Bill King was an institution For Bay Area sports fans for nearly half a century, calling the shots for the Warriors, Raiders and A’s with his distinctive style and flair.
With his handlebar mustache and catchphrase “Holy Toledo!,” King called it as he saw it, leaving an indelible mark on both the sports he covered and the fans who came to adore him as much as the teams they cheered on.
It’s impossible not to laugh at King’s “nothing is real anymore” description of the Raiders’ last-second victory over the San Diego Chargers in the Holy Roller game in 1978, and listening to King’s play-by-play call on Scott Hatteberg’s walk-off home run that gave the A’s, who had blown an 11-0 lead, their American League-record 20th consecutive victory in 2002 is to hear a true master of his craft.
King, who passed away in 2005 at the age of 78, was named the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting on Wednesday. King, who served as the voice of the A’s for 25 years, will be honored in Cooperstown on July 29 as part of Baseball’s Hall of Fame class of 2017.
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Here’s social media’s reaction to King’s long overdue Hall of Fame nod: