"Holy Toledo!"

November 1, 2007

HOLY TOLEDO! Vote Now For Bill King for the Ford C. Frick Award

Filed under: Baseball — Bill @ 9:30 am

The man for whom this site is named, the voice we grew up listening to, the man who painted such beautiful pictures in our mind is up for the Hall Of Fame. Just this morning I received the following announcement from the Oakland A’s. I encourage you to vote.

The Ford C. Frick Award is presented annually to a broadcaster for “major contributions to baseball.” The award, named after the late broadcaster and National League President, is presented annually at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cooperstown, NY.

Once again, the late Bill King, who broadcasted Oakland A’s games for 25 seasons (in addition to the Oakland Raiders & Golden St. Warriors), is included on a large list of broadcasters who have spent “a minimum of 10 years of continuous service with a club, network or combination thereof.” Past honorees include the Bay Area’s own Lon Simmons, Mel Allen, Red Barber, Russ Hodges, Vin Scully, Jack Buck, Harry Caray, Harry Kalas and Jerry Coleman.

Fans are encouraged to vote for Bill throughout the month of November online at baseballhall.org. The top three announcers in the online voting will join a list of seven other candidates selected by the Hall of Fame Committee for a final ballot made up of 10 announcers. The winner of the 2008 Ford C. Frick Award will be selected by committee and will be announced in February.

Click on the link below to vute now:

Support the “Bill King Scholarship Fund” with your donations and you can get a Bill King pin or patch!

To donate use the link below:



  1. Football HOF? Yes!
    Basketball HOF? Yes!
    Baseball HOF? No! He was good, but not great. To much whine, not enough cheese.

    Comment by Ralph Zig Tyko — November 1, 2007 @ 10:16 am

  2. I couldn’t disagree more. Have you ever heard his classic call of Jason Giambi’s ninth inning game winning HR off of Mariano Rivera in 2001?

    That call alone should be enough to get him in, but there were those other 4050 games (plus playoffs & World Series).

    (Perhaps it could just be that you were a Giants fan and it taints your opinion of him)

    Bill King seemed better at football & basketball, but those sports are much more upbeat thus making his baseball style seem slower. Blame the game not the man.

    Comment by billkuhn — November 1, 2007 @ 10:38 am

  3. Thanks for the heads up on this selection process. I was a little disappointed that you didn’t mention Hank Greenwald, who was every bit as good as Bill King as an announcer in baseball with the SF Giants. I voted for King, Greenwald and George Kell, the voice of the Detroit Tigers for many years on TV, while Ernie Harwell, a Hall of Fame announcer, did radio.

    Kell, who is also in the Hall of Fame as a player, was a broadcast partner with color commentator Al Kaline, another Hall of Fame player who is on this ballot for announcers. Unfortunately Al wasn’t as polished in the booth as he was in the outfield and at the plate and I’m as sure that he won’t make it on this ballot as he did on his first ballot selection to the Hall of Fame as a player.

    Kaline had more home runs and RBI than Clemente and in my opinion was also a better fielder . For about ten years no opposing player went from first to third on a single to right fielder Al Kaline, after he moved to that position from center field. That probably won 200 games for the Tigers over that period of time.

    Kaline had the best arm of any outfielder I’ve ever seen, which covers 50 years. He also positioned himself to throw immediately after the catch. In one motion with only one step he could hit any base with a one-hop bullet throw.

    As I watch all the outfielders that play today – nobody can cover an outfield position and throw with the stunning speed and accuracy of Al Kaline. As a matter of fact, after watching the outfield play in the playoffs and World Series, I can say that all of the outfielders look like Little Leaguers compared to Kaline.

    Modern players throw with a crow step and sometimes take three full steps before they release their looping throws that are sometimes ten or twenty feet wide of their target. Kaline’s bad throws made the infielder move his glove a few feet before applying the tag as they straddled the bag or plate. A one-hopper with heat – “You’re OOOut”, said the ump when they were foolish enough to run on “The Line” as Gates Brown called him.

    We used to go to Tiger Stadium early for batting practice, mostly to watch Kaline take fly balls down the right fielder corner. In “Kaline’s corner” as it was called he would take caroms off the walls, whirl and fire to third base. Out of ten throws, eight of them would be perfect one-hop knee high pegs to Don Wert. On the other two Wert had to move his glove one foot to the left or right and sweep the tag. It was the same thing on throws to home.

    Maybe he was so great, not only because of his amazing talent, but the fact that he practiced it every day. Do the modern millionaire outfielders do this? It certainly doesn’t look like it.

    Comment by Dommer — November 1, 2007 @ 1:57 pm

  4. Hank Greenwald was/is a very good announcer, but not my personal favorite. I enjoyed listening to him for many years but since I wasn’t a Giants fan the passion just wasn’t there for me. For reasons of his choosing I could never vote for Hank, primarily due to the fact that he was a Yankee announcer (and you must know how I feel about the Skanks). Sorry Hank.

