Lon SimmonsThe 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. The club invites fans to please share your memories and condolences in the comments below.

“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.

Please leave your thoughts below.

151 Comments

Growing up in Palo Alto in the early 60’s we didn’t have the media resources like we have now. As a matter of fact, the only time we saw the Giants on TV were the 9 games a year they played at Dodger Stadium (if I was good I got to stay up a little late to see the night games). Our only real connection to the team was the morning Chronicle and the radio with the magical voices of Lon Simmons and Russ Hodges.

Oh how I remember so vividly being 10 years old and thanks to those two feeling like I was at the game in person. I would just close my eyes, and there I was. Baseball was never so exciting. Thank you Lon for giving me a special part of my childhood and what is now my lifelong love of the Giants.

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Now heaven can enjoy the Giants games…RIP Lon and thank you!

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Joey G. White….. I have been ‘Rootin’ for the Giants since way back in 1952, even before they came to S.F. As a ‘native’, born & raised in San Francisco, I remember listening to Russ Hodges broadcasts of the ‘SF Seals’ games from Kezar Stadium. After graduation from High School [Bishop Riordan-1957] I joined the Marine Corps. When I returned from ‘my service’, there was Lon Simmons calling the ‘Play by Play’, for my beloved Giants. Very fond memories from those days! R.I.P Lon

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He was, quite simply, the voice of my childhood.

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Growing up in the late ’70s and early 80’s, all I remember hearing on KNBR was Hank Greenwald. He was the Giants to me. So when Lon came back to the a Giants in ’96, the first broadcast I caught was against the Cardinals and one of the Benes brothers was pitching. Pretty sure it was the June 9th game at the Stick in checking BaseballReference.com. I missed the first few innings so when I tuned in here was this new yet not new Lon on the call. Somehow, Lon mentioned Benes’ name again and again and again without saying which one, Andy or Allen, was pitching and I was dying to know who he was talking about. I couldn’t believe this “new” announcer wouldn’t tell me, err, us fans which Benes was pitching. Finally, late in the game a Giant hit a home run and that’s when I heard my first “Tell it Goodbye” call and that’s all that needed to be said. Perfect. I was a fan from that point on and really appreciated Lon’s broadcasting so much that it was bittersweet to see him retire but a joy to hear his final seasons. A great announcer and one who got a lot of votes from me for the Ford C. Frick award. Really would have enjoyed his early broadcasts. Almost fitting that Lon’s “last call” ends as another Season of calls begins…the joy of a new season is perfect medicine to help with the loss of a treasured HOF Giant.

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I was saddened by the news today that we have lost a true gentleman and a baseball announcing legend. I had the pleasure of meeting Lon in 2012 at a Giants’ event and asked if I could get my picture with him. He said he’d stand and I told him it was okay because I am short, so he could stay seating. Instead, he stood up and started singing “You Make Me Feel So Young” to me. So sweet. And a memory I will never forget! There doesn’t seem to be a way to attaché the photo here to share, but I will always treasure it! Rest In Peace to a true gentleman!

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I’m 7, the Giants are new to SF. My Dad is teaching me the game, catch in the backyard and just starting little league. I was glued to the radio listening to Lon Simmons and remember the TV games against the Dodgers. Lon Simmons and his partner Russ Hodges created a love in me for the game, and love for the Giants. I still have that love! Thanks Lon for describing the action, thanks for making it easy to cheer the Giants on. RIP to you, prayers to your family

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Ron-you were a true gentleman and a passionate broadcaster-may you rest in peace.

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Lon Simmons (and Russ Hodges) was Giants baseball The word pictures that were painted made me feel like I was there in person Later when Giants were on TV I had to turn the volume down on TV and up on the radio because I couldn’t follow what was going on unless they were telling me what was happening

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I moved to the Bay Area in 1964, and I was immediately a fan. He was a great broadcaster and a real gentleman. I took my youngest son to a banquet to help raise $ for the San Jose Giants players who have the unfortunate blessing of playing minor league ball in one of the most expensive areas in the country. After the speeches and dinner, I brought my son up to meet him. He was so engaging and friendly to my son. He treated him as if he were the celebrity. I am not afraid to admit that I cried a little when I heard the news. The world of baseball lost a genuine all star today.

