Bloom: Bill King, Claire Smith to receive well-deserved honors at Hall of Fame

From SABR member Barry M. Bloom at on December 8, 2016:

The recognition of Bill King and Claire Smith this week by the National Baseball Hall of Fame takes me back to the very beginning of my career in the 1970s.

Smith was elected as the first female recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for meritorious contributions to baseball writing, and King was named the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting. It was his sixth time on the ballot.

I broke in as a freelance writer based in San Francisco, working for newspapers and magazines all over North America. Bill was the ubiquitous and eccentric play-by-play radio broadcaster in the San Francisco Bay Area for the Warriors, Raiders and ultimately the A’s. Claire was on the sports desk at the old Philadelphia Bulletin and often edited my stories.

Bill was a voice on the radio and soon-to-be wonderful and supportive presence in the press box. Claire was a more-than-kind voice on the phone. We finally met when I was hired by the San Diego Union-Tribune to cover the Clippers and Padres, and she broke new ground by joining the Yankees’ beat for the Hartford Courant.

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Originally published: December 8, 2016. Last Updated: December 8, 2016.