Legendary A’s announcer Bill King once again is a finalist for the Ford C. Frick award, the annual honor presented to a broadcaster by the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The other seven nominated for the 2017 honor are the Giants’ Mike Krukow, Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen, Jacques Doucet — who has called Montreal Expos and Toronto Blue Jays games — White Sox broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, Cubs broadcaster Pat Hughes, former Red Sox announcer Ned Martin and Dewayne Staats, who currently calls Rays games.
This marks the eighth time King has been a finalist, and many in the Bay Area are hoping the award finally goes to the man whose voice is synonymous with many of the most memorable sports moments in Bay Area history.
Among those who have been outspoken proponents for King receiving the Frick award is current A’s play-by-play man Ken Korach, who wrote a 2013 book about King’s career, “Holy Toledo.”
“I do know Bill has a lot of support, whether that equates to being the Frick Award winner I don’t know,” Korach said. “I just feel so strongly that it would mean so much to A’s fans, Bill’s fan base, his family. I just think it’s long overdue. I know Bill didn’t have the profile nationally that some people have. But the way they’ve categorized it, these are local announcers. That’s the way they’ve structured it, and no one had more impact in his market than Bill had.”
The Frick Award is handed out on a three-year rotation of criteria, with the 2017 award going to an announcer who worked for a specific team. The 2018 award will go to a national broadcaster and the 2019 award will be handed out to a pioneer from the earliest days of broadcasting.
King served as the A’s primary radio play-by-play man from 1981-2005, but was also the lead voice for the Raiders from 1966-92 and Warriors from 1962-83. He passed away in October 2005. All other finalists except for Martin are still living.
Because he was so versatile, King isn’t always thought of as a pure baseball broadcaster. But Korach doesn’t believe that theory holds weight.
“(Baseball) was his first love. He enjoyed doing it the most,” Korach said. “His first game was in 1950, his last one in 2005. That spans a long time. He was a passionate baseball historian and he knew the game back and forth. And that defines a Hall of Famer for me.”
A voting committee selects the Frick Award winner, which will be announced Dec. 7 during the Winter Meetings.