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I first started to listen to Lon Simmons broadcast all the way back in 1962 when he partnered with Russ Hodges. That is one of the best broadcasting duo in Bay Area sports history. Then I started to listen to him do 49er games a year later. It was so much fun to listen to him for so many years with his quick humor and with his famous “Tell it good bye” call when a Giant would hit a home run. He will be sorely missed. RIP Lon.

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The Bay Area has been incredibly blessed to have had so many outstanding sports broadcasters. Lon was so fun and such a pro that no one will ever duplicate his unique talent. He was a fan of the game and was the one guy I would want to have had a beer or two with. Such a self-effacing man of the people. He will never be forgotten. Thanks for the company, Mr. Simmons.

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Brings back a lot of old memories of car rides with me and my father,some of the only good memories I have of him.

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Since 1962 I listend to Lon and Russ. Lon set the bar high for baseball broadcasters, and few have reached those heights IMHO. RIP my radio friend. I enjoyed every moment listening to you.

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Thank you, Lon for telling the stories that tied families and friends together with the Giants (and 49ers). I can recall my father and grandmother discussing you along with Mays, Marichal, and McCovey. I’m sure you’ll soon be with your fans again. Rest in peace.

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I learned as much about baseball from Lon as I did from my dad. I remember watching channel 2 when they televised Giant-Dodger games in the 50’s & 60’s (the only Giants’ games they televised in the Bay Area at the time, I believe). They showed Lon standing next to Russ Hodges, who had to stand on a crate because he was so much shorter than Lon. It was hilarious! Lon was a story teller and I assumed that all baseball announcers were like that. When I heard other announcers on different channels, I was amazed at how boring they sounded. Hank Greenwald, Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper all have followed in Lon’s footsteps and we in the Bay Area have been blessed with the greatest baseball announcers in the country. Lon’s voice was distinctive and the sound was comforting, especially during the years the team wasn’t doing well. My daughter called me with the news today and it was as though she was delivering the news about a dear friend or family member. She remembers me telling her about Lon and she knew this news would break my heart. My condolences to Lon’s daughters. Fans have lost a great friend, but his daughters have lost their dad. They are in my prayers tonight.

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I was fortunate to know Lon while working with him and Bill King on some Oakland A’s radio broadcasts as a stats and scoreboard keeper. A humble and very gracious man with a self effacing and wry sense of humor.

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Lon was the voice of summer for me growing up in the Bay Area! My Dad would put his radio outside while mowing the lawn with his old push mower! I’d listen to Lon call the game and follow my Dad around the lawn! The A’s were not even here then, so the Giants were the only game in town! I still love the Giants.

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Simply one of the best. I feel like a little piece of my life passed away with Lon.
Makes me grateful for the quality of the Giants organization and all of our broadcasting crew.
He was family.
Joe Greenwood.

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I learned the game of baseball from Lon — and for that I am deeply grateful. I also learned football from the man when baseball was over and I realized I needed a “Lonnie fix”. I became a true Giants fan listening to him (and a shout-out to Al Michaels too) during those awful seasons that were the mid-to-late 70’s; that was the power of his talent, charm, and wit. Aloha, dear Lonnie, you are loved my many.

