in Peace Bill!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oakfan on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 01:42 pm:

It is hard to imagine A's radio without him. Every broadcast next year will be like the A's are in Arlington.

Bill was the voice that was always there, the constant. When I was 17 I used to do janitorial work at night and during the season, it was like he kept me company and helped me forget that my job wasn't much fun.

There will never be another one like him!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By raiderjohn on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 01:44 pm:

Hopefully we retire a number or mic for him.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By dirtymatt on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 01:47 pm:

I cant believe it, but my tears are real.

Bill King was 1 of my heroes. I'll never forget his voice, never forget his incredible ability to vividly describe the action, never forget the comforting feeling of listening to the A's as described by the GREAT Bill King.

Simply THE GREATEST all around Sports Broadcaster who ever graced the airwaves.

Thank you Mr. King, thank you.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By wbell on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 01:57 pm:

Damn, I was always afraid of this day. I just hoped it would be another 10+ years in the future.

Bill was one of the first announcers I ever heard and this many years later, still one of the best. I consider myself fortunate to be old enough to have heard him call all three sports. Over the course of my lifetime, I have only heard the voices of my parents more than his.

RIP Mr. King. You will always be the greatest!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bubba69 on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 01:57 pm:

I was lucky enough to meet him a few times....

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By dorrit on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 02:06 pm:

He was a real star-so compassionate for our team, so rare to find in the bay area. Will surely be missed.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By threepeat on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 02:06 pm:

I loved the man.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oakland4ever on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 02:07 pm:

He WAS the voice of Oakland sports in my opinion and I am deeply saddened at his passing. 2005 has been a rough year for me in terms of death & this is only more salt on the wound. Thanks for giving a voice to our memories! God Bless You Bill King, may you rest in peace.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactofan on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 02:08 pm:

This is incredibly sad -- just can't imagine listening to a season without him. He is absolutely the best.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By rayfossefan on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 02:09 pm:

Truly a sad day for baseball and the Oakland A's and for anyone who grew up listening to Bill or has ever heard Bill King. The man is truly amazing and is flat out the best play by play man in the country. I am sorry that he never got to see himself inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame because he truly deserves it.

I'm a little overwhelmed right now to say much more but I will always cherish his calls in my mind and I hope all the best for his family. Bill King was truly the greatest and his calls will live forever in infamy.

I am lucky to have some of his calls saved on my computer and also a little bottle opener where he calls Hatteburg's home run for the 20th win.

RIP Bill King, I know somewhere you are eating lots of yummy food and complainging about the interleague games and alternate uniforms.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By dorrit on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 02:09 pm:

Maybe we all could send a little something in a donation?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By rayfossefan on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 02:17 pm:

How am I ever going to be able to listen ot an A's game again and never hear "Holy Toledo!"

I sure hope Korach pasy tribute once in a while. Man, Ken and Ray must be totally bummed right now too.

I never even knew Bill was in bad health... was it due to a complication from his hip surgery?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jenmed on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 02:17 pm:

I am just devastated. After all the time we A's fans have spent with Bill King over the years, he really did feel like family. He was crotchety, hilarious, brilliant and ultimately such a good human being. I will miss him dearly.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactodavey on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 02:17 pm:

I first heard him with the Raiders man he was the best NFL guy out there so exiciting "touchdown Raiders" i can hear it now, then the Warriors whom Larry King said Bill King was the best basketball announcer out there.

and end of an era

who are we gon get god i hope they don't sign Hank greenwall to fill his shoes, maybe Lon Simmons? is he too old?

i do not understand what happened isn't hip surgery pretty rountine now? what is a "pulmonary embolus"? anyone

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By rayfossefan on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 02:20 pm:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000132.htm

Notice one of the risk factors is surgery, especially pelvic surgery.

I agree, there should be an OAFC donation and some sort of ceremony

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By finleyshero on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 02:47 pm:

Bill King most certainly needs to be honored by induction into the following organizations.

Perhaps fans can start an effort to promote this?

http://www.radiohof.org/selection.html

http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/frick_bios/

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 02:59 pm:

I am completely speechless. I loved that man.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactodavey on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 03:01 pm:

the chron this afternoon:

Longtime Oakland Athletics radio voice Bill King, whose signature call of "Holy Toledo!" was a household phrase for decades in the Bay Area, died early Tuesday from complications following hip surgery. He was 78.


The A's said King died at a hospital in nearby San Leandro, three days after undergoing surgery for an injury sustained earlier this year.


"It's a devastating thing," said Ken Korach, King's partner in the booth the past 10 seasons. "It's almost hard to believe. It's pretty sad. He just meant so much — a true icon, a renaissance man, a one-in-a.m.illion kind of a character, and I mean that in a positive way. He was one of a kind."


At spring training in March, King tripped over some luggage in his Phoenix hotel room and had been struggling to get around all season — missing a number of road games and relying on crutches and later a cane.


But he reported about the A's with the same fervor he demonstrated for years covering not only the A's, but other pro sports teams in Northern California. He joined the A's broadcast staff in 1981.


"We are deeply saddened by Bill's passing," A's president Michael Crowley said. "He was arguably the most recognizable voice in the history of Bay Area broadcasting. One would be hard-pressed to find an announcer who served as the lead play-by-play voice for three major sports franchises for as long as Bill."


His death came as a shock to the sports community, which considered King with his carefully groomed curled-up mustache as much a ballpark staple as the players and the popcorn.


