Due to popular demand, tomorrow's book-signing session of Ken Korach's new book, Holy Toledo - Lessons from Bill King: Renaissance Man of the Mic, prior to the A's-Astros game at O.co Coliseum, has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a future date during the team's final homestand Sept. 16-22.
Korach, voice of the Oakland A's since 2006 and King's broadcast partner from 1996 through 2005, held pre-game signing events at the Coliseum last night and today, exhausting the early supply of 1,000 books. In addition, Holy Toledo has been the top-selling baseball book on Amaon.com for the past full week. The book, which is also available at select Bay Area book stores, sells for $18.90 in paperback and $9.99 in digital form.
Korach's first book store appearance will be at Books Inc. in Alameda at 5 p.m. later today after the A's game. The store is located at 1344 Park Street in Alameda.
King, an unmatched figure in Bay Area sports and media history, was the long-time voice of the A's, Warriors and Raiders.
His remarkable story was told by Korach, who drew on a lifetime of listening to and learning from King, as well as doing extensive research which included more than 50 interviews with King's family members, colleagues, friends and associates, to create a rich portrait of the man whose passion, precision and style were legendary. Many of those interviewed considered King-who passed away Oct. 18, 2005-to be the greatest radio sports broadcaster ever heard.
Holy Toledo features a moving foreword by Hall of Fame broadcaster Jon Miller and a brilliant cover by Mark Ulriksen, internationally recognized for his New Yorker magazine illustrations, that captures the flair and personality that made King an utter original. Korach's work brings to life the great calls that will never be forgotten-"Holy Roller," "Sea of Hands," "Mother's Day," Rickey Henderson's record-breaking 939th stolen bases, the streak-extending Scott Hatteberg home run immortalized in the film, "Moneyball," and more.
The book also tells the story of Bill King, the student of Russian literature, the passionate sailor, the voracious and quirky epicurean and the remarkable painter (with a beautiful back-cover reproduction of one of King's Impressionist-inspired works).
Holy Toledo takes readers to King's early days as a minor-league broadcaster, encountering the likes of Casey Stengel, Stan Musial and Bill Dickey, and to the jazz, food, wine and conversation-filled late nights in San Francisco and Sausalito with such Warriors' luminaries as broadcasting partner Hank Greenwald, team owner Franklin Mieuli and All-Star forward Tom Meschery-and maybe an occasional visit from Wilt Chamberlain, pulling up in his lavender Bentley. The book also tells the stories behind King's great days with the Warriors, A's and Raiders, like when Al Davis first spotted the bronzed, shirtless and shoeless King on the sideline at training camp and asked: "Who is this scrawny little guy and what can he possibly know about football?"
Korach's beautifully-written account presents a persuasive case for King, with expert analysis and input, on the eve of the selection process for the annual Ford C. Frick Award by the Baseball Hall of Fame. King has been a finalist for the Hall's top broadcasting award on several occasions.
Following his death at age 78, the A's permanently named their Coliseum broadcast facilities the "Bill King Broadcast Booth" after the team's revered former voice-a voice like no other.