"Holy Toledo!"

September 5, 2013

Holy Toledo A Book About Bill King!

The voice that painted the pictures in my head, the man I grew up listening to, the phrase that I chose to name my website, all are from Bill King. This enigmatic man is the subject of a new book written by Ken Korach.

Holy Toledo – Lessons from Bill King: Renaissance Man of the Mic

Just released in paperback is the story of the man who announced all three of my favorite teams (Raiders, A’s, & Warriors). Few people know that I share a bond with Ken Korach, we both announced Sonoma St. football games on KTOB 1490am. Later I will share with you the day I met Bill King, today I wanted to post this press release discussing the book, book signings, & the T-shirt. You know I will be ordering many of those shirts (Christmas presents perhaps?), and I will let you know how to get them. In the meantime order the book and enjoy the story of a most interesting man.

A’s Press Release
8/21/2013 12:42 P.M. ET

A’s to Host “Holy Toledo” Book Signing with Ken Korach Sept. 6-8

Marks Wellstone Books’ Official Release of the Remarkable Story of Bill King
In conjunction with Wellstone Books, the Oakland Athletics will celebrate the official release of Ken Korach’s new book, Holy Toledo – Lessons from Bill King: Renaissance Man of the Mic, by staging book-signing sessions at O.co Coliseum prior to the final three games of the A’s-Astros series on Sept. 6-8.

Korach, voice of the Oakland A’s since 2006 and King’s broadcast partner from 1996 through 2005, will be available in the Bar & Grille (located in Sections 212 to 216) from 6:00-6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6 and from noon-12:30 on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7-8, to sign purchased copies. The book will also go on sale on Amazon.com and at select Bay Area book store locations Sept. 6. The paperback price is $18.99, while the digital price is $9.99. The book will also be available during the Sept. 6-8 weekend at the Oakland A’s team stores at Gates C and D.

In addition, “Holy Toledo” t-shirts will be on sale during the book signing and up until first pitch in the Bar & Grille. The shirts will also be sold in the Gates C and D team stores during the Sept. 6-8 weekend, as well as the remainder of the season.

Korach’s first book store appearance will be at Books Inc. in Alameda at 5 p.m. after the A’s game on Saturday, Sept. 7. The store is located at 1344 Park Street in Alameda.
King, an unmatched figure in Bay Area sports and media history, was the long-time voice of the A’s, Warriors and Raiders.

His remarkable story was told by Korach, who drew on a lifetime of listening to and learning from King, as well as doing extensive research which included more than 50 interviews with King’s family members, colleagues, friends and associates, to create a rich portrait of the man whose passion, precision and style were legendary. Many of those interviewed considered King-who passed away Oct. 18, 2005-to be the greatest radio sports broadcaster ever heard.

Holy Toledo features a moving foreword by Hall of Fame broadcaster Jon Miller and a brilliant cover by Mark Ulriksen, internationally recognized for his New Yorker magazine illustrations, that captures the flair and personality that made King an utter original. Korach’s work brings to life the great calls that will never be forgotten-“Holy Roller,” “Sea of Hands,” “Mother’s Day,” Rickey Henderson’s record-breaking 939th stolen bases, the streak-extending Scott Hatteberg home run immortalized in the film, “Moneyball,” and more.

The book also tells the story of Bill King, the student of Russian literature, the passionate sailor, the voracious and quirky epicurean and the remarkable painter (with a beautiful back-cover reproduction of one of King’s Impressionist-inspired works).

Holy Toledo takes readers to King’s early days as a minor-league broadcaster, encountering the likes of Casey Stengel, Stan Musial and Bill Dickey, and to the jazz, food, wine and conversation-filled late nights in San Francisco and Sausalito with such Warriors’ luminaries as broadcasting partner Hank Greenwald, team owner Franklin Mieuli and All-Star forward Tom Meschery-and maybe an occasional visit from Wilt Chamberlain, pulling up in his lavender Bentley. The book also tells the stories behind King’s great days with the Warriors, A’s and Raiders, like when Al Davis first spotted the bronzed, shirtless and shoeless King on the sideline at training camp and asked: “Who is this scrawny little guy and what can he possibly know about football?”

Korach’s beautifully-written account presents a persuasive case for King, with expert analysis and input, on the eve of the selection process for the annual Ford C. Frick Award by the Baseball Hall of Fame. King has been a finalist for the Hall’s top broadcasting award on several occasions.

Following his death at age 78, the A’s permanently named their Coliseum broadcast facilities the “Bill King Broadcast Booth” after the team’s revered former voice-a voice like no other.

(**More book signing dates & T-shirt information will be posted as soon as I get the information)



  1. I’m glad to see you are finding time for Holy Toledo this year.

    Comment by uncle buck — September 5, 2013 @ 10:01 am

  2. Earlier this year I had the pleasure of working with Ed Rush Jr., son of Ed Rush, the former NBA referee who was also the youngest ever NBA ref at 23 years of age. I made the error of joking to Ed Jr. that I had forgotten how much I hated his father. The joke bombed, but it got me thinking about Bill King and his extreme dislike for certain NBA refs. I can’t remember who headed this list of hate for King, but was Ed Rush one of his broadcast victims? Who else was on this list, which seemed to grow following the Warriors last championship season in 1975? As the Warriors went downhill after that title King got increasingly frustrated with certain NBA refs and I believe he was called for one or more technical fouls for the verbal abuse he directly toward certain refs – am I just making this up as part of his legend or did he get technicals and who were his most hated refs?

    Comment by Fan Since '57 — September 5, 2013 @ 10:50 am

  3. I seem to recall a ref named Richie Powers getting a verbal lambasting from Bill King, but I know there were others including Ed Rush. Not sure if King was ever given a technical, perhaps that will be in the book. It occurs to me that one of the things I don’t have in my collection is a Bill King Warriors broadcast.
    PS- Fan Since ’57, I just acquired a copy of a Lions playoff win vs Dallas, 1991.

    Comment by Bill — September 5, 2013 @ 11:24 am

    • King always called Richie Powers, “The Little Dictator.” Hilarious! BK always had an unmitigated, unmasked disdain for officials in all sports, but he reserved a special rung in his personal Hell for Powers.

      Comment by Guy Lasky — September 8, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

  4. Bill, this post may be your finest literary hour–fitting of your hero Bill King and Korach’s effort to immortalize him. Thank you, my friend.

    Comment by Guy Lasky — September 8, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

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