King, a native of Bloomington, Ill., had surgery Friday and all indications were that he would recover.


"He came through the surgery fine," Korach said. "I got an e-mail from his daughter Friday night.


"I think he was just a member of the family for almost 50 years in the Bay Area. He was the greatest sportscaster I ever heard. He brought an immense amount of passion and dedication to every broadcast and touched so many people. They remember certain times in their lives because of him. For over 50 years, he was a constant in people's lives," Korach said.


On road trips, King often could be seen studying Russian history and literature. He also loved ballet and jazz. King always carried a book, and told longtime Bay Area sports writer Ron Bergman to always bring along something to read in case flights were delayed.


"He was an interesting guy," said Bergman, a sports writer in the Bay Area since 1962. "He told me once, off the record, that he was very critical of referees because he didn't like authority figures. He once referred to the NBA commissioner, Walter Kennedy, on the record 'as the heart and soul of protoplasm.'"


King was the lead radio broadcaster for the Golden State Warriors and Oakland Raiders and worked for a time on the San Francisco Giants' broadcast team.


King was stationed on the island of Guam at the end of World War II when he began his broadcasting career with the Armed Forces Radio Network.


"He wanted to be a ballplayer but said 'I would have been a Double-A or Triple-A ballplayer at best,'" Bergman recalled King saying.


King is preceded in death by his wife, Nancy Stephens. His stepdaughter, Kathleen Lowenthal, drove approximately 80 miles round trip to pick up King from his home in Sausalito and deliver him to the Oakland Coliseum for games this season, then drive him home afterward.


King also is survived by stepson, John Stephens, of Sausalito and grandchildren, Julia and John Lowenthal.


Memorial services were pending.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kbailey3131 on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 03:04 pm:

Talk about news you weren't ready to hear today....

I feel an unfillable void right now....

Thank you Bill...

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jayho on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 03:12 pm:

good bye. we are buying a grandfather today.

we miss you bill and love you.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By vinnieangelo on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 03:20 pm:

:(

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 03:24 pm:

How lucky we A's fans were to have had the opportunity to listen to him for so long and until now.

Our great loss now reflects his greatness as a broadcaster and his unique personality will always put a smile in our hearts.

Thank you Bill and RIP

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 03:25 pm:

RIP Bill King.

Grew up listening to you and you were the best.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By orangeman on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 03:26 pm:

You know, over the years I've come to realize that just about everyone likes the announcers of the team they grew up with. The thing is, there are some announcers who clearly aren't very good, and yet people still love them. I don't know, maybe it's just that a certain voice reminds us of some of the good times in our lives.

Fortunately, we had he privlege of listening to one of the very best, if not the best. It just won't be the same listening to A's games anymore.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By ws9 on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 03:27 pm:

He was our champion. The voice of the Eastbay, for someone like me who was born and raised in the Eastbay and has been a life long fan of the A's Raiders and Warriors this is an incredible loss. I love you, I'll miss you.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 03:42 pm:

I know this is a time of all A's fans to mourn the loss of King.

Does anybody know who's the radio #1 and #2 man.

I'm thinking Korach is #1 but who's #2? Bitker or Roye?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 03:48 pm:

Korach is definitely #1. Roye has been doing television, don't know about radio. I don't think Bitker would give up his KCBS job.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chinanski on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 03:48 pm:

Unbelievable how sad this it is to face this news and the end of a golden era filled with so many memories for so many people. Bill was so much more than just a broadcaster. The man occupied such a distinct place in my life, a bringer of color and laughter even at the worst A's games.

I can't even think about the emptiness this creates as I think ahead to next year.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 03:50 pm:

Roye thought is used to broadcasting games on the radio since he is the W's radio guy.

A's already have G.Kuiper and is Greenwald signed on next year?

Though maybe the A's shock us and sign a new comer aboard.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 03:57 pm:

I was driving home from dropping my wife off and was fooling around on the cell checking the internet.
I went to the sports section on the cell and started to see a scroll that showed something like, "Longtime A's voice...." and I thought, holy shit, Bill king either died or retired. And I pushed to continue and read he died. I IMMEDIATELY called EY...I didn't even read on. I can't explain how sad this. What's worse is I want to cry and can't - but as most of you are feeling, it's as if a relative has died.

A child of divoced parents, I spent every summer out in california with my father, beginning at age 6. My dad bought partial season tix and we'd go to 10-20 games a summer. Whenever there was a game out of town, or a home game we didn't go to, I would have the radio on and listen to Bill and Lon. I grew up listening to Bill King. His voice reminds me of being a child and loving baseball and living in the bay area and not having any cares in the world besides listening to my oakland athletics. I learned years (a few years ago) at a family vacation that my dad basically had NO idea what to do with me for a full summer so he bought tix to a's games. Little did he know, I would become the devout, obsessed fan that I have become. While my father doesn't much follow the a's anymore, I spend 80% of my time during baseball season and 50% during the offseason, following the a's.

