2017 Ford C. Frick Award Winner Bill King

Part of the FORD C. FRICK AWARD series

It had been more than a decade since Bay Area legend Bill King passed away. But when it was announced on Dec. 7, 2016, that King had been named the 2017 Ford C. Frick Award winner, his former colleagues recalled King’s wit and wisdom as if he was in the booth yesterday.

King broadcast Oakland A’s games for 25 years from 1981 to 2005 before passing away in October 2005, and also simultaneously called games for the NBA’s Warriors and the NFL’s Raiders.

King became the 41st winner of the Frick Award.

After launching his sportscasting career broadcasting minor league baseball, King spent five decades describing many of the most historical moments in Bay Area sports with his work with the San Francisco/Golden State Warriors, the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders and the A’s.

“I’ve heard from so many people and it just speaks to Bill and the impact that he made,” said A's broadcaster Ken Korach, who authored "Holy Toledo: Lessons from Bill King, Renaissance Man of the Mic" in 2015. “This is a man who just meant so much to A’s fans and to fans of the Bay Area in general when you think about the Raiders and the Warriors, too. If you want to define a Frick Award recipient, I think you have to start with how that person impacted the fan base – and the fans of the A’s had so much love and admiration for Bill.

“There was an authenticity to Bill that I think really was something that was a quality that endeared him to people in the Bay Area. He was a very unique guy. He was his own man. He danced to his own drummer and that’s one of the reasons he was so great on the air because a lot of what Bill said came from this great passion that he had for being on the air and broadcasting. What you got from Bill was the real thing.”

A's broadcaster Ray Fosse said King was always humble about his accomplishments.

“He did not want anybody to think anything other than he was a broadcaster and he did his job. I don’t know if he’d really enjoy the accolades,” Fosse said. “Though it’s unfortunate he can’t be here to enjoy it, knowing Bill he probably would have said he didn’t deserve it. But I think deep down he believed he deserved it.”

King passed away on Oct. 18, 2005.

There was an authenticity to Bill that I think really was something that was a quality that endeared him to people in the Bay Area. He was a very unique guy. He was his own man. What you got from Bill was the real thing.

Oakland A's broadcaster Ken Korach, on Bill King

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Part of the FORD C. FRICK AWARD series