Lon Simmons is a former baseball and football broadcaster. His
radio career began in Elko, Nevada, and he first announced baseball for a
semipro league in Marysville, California. After a brief stint with the
Fresno Sun Sox of the California League, Simmons came to San Francisco in
1957 as the play-by-play announcer for the San Francisco 49ers of the
National Football League, a post he held through the 1980 season.
Simmons also broadcast games for the San
Francisco Giants after they moved west in 1958, continuing until 1973.
He returned in 1976 for three more years, before moving across the bay to
call games for the Oakland
Athletics from 1981 through 1995. From 1996 to 2002, he called Giants
games part time.
During Simmons' 24-year tenure as 49ers play-by-play announcer, the
team never won a championship, though two years after his departure the
team began a run of Super Bowl victories. Likewise, during Simmons'
initial sixteen years with the Giants, the team never won a World Series.
And, with both teams, his termination as play-by-play broadcaster was due
to the respective team changing radio stations, with the new station
wanting "its own man" to become lead announcer.
For those reasons, at the start of the ninth inning of Game Four of the
1989 World Series Athletics' lead announcer Bill King, scheduled to
announce the final inning's play-by-play, instead deferred to Simmons, who
was thus able to announce to his radio audience three batters later that
the A's had won the World Series.
Simmons received the 2004 Ford
C. Frick Award, given annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame
to a broadcaster. His trademark call for home runs was, "You can tell
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