My dad, an optometrist in the Bay Area, checked out Bill's eyes in Marin only a few days after my son was born in January. When he came out to visit, he surprised me with a sheet of paper with writing and a signature. I looked at it and saw the autograph and tried to figure out who it was before even reading the message. I couldn't, so I read the message and it said:
"To Adam and Maxwell,
Best always.
HOLY TOLEDO
Bill King (1/18/05)"

As many of you know, I just flew out to California with my wife and 9month old son Maxwell and set up the trip so that I could go to the last two home games vs. anaheim. I had hoped when I booked the trip that I would see the a's clinch, but of course, that didn't happen. I took my son to his FIRST EVER baseball game on that last Thursday game and met up with Ey. I was actually able to get up into the press box with my boy and wife and had the PLEASURE of meeting bill king - and talked with him briefly in between one of the last innings. I shook his hand and we spoke for a minute. I remember wanting to just tell him how much I fucking loved him! LOL. And how I thought it's a crime that he's not in the HOF. But it just came out as "Good luck on getting into the HOF Bill, we are all pulling for you" - which I thought then and think even more now, is one of the biggest regrets of my life - cause it's not what I wanted to say - and I know he didn't much care about the HOF. But we do. (JERRY, CAN YOU POST PHOTO HERE?).

For years, I couldn't make it out to CA - with HS and college etc. I went years w/o hearing bill's voice - until several years ago when the internet made it possible to hear the live feeds of the game, and I fell in love with that process - choosing to stay home on Friday nights at 10pm my time to listen to Bill do his thing.

Bill - thanks for the fond memories. Your voice was a voice of comfort for a young child struggling with life and family issues and really helped me through tough times - you would never even imagine being the most humble of men that are around. We love you, we miss you and we hope you are calling games of teams filled with the greatest players that ever played, in a place that is, if possible, better than the Oakland. RIP.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 04:04 pm:

Last time I heard Bill King was just a week ago when he was on KNBR with Radnich.

He sounded good and was cracking jokes. What a way to remember him.


RIP

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By scattymatty22 on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 04:17 pm:

Bill King is all I've ever known. The passion and love I have for baseball and the oakland A's is something that I could always fall back on. No matter what was going on, baseball was there for me, and saying that, so was Bill. I'm only 18 so he's all I know, he's like an extra grandpa to me. Listening to the picture he paints with his words and story telling... Bill is surely the best announcer ever, and i've been EXTREMELY spoiled to have been blessed with his voice and personality... Such a sad day, I've lost a part of my family today, a part of me that I wish would have never left... RIP Bill

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jerryo1 on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 04:24 pm:

Here is the photo of Adam (asch) with Bill King:
asch
Sorry, I was unable to crop out Robert Buan.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By scattymatty22 on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 04:25 pm:

Some of my best memories are listening to the rain delays, i can remember going on a camping trip I didn't really want to be on when the a's where in detroit (when Lima gave up like 20 runs). All I could think of was how I didn't wanna be there and Bill made me feel like i was back home. He just makes you feel like you were there with him. The best ever I love the guy and I'm going to miss him.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By drummer510 on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 04:35 pm:

Since im only 18 also, i grew up with "the King". My fondest memory of him is listening to the 18th or 19th game of the streak at work on a saturday, Miggy's up and crush's a homerun to left center field, and screaming through my speaker, comes one of the greatest phases in Oakland A's history:

"HOLY TOLEDO!"

We all love Bill, you've touched us all. Thank you.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 04:43 pm:

The A's website (Mychael Urban) is collecting BK memories for a tribute to Bill. Adam, you should copy what you wrote above and send it in.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 04:48 pm:

Thanks, Jer and Adam. That picture is now my wallpaper.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By ronc on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 04:53 pm:

It's a sad day. His wonderful descriptions of the game will be missed. It was listening Bill and Lon that got me interested in the A's.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By cal_90 on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 04:56 pm:

The sad thing is that he had that surgery just so he would be able to travel with the team in 2006; he hated being stuck in California when the team traveled this year. Talk about taking one for the team.

Even when I was just learning baseball, I could visualize the play on the field because his descriptions were so clear.

2005 is not going to be a good baseball year in my memory.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chris_d on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 05:16 pm:

Bruce McGowan is hosting a Bill King Tribute show on KNBR tonight at 7pm.

They're going to play his clips, as they've done at times all day today.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bartender on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 05:20 pm:

King made the 20 call, but not 18 or 19(Korach). I can't believe this. It just doesn't seem right. I thought he would probably retire next year, due to his age and health. He deserved to be at Bill King Day! I'm so sorry I never had the chance to thank you. I love the A's , and I love you Bill. Thank God for Bill King.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 05:21 pm:

Thanks for the heads-up, Chris.

Ron, check your e-mail.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 05:23 pm:

can SOMEONE PLEASE copy the KNBR tribute show for me tonight and make a copy! PLEASE. I will pay shipping and cost of tape/cd etc...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jenmed on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 05:44 pm:

Adam, it looks like they have a live feed on KNBR.

http://www.knbr.com/listenNow.html

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 05:56 pm:

I can't tape it, I'll be dealing with my son.
can anyone help?
thanks for that link btw jenmed....

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By buzz on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 07:21 pm:

To many of us, his voice was the soundtrack of our childhood and adolescence. (How could Bill King and Dr. Don Rose leave us the same year?)
He was absolutely terrific on baseball, and one of the great enjoyments in life was to hear him call a Raider game. However, for those of us who grew up here in the 1970's and early 1980's, then we all know that there was no greater announcer in any sport at any time than Bill King calling a basketball game. It has been said for years, most recently by Lon Simmons, but he was simply the greatest basketball play-by-play guy that ever worked in radio. The descriptions came clear and concise at a machine gun pace. How many of us preferred to listen to the game on the radio to watching it on television, because King was so superior at describing the action, the tempo, the momentum, and the likely outcome of the contest? And as we all know, he was never a homer. He would applaud a brilliant achievement by an opponent with as much enthusiasm as one performed by a member of the home squad. And he treated all basketball refs, of all races and creeds, with equal disdain!! He was a true pro, and for any of us that had a chance to meet him (me once on a BART train after an A's night game many years ago) he was just a prince of a guy.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jenmed on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 07:24 pm:

Hey Asch, sorry to say I couldn't find a blank tape in the house!

