Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

My Great Experience/Memories with the Athletics

By Amaury Pi-González

Here in the fourth largest city in the

Bay Area, Fremont (over 200,000 residents)

they have been talking about building a

park for the A’S. The area is next to the

NUMMI Automotive plant(old General Motors

Plant)today NUMMI stands for New United

Motors International, a partnership

between General Motors and Toyota.

As far as I am concerned, that would be fine

with me. But, I am afraid that my fellow

citizens of Fremont are not to happy

because it would created much more

traffic congestion and Fremont has grown

faster enough. It is not like this is the

“woods”like it was 35 years ago.

Some call Fremont “Silicon Valley East”

because our development in the high

tech industry.

BART comes here and in the future is going

to San José, people are really not thinking

of bringing a Major League franchise to

this City. The Athletics should stay were

they belong, in Oakland. That is their

home since 1968. Oakland is a great city,

the great people that lives there. But

of course not their inept politicos.

A good friend of mine told me I should

write about my great experiences with

the Athletics, dating back to the 1970s

days of controversial owner Charlie O.Finley

and until the days of the A’S best owners,

the Haas family.

When I was doing the Athletics, lots of

people called me a homer, but the truth

is that if you enjoy the game of baseball

and you have the luck and privilege to

broadcast Major League games, you

like to see the team that you broadcast

win, it makes your job easier, it makes

for a better broadcast and makes it always

much more exciting. Think of those people

in Tampa, broadcasting the Tampa Bay

Devil Rays -they probably cannot wait

for the season to end each year !.

And by the way, the Devil Rays are in

the cellar in English and Spanish.

Charlie Finley days:

I remember in the mid to late 1970s,

while the negotiating of the rights to

broadcasts the A’S in Spanish radio

for the Bay Area. One day Carl Finley

called me to his office and told me:

“Amaury…Charlie says you can do the

games in Mexican”. I remember I told

Carl: “Great, thanks, but please Carl

tell Charlie Mexican is not a language

is a Nationality…does he tells Monty

Moore to broadcast the games in

Irish or the Queen’s English’?

(I remember Carl getting a kick out

of that). In today’s world If and owner

tell you something like that, It could

be enough to acuse him/her of

racism or discrimination. Since everybody

is very politically correct. But Finley was

just Finley ! I took it as a great break

for me to broadcast. A career that let

me raise my two kids and a career I

really love. Plus I am “old school” I still

have Milton Berle’s book The Best 10,000

Jokes. And these jokes are usually about


So Charlie never really ofended me, although

I was not born in Mexico but in Cuba. It

was Charlie’s ignorance not mine.

Working with the Athletics for 17 seasons

gave me the opportunity to meet people

like Roy Eisenhardt,Andy Dolich,Walter and

Wally Haas and Sandy Alderson. I remember

when Andy Dolich named me to the


hosted All Star Game. These were community

people ‘in loved’ with the game of baseball.

These were business people that understood

the community and also re-constructed an

organization that when they bough it had

one player (a very young Rickey Henderson)

and after a few years they dominated the

American League and made it to three

consecutive World Series. I have the

1988,89-90 World Series rings they

graciously presented to me with the teams.

The Haas family kept the team in Oakland

and made this franchise one of the very

best in baseball for many years. Andy

Dolich, who was the business brain for

the A’S those years is presently the

General Manager of the Menphis NBA

franchise. Sandy Alderson, who was the

A’S GM is very qualified to be baseball

Commissioner(If he wants the job) and

presently is one of the top executives

of Major League Baseball. Roy Eisenhardt

is a law professor and Wally Haas still

running Levy Strauss, one of the great

Bay Area historic companies. I was

in very good company working with those

guys. Many teams in baseball today

have “amateurs”running their marketing

departments, people fresh out of college

that couldn’t tell the ‘infield-fly-rule from

a Pastrami sandwich”.

Baseball has a problem in their marketing.

With 30% of all players Hispanic, the

MLB central office in New York needs

a Commissioner that could market some

of the greatest Latino players in their

respective communities. When I worked

for the A’S Andy Dolich already had that

vision. I remember translating the A’S

yearly highligh film and showing it at

different bilingual schools in Alameda

County. I was also in the A’S Speakers

Bureau,representing the A’S in the

Hispanic community. Yes,and I’ve got paid!

Back in the 1980’s I was doing the games

on the old KBRG radio. We put a network

of stations in California as well as a 15

station network in the north of México.

Dolich won a few Cleo awards for television

advertising. Do you remember during the

Billy Martin days, those commercials?

BillyBall ? Who can forget about those !

During those years the A’S almost ran

the Giants out of town, they were better

than the Giants on the field, on the front

office, anyplace you looked.

During my years with the A’S and those

consecutive World Series I remember

visitors to our booth like Mario Moreno

(Cantinflas)Mexico’s Charlie Chaplin,

Plácido Domingo the great opera singer,

he was a huge fan of Canseco and the

A’S. And many other personalities in the

entertainment world.

