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Bill King Gets His Long Awaited Call To Cooperstown

Jason Barrett

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Holy Toledo! Bill King has been called to Cooperstown.

One of the most prominent sports announcers in Bay Area sports history has been named the winner of the 2017 Ford C. Frick Award after finishing as a finalist for the honor seven times. King passed away in 2005, after spending more than four decades calling the action for many of the Bay Area’s sports teams.

During his career, King served as the voice of the Oakland Athletics for 25 years, the longest tenure of any A’s announcer since the team’s games were first broadcast in Philadelphia in 1938. He was the club’s radio announcer from 1981 to 2005, and called the team’s World Series victory over their crosstown rivals, the San Francisco Giants in 1989, Rickey Henderson’s record-breaking stolen base in 1991, and Scott Hatteberg’s pinch-hit walk-off homerun in 2002, which helped the A’s extend their league-record winning streak to 20 games.

Ironically, it was the Giants who gave King his Bay Area play by play start. He was part of their original broadcasting team, working alongside Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons.

After working for the Giants, King joined the Golden State Warriors as their play by play announcer when the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1962. He announced Warrior games until 1983, including the team’s first NBA Championship on the West Coast in 1974-1975.

If holding two high profile jobs for over two decades wasn’t enough, King also had a historic run as the voice of the Oakland Raiders. He became the team’s play by play voice in 1966, working for the franchise through the 1992 season. He even commuted to Los Angeles from 1982-1984 when the Raiders relocated to Southern California. During his time working for Al Davis, he called all three Raiders Super Bowl victories.

King’s stepdaughter, Kathleen Lowenthal told the San Francisco Chronicle that she got the call Wednesday morning from Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson.

“When he called, I was like a little kid, and crying,” she said. “I had no idea I’d cry. Then Ken Korach called me, and he was crying. I just wish Bill were here. He never thought this would happen. He didn’t seek it. That was never a motivation. It’s his time, and I’m thrilled.”

King was behind the microphone to call the famous Oakland Raiders “Holy Roller” touchdown against San Diego in 1978. It’s one of the most memorable play by play calls in sports history.

One person who’s been a strong advocate for King’s entry into Cooperstown has been current A’s radio play by play announcer Ken Korach. His 2013 book Holy Toledo – Lessons from Bill King: Renaissance Man of the Mic drew additional attention to King’s stellar work, and earned high praise from other members of the sports media.

When Korach learned that King had finally earned the call to the Hall he said “It’s just incredible. A lot of tears, to be honest with you. It’s so heartwarming. I’ve heard from broadcasters, writers. It’s really emotional. This is going to be such a wonderful celebration for A’s fans and that’s the definition of a Hall of Famer — someone who had that kind of impact on so many people. Bill King was a one-in-a-million person.”

Current Raiders play by play announcer Greg Papa, who has served as the voice of the Silver and Black for the past 21 seasons, has said of King, “He is without a doubt the best radio play-by-play announcer in all of sports. His energy, preparation, his thoroughness, his word choice—he is without peer.”

The Baseball Hall of Fame issued a press release on King’s pending honor, adding, “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. 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.”

Sports Radio News

670 The Score Hosts Congratulate Mike Mulligan on Award From Loyola Chicago

“They’re giving me an award for correctly picking the Super Bowl on September 8th,” Mulligan joked.

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670 The Score morning host Mike Mulligan is being awarded the Father Finnegan Memorial Award from Loyola University Chicago this weekend, and some of his colleagues congratulated him on the air Friday morning.

The award is given “in recognition of outstanding humanitarianism and service to youth through athletics”. Mulligan — a 1984 graduate of Loyola University Chicago — will receive the award Saturday during the Loyola Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony during a game against George Mason.

“Tremendous award,” co-host David Haugh said. “Proud moment for the show. Proud moment for you family.”

“They’re giving me an award for correctly picking the Super Bowl on September 8th,” Mulligan joked.

“That is fantastic,” Laurence Holmes said, while his co-host, Dan Bernstein, continued to say “wow”. “Congratulations. You shouldn’t be embarrassed. You should be proud.”

“I’m being celebrated for being old,” Mully joked.

“That’s not what that award says,” countered Holmes. “It says something completely different.”

The Mully & Haugh host eventually admitted he was appreciative of the award bestowed upon him by his alma mater.

“It’s a good thing. I’m very moved by it. Sister Jean will be there,” Mully said. “She has a book coming out with — I think — Seth Davis.”

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Sports Radio News

Colin Cowherd: Tony Romo Regressing Because He Loves Golf

“I’ve always felt like Tony Romo is one of those guys — and we all have somebody in our social circle like this — he got the golf bug. He’s had it for 15 years.

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The performance of CBS Sports NFL analyst Tony Romo has been a hot-button topic in sports media circles, especially after a widely-regarded lackluster performance during the AFC Championship Game. Colin Cowherd believes he knows why Romo has regressed.

During an episode of The Colin Cowherd Podcast, the sports radio host claimed golf is the reason behind Romo’s regression.

“Romo wants to be on the Tour. He literally wants to be on the Tour,” Cowherd said. “And what’s the first thing Aaron Rodgers does in the off-season? He goes and golfs, he loves it. Both, by the way, great golfers, especially Romo. But I’ve always felt like Tony Romo is one of those guys — and we all have somebody in our social circle like this — he got the golf bug. He’s had it for 15 years.

“Tony wants to be on the PGA Tour — but he likes the paycheck from CBS.”

Cowherd also added he hasn’t hired potential employees in the past if they told him they loved golf during the interview process, saying he has a theory that as men age they “get addicted to golf”.

“They’re on PGATour.com, they’re putting in the backyard, they’re thinking about it at work, they’re scheduling a trip to Scotland and they lose sight of their other job,” Cowherd said.

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Sports Radio News

ESPN Radio Adds Lakers Games As LeBron James Nears Scoring Record

“As of Friday, February 3, LeBron James is 63 points away from Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 career points.”

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The NBA’s all-time scoring record has stood for a long time. Kareem Abdul-Jabar, the current record holder, retired in 1989. LeBron James is on the verge of overtaking him though, and ESPN Radio wants to make sure it is part of history when it happens.

ESPN Radio has added two upcoming Lakers games to its schedule. The network will carry the national feeds of games on February 7 and 9. The first game is against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The second is against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Both games will be played in Los Angeles with a 9:30 PM Eastern tip. Marc Kestecher and Vince Carter will be on the call for both games.

As of Friday, February 3, LeBron James is 63 points away from Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 career points.

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