However, I e-mailed KNBR asking whether they would make tapes available, but I'm betting they might make it available in their podcast section if you have iTunes.

http://www.knbr.com/podcast.asp

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By fansince68 on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 08:08 pm:

As a kid, I took it for granted that I could listen to an ENTIRE basketball game on the radio (Warriors) and enjoy every minute of it. And Bill's calls on Raiders football is to this day far superior to anyone else's that I ever heard. When he became the A's announcer in the 80's it was an added bonus. Fortunately my sons (age 15 and 12 now) had the opportunity to listen to Bill. Our favorite time to listen to him was AFTER the games on the post-game show doing the recaps. No announcer in sports history could ever use the adjectives that Bill used- I once remember him stating that Miguel Tejada had NEGOTIATED third base. Bill was simply the best. RIP Bill, one last Holy Toledo to you.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 08:34 pm:

I'm listening to the KNBR program now and it it GREAT. They just played a King call I haven't heard since 1988: Gibson's HR off Eck in Game 1. I've heard Buck and Scully a million nauseating times, but not Bill.

KNBR is focusing on Bill's Raiders and Warriors calls (not surprising). He was truly amazing.

A's baseball without Bill. I feel cheated.

If and when the A's get their new stadium, I don't care who buys the naming rights, but the field should be called "Bill King Field". No debate.

RIP, Bill. I hope you know how much we miss you.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 08:45 pm:

Yeah, I was listening to that as of well.

The A's should name the press box after Bill KIng at the coliseum right now and hopefully in their new park in Oakland

RIP.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 08:56 pm:

The Bill King press box is a helluva lot better than the UPS press box or whatever sponsor.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 09:11 pm:

Yeah, too many sponsered things. Miss the days when people used to memoralize and recognized great/important figures to their city.

Gonna be tough. Been following A's baseball since I was a little kid dating back to the mid 80s and Bill King and Ray Fosse have been the two guys that I always grew up with on tv and radio.

Sad to go through an A's season without hearing King and his "holy toledo" calls.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 09:13 pm:

I think the A's should make a CD featuring great Bill King calls. I'd bet those CDs would be flying off the racks at the coliseum if they were made available for sale.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jenmed on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 09:13 pm:

Podcast of interview with Ken Korach today on KNBR.

http://www.amfmpodcast.com/PodCast/KNBR_kenkorach_101805.mp3

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jenmed on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 09:26 pm:

Another good one with Greg Papa.

http://www.amfmpodcast.com/PodCast/KNBR_gregpapa_101805.mp3

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 09:47 pm:

The Chronicle has set up an online "guest book" for people to record their sentiments about Bill:

http://www.legacy.com/sfgate/Guestbook.asp?Page=Guestbook&PersonID=15433569

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactodavey on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 09:54 pm:

put up the lon simmons interview please

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jenmed on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 10:22 pm:

Your wish is my command, Sacto!

http://www.amfmpodcast.com/PodCast/KNBR_lonsimmons_101805.mp3

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 10:30 pm:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_King

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By samk on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 10:39 pm:

RIP Bill.

I will really miss you. I learned about basketball in the 70s by listening to your amazing play by play.

Then I was thrilled when you came to our A's.

You gave us so many great memories and honored us with your skill and spirit.

Please A's. PLEASE PLEASE make a Bill King CD highlight "reel". Please have a Bill King day at the Mac. Put a mike & mustache up on the wall. Make a bobblehead.

Honor yours and our history.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By okplayer on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 10:49 pm:

so sad man. bill was on knbr just 10 days ago or so w/Radnich. Nice that knbr is doing a tribute for him. This is so terribly devastating. I feel like I've lost a friend. Hell, he's in our company 1/2 a year every year for 10, 20, 30 years. I grew up listening to A's games and love their broadcasts. The A's broadcast team is in good hands w/korach and fossee, but this is truly devastating.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jenmed on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 10:54 pm:

I'm surprised that I have yet to hear any comments from Fosse. Either they haven't tracked him down or he's too upset to comment. Some of my fondest memories of Bill are when there was no tv and Ray was in the broadcast booth with Bill and Ken. Bill would just get Ray going and you could tell there was nothing funnier in the world to Ray than Bill King. Very pleasant memories.

I really enjoy Ken Korach but the energy will just not be the same without Bill.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jenmed on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 10:58 pm:

BTW, for anyone who wants to contribute a story to the A's tribute to Bill that Eyleen mentioned above, you can e-mail Mychael Urban at mychael.urban@mlb.com.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactodavey on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 11:08 pm:

i guess what is sad is that he could have not died if he had just lived with his hip problem, the biigest fear of any surgery is blood clots they can happen and with bill's age it did, to bad casue 1/2 a yr with him is better then losing him.

i think we need to get Pappa back can't think of anyone to replace him except Lon but he is way to old tooo.

Korach alone does not do it.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 01:06 am:

Yeah, the great chemistry that King/Korach/Fosse had during the radio was great.

