Former 49ers broadcaster Lon Simmons passes away


Lon Simmons, a longtime San Francisco 49ers and San Francisco Giants broadcaster, passed away Sunday morning at age 91, the Giants said.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Simmons called 49ers games from 1957 through 1980 and from 1987 through 1988. His final season with the club came as San Francisco captured Super Bowl XXIII against Cincinnati.

As the Mercury News notes, Simmons happened to be on the call when Vikings defensive lineman Jim Marshall made his infamous wrong-way dash vs. the 49ers in 1964. Marshall, thinking he was off to the races for a touchdown, instead scored a safety for San Francisco.

Simmons is also remembered for his call of Steve Young’s weaving TD run vs. Minnesota in 1988. (A hat tip to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle for pointing this out.)

Simmons was honored with the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting achievement from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004.

16 responses to “Former 49ers broadcaster Lon Simmons passes away

  1. It’s a sad day. I’ll always remember his distinctive voice and the emotion in it when he called some of the biggest plays in 49er history.

  2. Sad day here in SF. Growing up to Lon on the SF side and Bill King on the Oakland side was magical. We had it so good.

  3. Wrong way dash. Been there done that, in kindergarten playing flag football in the YMCA 40 years ago 😦

  4. Truly one of the all-time greats – not just at calling football, but baseball too for the Giants & A’s for many years. Truly a bay area institution. RIP Lon, you’ll be missed, but never forgotten.

  5. It’s nice to see ‘passes away’. For some reason it bugs me on ESPN.

    X person DEAD at age y.

  6. Wow, a sad day for any sports fan.

    I remember listening to Lon and Al Michaels calling SF Giants games in the 70’s… An amazing duo.

    Nothing like tailgating at the Stick before a 49ers game and listen to his voice carrying over the parking lot with every car tuned in to KSFO.

    God Speed Lon! Thank you for all those amazing memories.

  7. Lon was a big part of my childhood. His emotion, his wit, his insights … no one did it better. He also cost me a speeding ticket. His call of a Mike Ivie grand slam against the hated Dodgers got me so excited that I got ticketed for speeding on Hwy 5 … and the cop was a Dodgers fan, so my explanation fell on deaf ears. Worth it. Rest in peace, Lon.

  8. One of the MAIN radio voices of my sports childhood, growing up in the SF Bay Area. Born in SF, he did the 49ers games, the Giants games, he even did A’s games for a few years.

    A true legend in the broadcasting world. RIP Lon.

  9. Lon Simmons has been a huge part of my sports fan listening experience. I remember he and Russ Hodges calling the SF Giants games for many years. His signature “tell it goodbye” HR call will be in my memory forever. He doubled as one of the great voices in 49er broadcasting history. His legendary call of Steve Young’s bizarre 49 yd TD run vs the Vikes is a pure classic. As great of a broadcaster as he was, he was an even better man. RIP, Lon Simmons.

  10. RIP Lon. You will be missed. Always thought Lon & Bill King were the best Radio Football Broadcasters.

  11. Lon Simmons was the voice that was always on at the house, work, car while growing up in the bay area.

    Listening to him at Kezar, the Stick, or the Coliseum, he always painted a story picture while calling games that left you feeling as you right there with him.

    You would feel like your having a beer with your buddy watching the game, which my Dad and I did for years.

    Check You Tube for his calls, some great Giant/Dodger and 9ers, but he was the best to carry the afternoon just listening to him and his stories, possibly between his beers.

    Greatly missed and under appreciated outside of the bay area.

    My heart and thoughts to the Simmons Family.

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