Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

November 21, 2006 > Fremont resident nominated for Baseball Hall of Fame

Fremont resident nominated for Baseball Hall of Fame

by Biff Jones

Even as a boy in Cuba, Amaury Pi-Gonzalez would imitate his idol, Cuban baseball announcer, Felo Ramirez. Pi-Gonzalez’ mother recalled how he would turn a broom upside down and pretend it was a microphone. The boy, whose last name combines those of his mother and father, immigrated to Florida in 1961 to attend University of Miami. He began his broadcasting career on Miami’s WFAB Radio.

In 1977, Pi-Gonzalez became the play-by-play announcer for the Spanish Language Network of the Oakland A’s. He and Gail, his wife of almost 30 years settled in Fremont in 1979. Pi-Gonzalez continued for seventeen years with the A’s before becoming the Spanish play-by-play announcer for the San Francisco Giants. After twelve years of full-time work with the Giants, he began splitting his time with the Seattle Mariners and the Giants.

For the past three seasons, Pi-Gonzales has commuted from his Fremont home to Seattle where he works all of the Mariners’ home games (81) for their Spanish Radio Network. When the Mariners have an extended home stand, Gail accompanies him to the Emerald City. When the Mariners are on the road, Pi-Gonzales broadcasts Giants games for Spanish Radio Network, Univision Radio, KLOK 1170 AM. There he joins Erwin Higueros and former Giant’s second baseman, Tito Fuentes, who together work about sixty Giants games for KLOK.

During this past baseball season, Pi-Gonzales broadcast the American League Divisional Series between the A’s and Minnesota Twins for XC Satellite Espanol Radio.  He has done World Series games, Super Bowls, boxing (once interviewing former Cuban Olympic Heavyweight Champion, Teofilo Stevenson), the Caribbean World Series for Fox Sports Television International in English and the 1994 World Cup. At the World Cup he interviewed Brazilian Stars Romario and Bebeto and former world great, Pele.

In 1998 Pi-Gonzales had a lifetime dream come true when he shared the microphone with his childhood idol, Felo Ramirez, for ESPN Spanish Network covering the National League Championship Series between the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds. Pi-Gonzales also broadcast the “subway World Series” between the Yankees and Mets for Latino Broadcasting Corporation. Latino Broadcasting was later purchased by ESPN.

Pi-Gonzales writes a column for San Francisco-based Spanish language weekly newspaper, El Bohemio News. He also serves on the board of directors and as vice-president of the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum. From 1990 to 1994 he was a sports anchor for San Jose based Telemundo Channel 48, and worked for San Francisco-based Univision Channel 14. He was inducted into the Cuban Professional Sports Hall of Fame as a broadcaster in 2004.

This is the third time Pi-Gonzales has been nominated for the Ford C. Frick Broadcasters Award of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Prior to 2004, each major league team would nominate one person a year to be considered for the Frick Award. Now, fans select three of the 10 finalists by online voting.

Local fans can support Pi-Gonzales’ nomination throughout November, by going to www.baseballhalloffame.com. Follow links and instructions for Frick Award Voting. This year there are 194 nominees for the award including several current or former Bay Area baseball broadcasters. Each person may submit one ballot a day through the month of November. At the end of the month, the top three vote getters, as determined by the fans, will join seven other candidates selected by a Hall of Fame staff research team. The winner, announced on December 6, will be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame next summer.

 
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