Korach and Fosse cracking on King's beat up cars he would drive and the kind of food he'd eat too. Great stuff! lol

Great memories.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By leftfield139 on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 01:46 am:

I just got home and found out came here and started crying. I have his bobblehead and I just listed to the game 20 homerun call and I'm blubbering.

I will miss him and always remember him

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jenmed on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 02:25 am:

Very nice Ratto piece on Bill. Has me crying all over again.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2005/10/19/RATTO.TMP

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktowngreen on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 06:28 am:

As many of you know I am currently in IRAQ serving with the 101st...I just got the news today about my favorite on-air personality of all time. I am truly saddened by this. He has been the voice in all my sports fantasies growing up. Everytime I played a little league game or high school game...I heard Bill King call the shots. I wanted so bad to get him in that new stadium and call the first game. God Bless you Mr. King...you are the greatest. THE SAYING "HOLY TOLEDO!!!" will forever live on in baseball and OAKLAND history. Thanks for the memories!!!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 07:01 am:

that is a terrific piece by Ratto.

does anyone know if sportscent even mentioned the passing? Did they do a piece on him?

If the don't it's a (excuse me) FUCKING SHAME.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 07:07 am:

"http://espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2002/s/2002/0930/1439307.html"

Look at number 10.

These are the little things he was listed, though understated. Nice to know that others know him besides a's fans. Because he was so private, he will never be known as much as guys who are, but were far beneath him in skill.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 07:23 am:

sorry posting so much, but I just found the KNBR tribute in MP3 form on the above article I posted.

I admittedly never really followed the warriors OR the Raiders, so I am not familiar AT ALL with bill's football and basketball work. I have been reading that he's considered one of the best EVER football and basketball announcers. I was unaware of this since I only knew him as a baseball announcer and always thought he was terrific.

But listening to these basketball games on here, I am AMAZED at how he did those games - VERY impressive and it's making me sad. A part of bill I NEVER knew and he was amazing at that.

What was the reason bill stopped doing warrior AND raider games?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By wbell on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 07:32 am:

does anyone know if sportscent even mentioned the passing? Did they do a piece on him?

I don't know if it was mentioned on Sportscenter, but they did have a note on the ticker on ESPNEWS.

Isn't the pressbox already named after Bill Rigney?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 07:37 am:

a ticker - that's BS. Even if the sportsworld won't acknowledge how good a baseball broadcaster he was, he should be getting pub based on his basketball and football announing history - since he's considered by many to be one of the best who did those sports.

I have seen SC do pieces on broadcasters - god, even a 1 min spot would have been something.

That's dissapointing.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By wbell on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 07:37 am:

What was the reason bill stopped doing warrior AND raider games?

Probably because it was too much. From '81 to '83, he did games for all three teams. Later, he said it was crazy because he rarely had a day off and he couldn't enjoy the few off days that he had.
He stopped working for the Warriors after the '83 season. He left the Raiders after the '92 season, partially due to a salary dispute between him and the company holding the Raiders' radio rights.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By simplefan on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 07:41 am:

Here is the story from the Chorn this morning - Please take a moment to read the great plays that King called at the bottom of the article.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/10/19/MNG3NFAOF71.DTL

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By wbell on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 07:44 am:

I have seen SC do pieces on broadcasters - god, even a 1 min spot would have been something.

Someone who watched Sportscenter last night/this morning can give you an accurate answer.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 08:00 am:

thanks simplefan, terrific column.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 08:29 am:

Well, I've been watching ESPN all morning both the SC late night/morning edition, ESPN Radio and even their Cold Pizza show and NOT ONE MENTION on air of King's passing which is a disgrace! Just a sentence on the scroll at the bottom of the screen.

Here you have one of the very best radio guys in the country's history and you can't spare 30-45 seconds on mentioning that he passed away on Tuesday.


Though I guess if nothing happens west really of the Mississippi, it's isn't news worthy. ESPN should be ashamed of themselves. Tuesday was a slow newsday with nothing big happening and they must've known about King's passing on the west coast as it's the biggest story here and we get nothing!

At least Fox Sports Radio mentioned it, mainly JT who praised King and dedicated the show at the beginning of his produce Tuesday night and talk about him for most of the radio shows as did callers.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 08:33 am:

really? JT the brick held some time off for King? Callers called in? That's great. I listen to JT everyonce in a while when I am in the car late at night. He seems like a real jerk (ala Rome) but it's fun to listen to. Glad he did that.

Espn though, SHOULD be ashamed of themselves.

I will be writing an email later - if you are pissed, you should do the same. Though I am sure bill would be mad at me for even wasting my time.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By ramjet1 on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 08:45 am:

I had the pleasure of growing up listening to him do football, basketball, and later baseball, and once met him. I still feel he did basketball best of all, but my favorite call is his statement after a George Blanda to Warren Wells game winning hail mary catch in 1970 against the Jets in Shea stadium, we watched the game with the TV volume down and the radio on which was standard practice. His game ending quote

"If a television script writer of a hack pulp fiction writer tried to write the kind of finishes the Raiders have produced this year they would send him to the loony bin before he got past the first proofreader".

Me and my brothers have been using the term "loony bin" ever since.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 08:49 am:

JT was here in the bay area to do the Raider show he does and when he flew back to LA, he heard of the news.

Doesn't surprise me that JT would do that, he is a huge East Bay backer, mainly for the Raiders but he gives love to the A's and Beane. He even screams that the A's need a new park near the waterfront many times over the years.

