Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Bill King: One of a kind

The Lord needed somebody to do some play by play for the World Series in heaven
next week and he selected Bill King.

By Amaury Pi-GonzálezSome people get called by ESPN,others by FOX
and then others are called by somebody upstairs.
somebody much more powerful that ABC-Disney
or Ruppert Murdock.
Bill King was a unique man, more than a broadcaster he was a man, a man of compasion
of understanding and a humble man in an ego
driven business. Why didn’t the A’S do a campaign to put Bill King in Cooperstown, I do not know.
But knowing Bill, he didn’t care about stuff like
that. He was an intelligent man a man for all seasons that could talk to you about many topics, he loved the Opera he spoke Russian he knew
a lot about Russian history and literature.

Last series of the season in Safeco Field, Seattle,
end of September and begining of October I visited with Bill as usual. Seattle was one of his favorite
towns and he felt he was cheating the fans because of his health he could not travel to all cities and bring the excitement of baseball to his fans.

My wife Gail traveled with me to Seattle for the
last 6-game homestand of the 2005 season and
on the way to Safeco during the last 3-games of
the season she asked me If she could come in
and say Hi to Bill in the broadcast booth.
As we arrived and I went into my booth
and put my briefcase in the table, we went next
door to our left and Bill was there also with Ken
Korach and producer Robert Baun.

Gail(50) like many people of that age and evern
older like me (61 this month)have listened to
Bill King for decades. Doesn’t matter which sport
he called, he did a great job in all of them. My
personal opinion was that Basketball was his
very very best. But that is just my opinion.

As I walked into the visiting radio booth at
Safeco Field in Seattle with Gail.
I told Bill, here is one of your great admirers
as Gail walked in, they have met before, but
Bill was as gracious as always and he spoke
to Gail for a few minutes.

I talked to Bill briefly and he told me he was going
to have hip surgery after the season and hopefully be ready for next season. He had signed a contract
to do the games next year again, he was looking forward to doing the games in 2006.

But the Lord had other ideas and on this day,
October 18, 2005 he took Bill King away from
all of us. We are selfish, very selfish for wanting
to keep him here, but when the man in the big
bullpen upstairs calls you… not even George
Steinbrenner can do much about it !

In the mid 70s I wrote a column with
El Mundo News of Oakland in which I said that listening to Bill King you can rest in your bed turn the lights off, and turn the radio and;
listening to Bill King doing the Warriors it
was better than watching the game on television.
I framed that column and gave it to Bill as a gift,
he got a kick out of it.

One time my old car broke on the way to the Oakland Coliseum, maybe 3 miles from the
Coliseum, Bill King spotted me and picked me up
like 3 hours or so prior to the game. He used to
drive then an old Plymouth, I remember after
he parked the car in the Coliseum parking lot
the car(after we walked out of the car)still would be clicking, it needed timing, but Bill King didn’t
need any timing, he worked like a Swiss precision
clock on the air whichever sport he handled, he
handled with grace,dignity, accuracy, great
diction and most of all great passion.

During the 80’s when the A’S had the 3 consecutive rookies of the year with Canseco,McGwire and
Weiss there was a lot of excitement at the
Oakland Coliseum. After some of the games and after I ran into him in the hall for a ‘bathroom break” he would say “Amaury…how did that Home run sounded in Spanish ? In the future I would give him a tape of some of my calls and joking
told him, “listen to these two blasts by Canseco”.

If you listen to King at 78 years of age, he sounded better that most 35 year olds doing baseball nowdays. He shared a passion for the game, he
wanted to broadcast the game for you the fan because he was also a fan and he enjoyed the
game. In this business were most of us do not work for the renumeration, Bill King represented all
very well, much better than we deserve.

What I remember most and admire about Bill King
was how humble he was and how professional
he was, but most of all he had passion and if you
are in the business of broadcasting games and
you have no passion, you are in the wrong
business then.You might as well be in Sales.
Bill was one of a kind.

May he rest in peace.
Que descanse en Paz.

Adios Bill, knowing you was a great privilege and
you are somebody I would never forget, I was lucky to have known you for all these years.


1 Anonymous { 10.19.05 at 10:44 am }

Well said, Amaury. Thanks for saying what so many of us felt. These words express so much about Bill.

Jerry Feitelberg

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