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Hello,
I am saddened to hear of your loss.
Relieved to hear his passing was peaceful.
My Mom is 90 years old and she knew exactly who Mr. Simmons was when I told her the sad news. My Mom’s memory isn’t always on target but she remembered who Mr. Simmons was. I just wanted to let you know.
God bless him and your family ❤

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SF Giants fans have been fortunate to hear Giants games described by some of the best announcers in baseball and Lon Simmons was the greatest of them all. I was born the year the Giants moved to SF and some of my first, fondest memories are of listening to Lon Simmons expertly calling Giants games on KSFO. His descriptions were so vivid I could practically see the game and he had an uncanny sense of knowing when not to talk and just allow listeners to hear the noise of the crowd. I grew to also appreciate his subtle, incisive sense of humor and his deep affection for the fans, players, the city of SF, and baseball. Although I have admired many Giants announcers over the years including Russ Hodges, Hank Greenwald, Gary Park, Tito Fuentes, Jon Miller, Dave Flemming, and Krukow & Kuiper, I’m sure they won’t mind if I say my heart belongs first and foremost to Lon. He will always be beloved by Giants fans.

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A man of great integrity.

Russ Hodges greeted a Giants home run by saying, “It’s bye, bye baby.” It quickly became such a part of the Giants the old Giants theme song, “When the Giants Come to Town,”
was written around it.

Yet when Russ retired, Lon refused to use it. Enter “You can tell it goodbye …”

We were so, so lucky to have Lon at the mike.

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I grew up in the Bay Area. My dad and Lon were first cousins but a spread in age between the two so they didn’t grow up together or anything. I always remember if he was announcing a game it was a huge deal to my dad. If we were in the car and my dad heard Lon calling a game, my dad would get all animated and shush everybody in the car and say listen Lon’s on the radio. I learned quick to recognize that iconic voice and always enjoyed hearing him on the radio. Sadly I never got the chance to meet him, so I envy those of you that did. Lon, you will be missed!

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Lon and Russ with the Giants, Lon and Bill with the A’s and Lon and whoever with the NINERS. The true voice of Bay Area sports. The best. Going to Giants games in the 60’s and early 70’s, the Niner games, and the A’s game always had me bringing my radio to the games just to hear those teams broadcasts. Lon made it interesting and entertaining whether you were at the stadium watching or in the garage working on the car. You will be missed, but, we still have you on tape to continue to hear that special voice….you may “Tell it goodbye”…. But you will always be in ” our hearts” Thanks Lon for all the memories!

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I learned about the SF Giants and more from Lon Simmons! Aloha in paradise….

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Lon SImmons was a major part of the summertime soundtrack all though my childhood in the ’60s, when my mother & I would tune in the radio to listen to Giants games every afternoon (they were almost all day games then), while we did chores around the house or in the garden.
I grew up with his wonderful voice, calling ’em as he saw ’em, and when the Willies, Bobby Bonds or Orlando hit one out of the yard, “you can TELL IT GOODBYE!” Unforgettable.
Thank you for the memories, Lon, & may you rest in peace. See you in that Giants broadcast booth in the sky!

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The best baseball education ever!! I prefer baseball on the radio because I can “see” the game play out in my mind – and anticipate what “might” happen next – thanks to Lon Simmons, one of the best.

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If I can’t see it live, I prefer baseball on the radio. Lon Simmons and Bill King are the reason why. Growing up in Gilroy, CA in the eighties, Lon was there all summer long during the days and nights I wasn’t on the field playing, swimming in the pool or lying in bed. Now, 25 years later, I realize that it wasn’t just baseball that Lon taught me. It was life. His comedic timing, dry wit, and overall ability to exude life as it passes during our human experience is unsurpassed. Even in his old age, he never lost this sense. So sad that he has passed, but what better day to arrive in Heaven than Easter Sunday. Thoughts and prayers to his family and those close to him. What a wonderful life he lived. Thank you for the opportunity to tell him goodbye.

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forever in my heart

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Loved hearing Lon Simmons call Giants baseball on the radio growing up. Love hearing it on the radio to this day, but no one holds a candle to the master. RIP

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Lon’s voice will remain in my head with so many childhood memories. I’m Sad he’s gone…

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You were part of my family for decades through the magic of radio. Tonight I feel as though a family member has passed away. Thank you to your family for sharing you will us. Rest in Peace

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Listening to you meant everything in the world was right. I can’t tell you how much I’ll miss you and that Hall of Fame voice.