Yeah, ESPN should really be hammered. I should correct a sentence in my last post.

If nothing special happens east of the Miss., then ESPN wouldn't give a damn.

King was a huge name in broadcast and most of those in the know knew who he was and respected him deeply.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 08:58 am:

NEWS:
I emailed the baseball editor at USA TODAY after seeing an article they did a few months back on baseball announcers. I implored him to do an article on Bill - being a national paper. He was very kind and wrote back and said he'd love to do a piece on him and hopefully after the WS when things thin out a bit, he can. I told him I am a part of a an A's fan website and if he needed anything in regards to the article, to let me know.

Will keep you updated.

Funny how, when the season started, I was posting in the off field thread, about getting a "bill king for the HOF" website done. Seems even more prevelant now.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jerryo1 on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 09:02 am:

MLB Home Plate on XM Radio dedicated pretty-much the entire evening to remembering Bill King. They interviewed Ken Korach and Hank Greenwald, then played the entire 1990 ALCS game 4 vs. Boston, with Bill doing play-by-play. It was a very fitting tribute.

On a not so positive note, MLB Home Plate was also remembering "Famous Post-Season Home Runs" and was preparing to interview Dave Henderson about his HR vs. Donnie Moore. During the lead-in to the interview, and through their introduction of Hendu they were playing "Alive" by Pearl Jam, featuring the lyric "I'm still alive". Donnie Moore's family must have been thrilled.

For those of you who don't know, Donnie Moore committed suicide shortly giving up that HR to Hendu.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 09:35 am:

do you think that was done on purpose or by mistake? that's insanely gross.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jerryo1 on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 09:39 am:

I can't imagine that it was done intentionally (I hope). Just a very unfortunate song selection, considering the situation.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By billymac on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 09:50 am:

I just got through reading the in depth chronicle article and I have to say I was amazed that I was getting chills just reading the transcripts at the end.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 10:06 am:

I just thought that the photo above my wife took of me and bill, may be one of the last (if not the last) personal photo taken of bill. Atleast he has that smile on his face, that makes me feel better.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By colt45allstar on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 11:14 am:

Truly sad day.

I'm still in shock.

Rest in peace Bill

Being a lifelong Missouri resident, I've not heard King nearly as long as many of you, but these last few years with the advent of online baseball radio, I've had the pleasure and honor of hearing the man for myself.

To say that I fell in love from the start would be a massive understatment. He was truly one of the best

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By wbell on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 11:30 am:

For those of you who don't know, Donnie Moore committed suicide shortly giving up that HR to Hendu.

It was a couple of years later. http://www.baseballreference.org/m/mooredo01.shtml

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 12:32 pm:

I've posted a few things re this sad news at the front page of our site on the 'what's new box'

And I also linked to our forum and posted the
"From the Heart of an A's Fan" so others can share.

http://www.oaklandfans.com/columns/htf/column.html

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 12:37 pm:

Two more excellent pieces on Bill:

Glenn Dickey - www.glenndickey.com

Marty Lurie - www.loveofthegameproductions.com

Someone may have posted this already, I can't remember, but the Chronicle has a "guest book" for people to write their memories of Bill. Some really moving stuff there.

http://www.legacy.com/sfgate/Guestbook.asp?Page=Guestbook&PersonID=15433569

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 12:47 pm:

I have to share this quite original observation from the Chronicle's guest book:

"But with Bill King it is that he personified the "city" of Oakland – even if he never actually lived there – especially the 70's... that somewhat hip, worldly in a understated and under-appreciated way, defiant of authority, counterculture, not image conscience – everything that Oakland was - somehow he was a perfect fit for a city and I don't think anyone, with the exception of Herb Caen, personified a city and its people like Bill did."

Well said!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 01:17 pm:

"http://espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2002/s/2002/0930/1439307.html"

In case you skipped this article that asch posted above, it's from 2002, just before the ALDS. Bittersweet nostalgia, a great read.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By calig on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 06:14 pm:

RIP Bill

Unbelievable that all this started after he tripped over his luggage in his hotel room to hurt his hip in spring training.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By dggadd on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 06:59 pm:

Why not add a KING jersey to the outfield wall like they did to honor the late Mr. Haas. I think it would be a GREAT idea. Thoughts anyone?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 07:14 pm:

it's been mentioned and yes, it should happen. and I hope they don't wait years to do it, like they have with other deserving people.

There should be a jersey, with a mic and "King" on it. It should happen by midseason the latest. It should be "Bill King Day" and there should be lots of his calls and ex players and co-workers talking about him.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By gregorymark on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 10:02 pm:

I'm stunned. I grew up listening to Bill King (and I'm over 50!). With his passing passes an era. His ability to convey the emotion of a moment had and has no equal. The fact he excelled -- he wasn't just competent, he excelled! -- in calling three sports is testimony to his genius. This is deeply saddening, but he died with his boots on; he went out on top. God speed, Bill King.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kevink on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 01:04 am:

I am on vacation in Italy but read this and my heart sank.
I feel like I know Bill King and will miss him a ton.
I don't feel alone reading the posts on this board.
I will miss the rain delays, Bill's distain for the umps and Texas, the astounding vocabulary, the chili with onions, and some of the great calls in Oakland A's history. Bill King was the best announcer in baseball, even though he has not yet been inducted into the broadcaster HOF. RIP Bill King.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 05:32 am:

Re: Lon Simmons,
I just read this in the Merc. News:
"• In 1996, the A's broadcast team answered listeners' faxes. To the question of where Lon Simmons had gone (new owners Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann ousted him after the 1995 season) King said dryly that he must have driven Simmons out by eating too many garlic fries."