    The first time I ever saw an A’s game was against Detroit and the starting right fielder that day was Al Kaline. Unfortunately he was past his prime by the time I saw him play. I can greatly appreciate how good he was due to a dice baseball game called All-Star Baseball by Avalon Hill. It was that great board game that taught me about George Kell (and many others of the glorious past).

    In that game every player had a defensive rating, Centerfielders were ranked differently than the corner outfield positions. Of the non-centerfielders Clemente & Kaline had the best defensive ratings. Clemente was a 9 & Kaline was an 8.
    By comparison Ruth was a 4, Reggie was a 2, & Ted Williams was a 0.

    Your comparison is not only interesting, but according to All-Star Baseball it is also accurate. For the record from 1957 to 1967 Kaline won an amazing 10 Gold Gloves (only missing it in 1960). Kaline did finish with 399 career HR’s, but who knows how many he lost due to Tiger Stadium’s extremely deep center field.

    Another interesting way to compare ballplayers is through Baseball Reference.com. According to their site Kaline’s career batting numbers are most comparable to the following players: Harold Baines, Dave Winfield, Billy Williams, “The Hawk” Andre Dawson. Tony Perez, & George Brett. Pretty decent company.

    I also like the way they compare each player by age. Check out this interesting Kaline comparison:

    Age – Player Most Comparable to Kaline
    19 – Ty Cobb
    20 – Ken Griffey
    21 – Ken Griffey
    22 – Ken Griffey
    23 – Vada Pinson
    24 – Vada Pinson
    25 – Vada Pinson
    26 – Vada Pinson
    27 – Vada Pinson
    28 – Vada Pinson
    29 – Vada Pinson
    30 – Carl Yastrzemski
    31 – Carl Yastrzemski
    32 – Eddie Murray
    33 – Carl Yastrzemski
    34 – Carl Yastrzemski
    35 – Billy Williams
    36 – Dave Winfield
    37 – Carl Yastrzemski
    38 – Carl Yastrzemski
    39 – Carl Yastrzemski

    Thanks for your contribution.

    Comment by billkuhn — November 1, 2007 @ 4:39 pm

  5. I voted! buck, michaels and king… of course! we become a product of our community, our city and team. to choose only 3 from a list (many of whom are unknowns – unless we grew up with them) is a very difficult job.

    I grew up with jack buck and the st louis cardinals baseball. i remember world series’ and even some blues hockey games. the guy could put a picture in your head… in the dark. For all of this his son is better. very knowledgable with smart wit. calls a great game. you should hear him do a week day cardinals game when he’s not busy with the fox national game on football or baseball.

    Some times for a national game the quality of the brodcast is dependent on the quality of the game. Micheals calls are famous. a pure lock. but i really liked him in cinny! before olymipic hockey or mnf.

    Im sure many others are just as deserving. Bill, thanks for sending this.

    tony and keli

    Comment by Tony Aimone — November 5, 2007 @ 3:23 pm

  6. It’s the voice that brings us our cherished memories that we love, they give us such joy, yet describe heartbreak, they are the voice of our memories.

    The bitter is what makes victory sweet.

    Very few remember that Al Michaels was the Reds announcer in ’72. He was a young guy who made his way to the top. He hates Al Davis because of his friendship with Marcus Allen, and he always knows the over/under of every game he calls. I would bet he was a betting man.

    A good friend of mine knew Jack Buck very well. She described him as a wonderful man, kind, friendly to those who knew nothing about his fame. He was one of the greats, his call of Ozzie’s HR is fantastic, unfortunately his Kirk (f’ing)) Gibson call will forever haunt me. But alas there is a good Jack Buck trivia moment: he was the radio voice of “The Catch” in ’81 when Josepi Montana hit Dwight Clark for a rather famous TD.

    Jack Buck was one of the all-time greats.

    Comment by billkuhn — November 5, 2007 @ 9:11 pm

  7. Great chart… Vada Pinson was a *terrific* ball player. Fastest in the bigs at one time… Kaline had everything but flair… I like Hank Greenwald a lot. He’s too dry for most… King worked hard at baseball, and it came over that way at times. Many times… Jon Miller is now right up there with Red Barber [He of the Dodgers and the Yankees, Billy.] for my all time favorite.

    Comment by Ralph Zig Tyko — November 7, 2007 @ 4:40 pm

  8. Al Kaline — talk about a name from the past. When I was a kid I had a teacher in the 5th grade who was maybe 150 years old. In any event, she used to tell each new fifth grade class she taught that she also had taught Al Kaline when he was a kid. That was a sterling memory for her. She was so proud of him!

    Comment by Kathy — November 7, 2007 @ 6:02 pm

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