Legendary Giants Broadcaster Lon Simmons Passes Away
Famed Bay Area sports broadcaster Lon Simmons, whose radio work for the Giants spanned five decades and 27 seasons, passed away on Sunday at the age of 91.
Simmons’ signature voice first hit the local airwaves calling games for the 49ers in 1957 and the Giants in ’58—the organization’s first season in San Francisco. His final commentary came as a special guest announcer for select Giants games during the team’s 2006 campaign. In between, Simmons crafted an unforgettable legacy behind the mic, narrating the action alongside partner Russ Hodges and sending off home runs with his trademark “Tell it goodbye!” call.
“Like many fans, my earliest Giants memories were listening to Lon and Russ on my transistor radio,” said Giants president and CEO Larry Baer in a statement released by the team. “Hearing his broadcasts ignited my and thousands of others’ passion for Giants baseball. He will be deeply missed by all of us.”
Simmons initially parted ways with the Giants in 1973 before returning in the late-’70s and then again from 1996-2002 to join the broadcast crew on a part-time basis.
Not long after his retirement, he was given the Baseball Hall of Fame’s top broadcasting honor, the Ford C. Frick Award (2004), and inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame (2006).
Needless to say, Giants fans everywhere are mourning this loss. Though, per Simmons’ wishes, no funeral services are planned, it would not be surprising to see the front office put together a tribute for the team’s home opener on April 13.