It says "new owners Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann ousted him after the 1995 season". Did that really happen? They "ousted" Lon? I was always under the impression he just left to do Giants games and I never understood why. Can someone clarify? I LOVED listening to Bill AND Lon - it was great. "Tell it Goodbye" and "Holy Toledo" back to back? Terrific stuff.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chris_d on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 09:11 am:

Yep, asch. They didn't bring Lon back. It's one of the many things Schott/Hoffman did, both big and small, to alienate fans. Time goes on, and we kind of forget the details of how things aren't as good as before, but it all adds up to the less-than-ideal marketing/PR that the A's inflicted on themselves during the Schott years. (Conveniently for them, they just turned around and blamed Oakland and its fans when the results came in from these kinds of bad decisions (ie. another "first impressions" was when Schott also publicly insulted Steinbach and McGwire in his first interview as A's owner in Nov. '95).

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chris_d on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 09:15 am:

Did anybody hear Jon Miller talking about King on KNBR's morning show Wednesday morning? Apparently, they were pretty good friends, and Miller was telling Bill King stories and he talked of King's passion for art. He said that he saw paintings that King had done that were really impressive. Then, without any prompting, Miller said that King had told him that he was so happy working for the Haas Family that they had actually inspired him to paint more. Conversely, when the Haases sold the A's in '95, King was so depressed about that change, he actually gave up painting altogether for a while, according to Miller.

That tells us a lot about Bill King and Walter Haas -- and if we read between the lines, it also tells us a lot about Steve Schott and Ken Hoffman and how different they were than the Haas Family.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 09:22 am:

Chrisd, I did read Lom was let go, but do you know what reason was given??

What did Schitt and Hoffcrap say bout Steiny and BigMac?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chris_d on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 09:48 am:

In Schott's first interview as A's owner in late 1995, we got a preview of Schott's complete lack of PR savvy when he criticized Steinbach and McGwire for what he called their lack of production, given their salaries. He was getting on McGwire specifically for missing too many games.

I suppose it's something you can say once you've earned you stripes, but it's not how you introduce yourself to your players and your new fan base. Unfortunately, it was all par for Schott's course.

Schott/Hoffman came in and immediately slashed all budgets when they took over in '95. I'm sure they looked at the salaries of both King and Simmons and said, we're only gonna pay for one. Who's it going to be? Simmons broadcasted with the Giants for 6 more years and raved about how much he loved Bill King, so it couldn't have been that he wanted to quit or wasn't getting along with his in-studio guys. Greg Papa left for largely the same reason: money. Love Papa or dislike him, 14 years should count for something, especially in baseball where tradition is everything. Though Papa is no Bill King and never will be, if Papa were still with the A's, wouldn't he be a good candidate to take his place in the booth with Korach, just as he ably filled King's massive shoes with the Warriors and Raiders jobs when King left those positions in '83 and '92?

This is where the Giants front office kicks the A's front office in the ass (and as a Giants-hater, it hurts to type that). They spend the extra dollar to give their fans a Grade A broadcasting face knowing that that is a major part of a team's identity and marketing.

What do we get as A's fans? Ken Korach working solo(?!) for a 9-inning game once this year. That actually happened and it's not the first time. And we get cheap replacements that are the broadcasting equivalents of Ken Macha -- above average at best and just glad to have a job.

Now, with King's passing, the gap may just grow even larger.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 09:48 am:

I believe Lon's contract was up and Schottman chose not to re-sign him. No doubt Korach (good as he turned out to be) was available for less money.

I don't recall the comments about McGwire and Steinbach. Chris (or anyone), do you remember?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chris_d on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 09:50 am:

One correction: Papa took the Raiders' job in '97. Joel Meyers held down the fort for Raiders broadcasts between '93-'96.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 09:51 am:

thank god atleast it was ken for 9 innings and not Hank!

I just read on another board I post to, that lon wanted to only do home games cause he was getting older and schott probably saw this as too much dough cause he'd have to hire replacements....whatever it was, you can bet it was dough.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 09:52 am:

Chris, you and I posted at the same time.

Let's hope that Wolff understands how important the broadcasting team is and will not let money stand in the way of getting a quality professional to work with Korach.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 10:04 am:

Another good read:
"http://www.insidebayarea.com/artspander/ci_3130654"

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bubba69 on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 10:17 am:

This is where the Giants front office kicks the A's front office in the ass (and as a Giants-hater, it hurts to type that). They spend the extra dollar to give their fans a Grade A broadcasting face knowing that that is a major part of a team's identity and marketing.

Kruk and Kuip are a grade A? Even Miller gets old after a while.....

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chris_d on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 10:43 am:

I love Korach and Fosse, and I like Glenn Kuiper. But would you take Hank Greenwald, Tim Roye and Steve Bitker over anyone on the Giants' staff? I wouldn't.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 11:03 am:

hank greenwald can shampoo my (c'mon asch, shampoo your mouth please)...
he's terrible

post edited by mod

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By drummer510 on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 01:43 pm:

haha i remember when u said that, Hanky better not join the radio team.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 02:25 pm:

sorry lil, I didn't think that word was inapropriate, I apologize. That word itself is not bad, but I guess within the context.....

sorry again!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By samk on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 11:40 am:

in so many words, Hank said on his King rememberance podcast for King that he is retiring from broadcasting -- time to let younger guys take over.

