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June 18, 2010 > Local pioneer nominated for big-time award

Local pioneer nominated for big-time award

By Jeff Weisinger

Despite being born in a place where baseball is king, Amaury Pi-Gonzalez is more than just a baseball announcer.

The humble Fremont resident is the Spanish radio announcer for the Oakland Athletics, and, most recently had the honor of calling Dallas Braden's perfect game back on Mother's Day, where the A's beat Tampa Bay 4-0.

"It was a unique and almost out-of-body experience," Pi-Gonzalez said. "There's nothing close to a perfect game in baseball."

Yet, calling Braden's perfect game may not come as close to what could to happen to him on September 25 when he may be inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame.

Pi-Gonzalez is nominated for the induction along with legendary long-time Giants announcer, and Bay Area native, Jon Miller, who also calls games on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, A's English announcer Ken Korach, Gary Radnich, Steve Bitker, Ken Dito and Hal Ramney.

"It's rewarding to see that my work has paid off," Pi-Gonzalez added. "Just to be mentioned with these people means a lot."

Pi-Gonzalez has been in the business for over 30 years, and has called games for the A's, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins and the Golden State Warriors. He has also called other big games like the 1988 World Series when the A's lost to the Dodgers, and the classic 2002 World Series when the Giants lost to the Anaheim Angels.

"I think I've done my job as best as I can," he said. "If you hang around long enough, this'll happen."

He got his start in sports journalism as a writer for a weekly paper called "La Voz" in Newark, N.J., in 1968, where he wrote obituaries, columns and social interviews. He got his start in sports shortly after, where he covered the Yankees and the New York Mets. He interviewed such players as Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle while in the East Coast.

After moving to the Bay Area in 1969, he found a job writing for another weekly paper called El Mundo, where he covered the Oakland A's.

Pi-Gonzalez got his start in radio with KBRG FM 104.5 shortly after that, and has done radio ever since. He is one of just three Spanish announcers in the majors; Marlins Spanish announcer Jaime Jarrin and Rafael Ramirez of the Dodgers being the other two.

Pi-Gonzalez is also the first Spanish announcer to be nominated for the BARHOF, and was also nominated for a spot in Cooperstown in each of the last three years.

"Makes me very proud to be nominated," Pi-Gonzalez mentioned.

The baseball fan from Cuba who originally wanted to be an architect, built his dream, and soon, we may all see his name not just in the BARHOF, but also in Cooperstown.

To vote for Amaury Pi-Gonzalez, visit Voting ends on July 18.

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