Holy Toledo! It's Bill King's time for the Hall

For the second straight season, Oakland A's fans will have a chance to make their voices heard and show their appreciation for a man who has, over the past 24 years, defined Oakland A's baseball with his unending baseball knowledge and his unlimited batch of self-effacing wisecracks. From now until December 1, fans will have the opportunity to vote on-line for the Ford C. Frick award. The Chattering Fool explains why A's fans everywhere should stuff the ballot for Mr. King...

There was a time before Bill King in Oakland A's history. It is hard to believe but during the A's first 12 years in the East Bay, King wasn't behind the microphone during A's games. He hasn't missed much since that time. Through good times (eight playoff appearances, record-breaking winning streaks, numerous tremendous personal achievements) and bad times (bad stretches in the middle of the 80s and 90s), King's melodious voice has narrated the A's fortunes.

King is a dying breed amongst baseball announcers. He is a true professional who knows the history of the game and doesn't fall into the trap of relying on kitschy catch phrases and blatant homerism. King, who isn't afraid to use words with more than one syllable, is a real student of history, and not just baseball history. While listening to a Bill King broadcast, you are bound to learn a little bit of World War II lore or find out about the latest opera while also learning about the nuances of Dave Stewart's forkball at the same time.

Like many great athletes, Bill King has the uncanny ability to make everyone around him in the broadcast booth better. Both Ray Fosse and Ken Korach are fine announcers, but neither of them are as good when they are announcing a game without Bill King. King sets a rhythm to the broadcasts that few announcers are able to duplicate. If a game is exciting, he will allow the game to take control of the broadcast. However, if a game drags, King uses his humor and knowledge of the world to keep the broadcast interesting.

A's fans have been fortunate to have a history of great announcers, including Monte Moore and Lon Simmons. Yet Bill King is arguably the best in franchise history. He deserves to have the rest of the country know what Bay Area residents have known since King arrived on the Bay Area sports scene in 1958: that Bill King is one of the greatest sports broadcasters of all-time. I encourage all of the Oakland A's nation to vote for King early and often.

To vote for Bill King for the Hall of Fame, go to the National Baseball Hall of Fame website. You can vote once a day every day until December 1.

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