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hm. A little piece of my childhood is missing. “And you can tell it goodbye!” The memories of listening to the Giants on the radio with my Dad seems like just yesterday. Lon was one of a kind. His voice was so unique. A true gentleman and Giant. You will be missed !!!

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I must have spent 3 or 4 thousand listening to Lon do Giants games. What a wonderful voice and what a great warm sense of humor.

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he was such a big part of my childhood I guess I’m a little less a child today. Rest in peace Lon Simmons. So glad I got to meet and spend time with you and your lovely daughter last summer while talking to you I felt like I knew you forever…wait! I did know you forever!

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RIP Lon…”what a story it will make!”

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Goodbye Lon.

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Lon represented (along with russ hodges) my fondest memories of my childhhod with my dad…..my heart is broken thinking we will never hear that deep, funny, reassuring voice again….a class act for decades…..

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In Memory of Lon he was so kind and a great man. I use to wear my original Giants uniforms to the games the only issue was the top was from one player and pants from another player how we got into this conversation was me walking by and he said wait hold on and then I told him who the uniforms were from and how I got them and it just went from there he teased me often about it when he was there. He had a voice you could recognize anywhere. I will always remember him as the sound of the Giants baseball games and if you were not a Giants fan you were made into a fan if he had anything to say about it. RIP Prayers for you and your family and friends and all the Giants Fans out there because if you were a fan of the Giants you were also a fan of Lon.

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Grew up in San Rafael listening to Russ and Lon on my green transistor radio-frequency times under the pillow so I could hear the end of the game. Best memories were the many “Bye bye babies” and a game that was dedicated to me by Lon in September 1964 when I was just 11 years old and had a concussion and had to stay home from school for 6 weeks. Used your haven season tickets to all the Giants and Dodgers games at the Stick and would listen on KSFO. Aldo appreciated his Niners announcing . Thanks for the memories-

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I will always remember listening to Lon with my Dad in the great 60’s.When I was five my father and I saw Lon and Russ at a radio station soft ball game.Lon and John Brodie in the back page ad of the 49ers program playing ping pong.And meeting him at the first home opener at Pac Bell park..From the Langley’s…We love you Lon ..Rest in peace..

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Rest in Peace, Lon. It was a pleasure to listen to your voice on the radio, your calls, and your stories. In the pantheon of baseball voices, you are at the height of heights.

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My fondest memory of Lon was when he was calling a Forty Niners game in the mid-70’s, the dark ages before Bill Walsh, and the Niners were getting badly beaten, as seemed to always be the case in those days, and after falling far behind at the end of the first half Lon’s call was, “and it’s the Rams 21, and the Forty Niners are just about to take the field”. He was the voice of my youth and he’ll be terribly missed. My condolences to his family. Fair winds and calm seas Lon.

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Lon and Russ are part of the reason I became a lifelong Giants fan. Rest in Peace Mr. Simmons–you will be missed.

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Let’s face it. Lon made Giants fans out of many of us. He was our main tie to our team. I’ll never forget the year he spent doing Giants play by play with Al Michaels…what a comedic treat every day. All I can say is Thank You Lon. Enjoy your reunion with your buddies Russ Hodges and Bill Thompson.

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My earliest memories of baseball was of Lon calling the game I was hooked for life. Thanks Lon I hope you are enjoying calling the game for the good Lord.

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Another legend…how fondly I remember baseball with my Dad and Long, who he thought was tops! And he was right! Sweet peace on the journey, Lon. And comfort to your family and friends.

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Lived north of Seattle and on a good night when the signal was strong. Would listen to Lon and the Giants on KFBK 1540 Sacramento. In the 70’s my dad took me to San Francisco to see the Giants. It was beyond priceless. To finally see my team. One game we sat behind home plate I was wearing my Mays jersey. Lon walked by and said. Sorry kid he doesn’t play here anymore. They traded him to the mets. I could tell that voice anywhere. Thank you Lon RIP

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