San Francisco, Calif. - The Giants family and Bay Area sports community lost a true gentleman this morning when Hall of Fame broadcaster Lon Simmons peacefully passed away at the age of 91.
"Like many fans, my earliest Giants memories were listening to Lon and Russ on my transistor radio," said Giants President and CEO Larry Baer. "Hearing his broadcasts ignited my and thousands of others' passion for Giants baseball. He will be deeply missed by all of us."
To Giants fans everywhere, his voice was synonymous with Giants baseball for five decades. Best known for his booming baritone voice, encyclopedic sports knowledge, flair for the dramatic and self-deprecating sense of humor, Lon was the link between generations of Bay Area sports fans and their hometown teams. He was a legend among Giants fans, whose career with the team spanned five decades - beginning when he joined Russ Hodges in the broadcast booth during the team's first season in San Francisco in 1958. Simmons and Hodges worked together for 13 years.
In 1973, Simmons retired temporarily and then returned to the Giants in 1976 for three more years. He then moved across the bay to Oakland, where he teamed with Bill King and Ray Fosse to broadcast Athletics games from 1981-95. In 1996, he returned to the Giants broadcast team again, working a partial schedule, until his retirement after the 2002 season. In recent years he was a community ambassador for the Giants, visiting San Francisco on selected homestands as well as during the offseason and Scottsdale for Spring Training.
Simmons broadcast the pennant-winning Giants team of 1962 and he counted as his biggest thrills calling the 600th home run of Willie Mays and the dramatic home run that marked the return of Willie McCovey to San Francisco in 1977. For those and many other home runs, Simmons gave his trademark call of "tell it goodbye!"
Lon was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in the summer of 2004 as the Ford C. Frick award winner.
Lon will be deeply missed by the entire Giants family and our thoughts and prayers are with his daughters Robin, Cindy, Lisa and Kelsey.
Per Lon's request, no services are planned.