Looks like Hank aint coming back, in any capacity.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By rayfossefan on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 02:45 pm:

you know what Hank isn't all that bad and he's very old school. it's good he's retiring.

korach is probably one of the best in the game right now.

i also like greg papa. very good game caller. knows when to say the right thing!

as much as i love fosse, he's terrible at play by play.

steve bitker is alright, he's not bad but i'd take him over duane kuiper, who annoys the crap out of me. his brother glenn is good though. time roye is also awesome.

still, nobody will ever replace the late great bill king!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 09:38 pm:

You're right, first time in most A's fans lives that they'll be going into a spring training or regular season game without hearing Bill King on thier headsets.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 10:52 pm:

Jon Carroll on The King:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/10/21/DDG11DCG3K1.DTL

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chris_d on Saturday, October 22, 2005 - 05:01 pm:

I'm not sure if this was posted already, but this column by Ken Korach was the best eulogy for Bill King this week (as good or better than Ratto's excellent column), in my opinion. Here it is:

http://www.insidebayarea.com/search/ci_3130428

The Oakland Tribune
10/19/2005

To the greatest, Holy Toledo!
By Ken Korach,

AS I TRY to bring my emotions into perspective, I keep going back to a day early in 1973 when I got the call that my mom had died.
It was sudden, and it felt lonely, just as it was with Bill. No doubt, my colleague, Bill King, was like a member of the family.

And Bill touched so many lives that I imagine there were hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents who felt Tuesday as I did when I found out about Bill.

In the romantic sense of broadcasting sports on the radio, Bill was a member of the family.

His broadcasts were woven into the fabric of the Bay Area for almost 50 years. He never sought the national spotlight because this is where he belonged — and a piece of the Bay Area is gone now that Bill is gone.

Countless times someone would approach Bill and say they remembered exactly where they were the moment Bill called a great play for the A's, Warriors or Raiders.

Bill was the greatest sportscaster this country has ever produced. The depth of knowledge, the passion, the crisp descriptions, the attention to detail, the command of the language — Bill was a master, like a Mozart or a Rembrandt behind a microphone.

Bill was a renaissance man whose interests were so broad that I marveled at his intellect and depth of his curiosity, and his myriad experiences gave his broadcasts texture.

I had listened to Bill for 30 years before we became partners in 1996. I was slightly intimidated sitting in the chair Lon Simmons had occupied for 15 seasons. But, Bill was gracious, and his endorsement of me meant everything.

I had the feeling that our listeners were thinking, "Hey, if Bill King likes this guy, he must be OK." You couldn't buy that kind of credibility.

I've been asked a million times what it's been like to work with Bill.

First of all, Bill was a one-in-a-million character. One of the last colorful characters. He didn't care what anybody thought about him. He wasn't interested in political correctness, and he lived life on his own terms.

He was volatile, at times, and set in his ways most of the time. I've often thought that Bill was miscast in the wrong century. He would have flourished with the artists of the 1600s.

Bill was a great partner. He cared deeply about the broadcasts and was very serious about his work, but he never saw himself as more important than the game. He loved the A's. He hated to see the team lose, and he got emotional when they won, but he never became a homer.

He bristled when he would hear a highlight from another announcer who didn't get excited over a big play by the opposition.

I'm not sure I can explain this real well, but I liked what Bill brought out in my personality when we were on the air together.

Even though Bill began in broadcasting at a time when a one-man show was the norm, he always saw our relationship as a partnership, and the chemistry we had was a step beyond anything I've had with any other partner. You can't fake it after 10 years. We had great fun.

Speaking of one step beyond, that's what Bill said about his signature, "Holy Toledo." He wanted something that was an exclamation point when something special happened.

In trying to make sense of Bill's passing I'm struck by the irony of how he died. Bill had major surgery on his hip last Friday.

Five and one-half hours would be tough for anyone, let alone someone of Bill's age (whatever that was — and I don't know for sure — and Bill would be screaming and yelling at me right now if he could if I even dared to speculate). But Bill wanted to come back to the booth next year at full strength.

He wanted to live life to its fullest, and there was no concession to age. He could have continued to walk with a cane and work a limited schedule next year. That wouldn't have been Bill.

What a life. Holy Toledo!

_____________________________
Ken Korach just completed his 10th year as a member of the Oakland Athletics broadcast team. He wrote this piece on Tuesday from his home in Henderson, Nev.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 09:34 pm:

Whatever our feelings about Robert Buan as a radio host, he has written a lovely piece about Bill King on the A's website.

"http://www.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article_perspectives.jsp?ymd=20051020&content_id=1255893&vkey=perspectives&fext=.jsp"

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 05:42 am:

I read that the other day - it was a great piece to read. I enjoyed it a ton.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By asch on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 05:42 am:

I read that the other day - it was a great piece to read. I enjoyed it a ton.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By finleyshero on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 09:49 am:

You're right. That piece is so eloquent, I could swear it was written by Fan of the Buan.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By dirtymatt on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 03:09 pm:

I thought I had shed my last tear about the Great Bill King until the next A's season, and the tributes that will take place. Then I read this line in Buan's tribute...

"It may seem like I think I know him better than anybody, but don't worry. I know who really knows him better than anyone.

A's fans. The listeners. His fans."


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