12 Facts About Bill King

1. Bill King was born in Bloomington, Illinois and was stationed on the island of Guam at the end of World War II when he began his broadcasting career with the Armed Forces Radio Network, converting play-by-play accounts of games as they came in over the wire and broadcasting them in a manner that made it sound as if he were actually at the game.

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2. Bill King moved to the Bay Area in 1958, when the San Francisco Giants hired him as an announcer.

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3. Bill King was not shy about disagreeing with the referee's calls during the course of his play-by-play work, and was a notorious ref-baiter.

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4. In 1966, while continuing to call Warrior games, Bill King was hired as the play-by-play announcer for the Oakland Raiders, then of the American Football League, a post he held until after the 1992 season.

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5. Bill King was there during the "Billyball" and "Bash Brothers" eras, as well as the Moneyball era of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

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6. Bill King is without a doubt the best radio play-by-play announcer I have heard in all of sports.

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7. Bill King lived in Sausalito, California, and would often go on long sailing trips in the baseball off-season on his ketch, Varuna.

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8. Bill King referred a grinning John Madden as a "slit watermelon" as a complement when Raiders won the Super Bowl in 1977 with Madden as a coach.

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9. Bill King died of a pulmonary embolus in San Leandro, California, on October 18, 2005 at the age of 78.

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10. On November 1, 2005, in conjunction with the Oakland A's, Golden State Warriors, and Oakland Raiders, a private ceremony celebrating the life of Bill King was attended by family, friends, and the media at The Arena in Oakland.

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11. Bill King said it was his dream to have a sold-out stadium seating 1 to 2 million Raider fans, all listening to the voice of Bill King.

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12. Bill King is one of only two people ever awarded both a World Series ring and a Super Bowl ring.

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