OAKLAND – A’s radio announcer Ken Korach is used to working behind the microphone, but he spent the past several months in front of a keyboard writing a book about legendary play-by-play man Bill King.
“Holy Toledo: Lessons From Bill King, Renaissance Man of the Mic” will be available in paperback starting Friday. It was went on sale at amazon.com last weekend and is currently listed as the web site’s No. 1 seller among baseball books.
The book will be available for purchase at the Coliseum on Friday-Sunday. Korach will sign copies Friday from 6-6:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon-12:30 p.m., all to take place in the Bar & Grille (located in Sections 212 to 216). He’ll also sign at Books Inc. in Alameda at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
King spent a decades-long career calling A’s, Raiders and Warriors games, and his distinctive voice is synonymous with some of the greatest moments in the history of all three teams.
Korach called games alongside King from 1996-2005 and considered him a dear friend. He referred to the writing of the book as a “labor of love.”
“His history is so intertwined with the history of the Bay Area,” Korach said. “There were so many people that were so willing to share their memories of Bill, and that was the thing that was the huge motivator for me. The passion that Bill had for life, I think, was matched by the passion that people had to talk about him.”
Korach interviewed 55-60 people for the book, including John Madden, Billy Beane, Tom Flores, Al Attles and Jason Giambi. He not only goes in-depth behind some of King’s most famous calls, he paints a picture of the eclectic zest for life that King possessed.
“There’s a chapter on his eating,” Korach said with a smile. “Who would ever think of writing a chapter on someone’s eating habits? There was a chapter on his painting, because I don’t think a lot of people know that he was a great painter. He did have this diversity of interests. I wasn’t just writing about a guy that broadcast three sports.”