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Elephant Rumblings: Bill King elected to NSMA Hall of Fame

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Cleveland Indians v Oakland Athletics Photo by Michael Zagaris /MLB Photos via Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

The news has been a real bummer lately, whether you’re following just the Oakland A’s, or MLB in general, or just the world overall. To illustrate that point, the current Athletics Nation front page covers the following topics, in this order:

  • White Sox signed our closer
  • A different small-market team dumped their franchise star in an analogy of what we’re afraid our team will do
  • Another Hall of Famer died
  • Tigers signed our left fielder
  • Hey did you remember there’s a pandemic going on?

Let’s break out of those doldrums with a little sliver of happy news.

On Monday, the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) announced its new Hall of Fame class for 2020, and one of the names on the list is former Oakland A’s broadcaster Bill King.

The NSMA Hall of Fame dates back to 1962 and boasts 120 members in total, including a record seven new inductees this year. The 2020 class will be inducted in June.

After getting his start in the MLB radio booth with the San Francisco Giants in 1958, King spent a quarter-century as the A’s play-by-play voice from 1981-2005, becoming a franchise icon along the way. His trademark phrase Holy Toledo is still emblazoned behind the CF wall at the Coliseum, lighting up after every Oakland homer.

But King didn’t just call baseball games. In addition to his work with the A’s, he also spent substantial time with the NFL’s Raiders (1966-92) and the NBA’s Warriors (1962-83), covering virtually every corner of Bay Area sports. He received both a World Series ring and a Super Bowl ring during his career, making him one of only two people ever to earn that combo (along with Bob Sheppard, longtime P.A. announcer of the Yankees and NY Giants).

King passed away in 2005, and in 2017 he was honored with the Ford C. Frick Award, the pinnacle of baseball broadcasting. Now he can add the NSMA Hall of Fame to his impressive and beloved legacy.

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