Sunday, April 5, 2015

Tell Him Goodbye

This tweet from Baggs was in the feed on the sidebar.

I grew up with Lon Simmons. I remember when the Giants had Russ Hodges and Bill Thompson on the broadcast as well. KSFO, 560 AM was on a lot in my house when I was growing up, it was my mom's favorite station. Lon did the 49ers with Hugh McElhenny, too.

One of the things Lon did well was let the game speak for itself. Today's media-saturated world does not appreciate silence. There has to be noise all the time. Either the announcers never shut up or the stadium PA has music or other stuff to fill the air with sound. Baseball is a relaxed game punctuated by moments of tension. Lon had a great feel for the pace of the action, and knew when to sit back and allow the listener to enjoy the slow moments. It's a lost art. The Giants are lucky to have Miller and Flemm, they are both excellent. But neither have Lon's rich baritone or his sense of timing. Maybe with his passing they can learn some of his subtlety.

Recquiescat in pacem, Lon. Thanks for decades of entertainment!


Zo said...


JC Parsons said...

I grew up with that amazing voice as well. He was my first guide into the world of baseball and I will never forget him. Total class.
We are ridiculously lucky to have had such a quality group of announcers over the years. Kruk and Kuip are fun as hell, Flemm is OK ( actually completely interchangeable with anyone else ) but Jon Miller is by far the best announcer I have ever listened to regularly. The perfect combination of humor and baseball intelligence. You can tell that Miller listened to a lot of Simmons as well!

Ron said...

I, too, was introduced to Giants' baseball in the Hodges / Simmons / Thompson days. Growing up in the East Bay, there were 2 main reasons that I became a Giants fan instead of an A's fan: Lon Simmons, who made those lazy Summer afternoons & evenings so enjoyable, & Jim Streeter's Dad, who loved to take us across the Bay to Candlestick Park. Every opportunity to hear that guy's call was valued, no matter how bad the Giants were in some of those years. As Mark mentioned, he had a great sense of when to let the setting of the game do the talking. And, he had that endearing quality of completely losing his voice, when something fantastic was happening to the Giants. The voice would go, the crowd noise would tell you not to worry, because the Giants' runner was safe at the plate (or something like that), & several seconds later, Lon would recuperate his composure just enough to describe what had happened. Even in those seconds without Lon's description, you always knew that something positive had occurred. Knowing the Giants, there will be a special, special moment to honor him next Monday, & I will be that much more thrilled to have made the decision to be there in person.

B said...

My passion for the Giants was fueled by my friendship with the fans in the 3 previous well as others in the Bleachers at the Stick and on the softball fields with the MEDIA ALLIANCE team in the 80's.

I too appreciate the silence and pace of baseball. I so wish other broadcasters would as well.

My passion for baseball can be traced to my Mom; a Dodgers fan, and my brother who I watched play little league in a time when girls couldn't participate on the field.

The one saving grace of living in LA is Vin Scully. If I have to hear about the Dodgers, I'm glad its accompanied by his fairness when they are playing badly, his baseball wisdom and passion for his team.

M.C. O'Connor said...

BTW the Opening Day ticket I mentioned earlier is now CLAIMED!