Prior to the Haas ownership, I remember

a young Tony Armas coming to the A’S

and starting to form the FIRST MILLION

DOLLAR OUTFIELD. Remember? Rickey

Henderson in left, Dwayne Murphy in

center and Tony Armas in right. Then later

guys like Steinbach,McGwire,Canseco,

Weiss -all came through the A’S minor

league system.They developed superstars.

It all reached a climax on October 17, 1989

at 5:07 PM while doing the Pregame show

for the A’S Spanish Radio Network, and

the Loma Prieta earthquake gave us a



compared to Mother Nature. Yes, I was

there working the game of the Earthquake

when the people in the Broadcast level

of Candlestick Park from Al Michaels to

the runners passing notes became part of

history, part of a history much bigger than

the Bay Area World Series.

Towards the end of my reign with the A’s

in the broadcast booth we did some A’S

games over CH 48 KSTS Telemundo Network

in San José. I remember the General Manager

of CH 48 then was Joe Cruz. I conviced him

(station)to build a set with the A’S colors,

Kelly green and yellow. During those years

I was Sports Anchor of CH 48 and also

I would be using that A’S set to do the games

when the team was away. I was doing game

on both radio and television in Spanish.

That has never been done before in this

market. As a matter of fact, It hasn’t been

done ever since.

I also remember those days in the 1970s,

when our broadcast booth in the Oakland

Coliseum, a young Larry Baer was in the

booth to my right calling the games on

the University of California campus station.

It was with Julio Gonzalez that I broad-

casted those early games, had to be

taped and then taken to the studios of

KBRG Radio International in San Francisco.

Larry Baer is Executive Vice President and

CEO of the San Francisco Giants today and the

man that put together a group of private

investors/companies to build Pac Bell


I left the A’S(not the other way around)and

It was because I’ve got a much better

opportunity with the Giants. This is America

and you have to look for what feeds your

family, for the better opportunity, for a better

living. Most announcers today are called

homers, with the exception of Jon Miller

who is the Voice of the Giants but also

of Baseball on ESPN. Nobody acuses Miller

(who is at the top of his profession)of being

a homer. Jon a native of Hayward was doing

the A’S when he was 22 years old.

I have many many more memories of my

good experiences with the Oakland Athletics,

and also the memories of those that used

to call me a homer with the A’S. In our

business you cannot please everybody

all the time. I thank God first and then the

Haas family for the opportunity as they

gave me the break of my life in this

business. But the so many stories that

I have with me from those A’S days, that

is hard for me to vote No, if they want

to build a park for the A’S here in Fremont,

but I am warning you, it will not pass,

because most of the people here do not

want any more traffic congestion. Fremont

“used to be called” a bedroom community.

Today only San José,San Francisco and

Oakland have a larger population.

But ….If they build a park for the A’S here,

that is great ! My kids born and raised

A’S fans will love it and I would also.

I knew I was going to be doing something

in baseball in this great country. My very

first “job”in the United States was in

1961, recently arrived from Cuba as I

was the Ball Boy for the Baltimore Orioles

Spring Training home in Miami,Florida.

There I saw l’live and in person’guys like

Brooks Robinson,Frank Robinson,Gus

Triandos,Dave McNally,Paul Blair, Don Buford

and that crowd that had a very good run

in the 1960’s. Later on I had other fun jobs

in Miami, like an extra on the Jackie Gleason

Show that was taped at the Miami Beach

Convention Center for CBS.

But the Finley and Haas years with the

A’S are some of the highlights of my life

and although in my heart of hearts my

favorite team is not the A’S or the Giants

but the Orioles, I’ll guess (like my good

friend told me) You could be called a

homer of different teams.

I believe in loyalty. The A’S I used to work

for were loyal to me and I reciprocate. If

you love what you do, you usually do not

bite the hand that feeds you. Of course,

nothing is easy in this business, but If you

approach it with a positive and optimistic

mind,you can do anything. “Never give up”

is what I tell students when I participate

in ‘career day’at various Bay Area schools.

The Giants have been very-very good to me since 1995. Guys like Pat Gallagher and

Mario Alioto believe in the Hispanic market.

So, of course I like to see the Giants have

much success, but that doesn’t mean I don’t

like to see the A’s have success also. Let’s

face it folks. Giants and A’S are going to

be here and in the famous words of that

L.A poet Rodney King “Can we all get along?

My wife says, when I am in doubt, to look

at my 3 World Series rings. Hey, that is

three more than the greatest player of

this generation….Barry Bonds.


Amaury Pi-González is on his eight season

as Spanish Voice of the SF Giants over

KZSF 1370 AM Radio La Caliente. Also

worked for the A’S for 17 seasons.

Works with LBC Network (radio)covering

MLB Postseason for the US and Latinamerica

as well as for Fox Sports International

during the past two years as he handle

English Play by Play of the Caribbean

World Series.

Vice President of the Hispanic Heritage

Baseball Museum, a non-profit organization

founded in San Francisco in 1999, who

will have an exhibit at the Oakland Coliseum

this September 21.

Also on as well

as other bilingual pulbications accross the

country. Amaury’s biography was selected

to appear on the prestigious Marquis Who’s

Who in America 2003 Edition.


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