Well, holy Toledo. Bill King is finally a Hall of Famer.
The iconic voice of the Oakland A’s, Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors was selected to receive the 2017 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting from the Baseball Hall of Fame, it was announced Wednesday.
King, who died in 2005, will be honored at the hall’s awards presentation July 29.
The native of Bloomington, Illinois, was known for his devilish mustache and beard, his whip-smart command of language and history, and his signature exclamation: “Holy Toledo!”
His Bay Area career began in the late 1950s as a fill-in broadcaster for the San Francisco Giants. In 1962 he became the voice of the then-San Francisco Warriors. And in 1966, he took over as broadcaster for the Oakland Raiders, painting verbal pictures that are part of the team’s lore (topped, of course, by the Holy Roller).
He served as the broadcast voice of the A’s for 25 years, joining Lon Simmons in the booth in 1981.
“Bill King’s enthusiasm for every game he called carried through the airwaves and into the hearts of fans throughout Northern California for 25 incredible years with the Oakland Athletics,” Jeff Idelson, Hall of Fame president, said in a statement. “From his distinctive word choices in describing the action to his unabashed love of Oakland and the Bay Area, King crafted a career that became synonymous with the action at the Oakland Coliseum and throughout the sports world.”
King is the 41st recipient of the Frick Award. Finalists included Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow. Others were Gary Cohen, Jacques Doucet, Ken Harrelson, Pat Hughes, Ned Martin and Dewayne Staats.