A's broadcast legend King up for Frick Award

A's broadcast legend King up for Frick Award

A's broadcast legend King up for Frick Award
Deemed by one colleague as "the greatest sportscaster this country has ever produced," and by another as "the Tony Bennett of broadcasters," the late Bill King surely touched many as a treasured voice of the Bay Area.

"The depth of knowledge, the passion, the crisp description, the attention to detail, the command of language -- Bill was a master, like Mozart or a Rembrandt behind a microphone," said Ken Korach, the current voice of A's baseball.

Before King's passing at the age of 78, the revered voice broadcasted A's games for 25 seasons, beginning with the "Billy Ball" era, continuing with the "Bash Brothers" days -- which included three consecutive A's World Series appearances -- and concluding with the Big Three years that resulted in the infamous 20-game win streak and four straight playoff runs in the early 2000s.

King's work during those times, which promptly brought about several exclamations of his trademark phrase, "Holy Toledo," has earned him a nomination for the Ford C. Frick Award yet again.

Presented annually since 1978 for excellence in baseball broadcasting, the honor is given to an active or retired broadcaster with a minimum of 10 years of continuous Major League broadcast service.

With voting beginning Thursday for the award, King's supporters can now cast their online ballot for the on-air wizard at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's Facebook site through the month of September.

There are 75 candidates listed on the ballot this year, as selected by the Hall of Fame, with two representing each big league team, along with 15 at-large selections. Ray Fosse, who is celebrating his 26th consecutive season as an A's TV and radio analyst, joins King on the ballot.

The top three fan selections from votes tallied at the Facebook site will appear on the final 10-name ballot, from which a 20-member electorate will select the winner, to be announced at the Winter Meetings in Dallas on Dec. 6.

"I've voted Bill No. 1 on every ballot I've had," said Lon Simmons, King's longtime broadcasting partner. "When you think of play-by-play, you have to think of Bill King as one of the best there ever was. He certainly has all of the qualifications."

Following his death, King won the online national voting process by landslide margins in both 2005 and '06, yet he was still not selected by the committee. Fans have until 2 p.m. PT on Sept. 30 to help King finally secure the deserving honor.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.