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Bisons mourn the loss of friend, broadcasting legend, Larry King

King was to be part of ownership group had MLB granted Buffalo an expansion franchise in early ‘90s
Larry King threw out a ceremonial first pitch on Pilot Field Dedication Day, May 21, 1988.
January 23, 2021

The Buffalo Bisons organization is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of broadcasting legend and long-time supporter of professional baseball in Buffalo, Larry King. King, who died on Saturday at the age of 87, was an American icon whose celebrated broadcasting career spanned more than six decades and included

The Buffalo Bisons organization is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of broadcasting legend and long-time supporter of professional baseball in Buffalo, Larry King.

King, who died on Saturday at the age of 87, was an American icon whose celebrated broadcasting career spanned more than six decades and included two Peabody Awards, an Emmy and several Cable ACE Awards. The long-time host of _Larry King Live on CNN_, King also became very fond of Bisons baseball after visiting the newly-completed Pilot Field and was set to be part of the Bisons ownership team had they been granted a Major League Baseball expansion franchise in 1991.

“Larry was a big believer in professional baseball in Buffalo and a trusted friend to our organization as we made our pitch for a Major League expansion franchise,” said Bisons owner, Bob Rich Jr.

“Larry shared our passion for this team and for the fans of Western New York and he would’ve been an instrumental piece to our success. Bob and I want to express our condolences to Larry’s family during this difficult time,” said President of Rich Entertainment Group, Mindy Rich.

During the team’s expansion push, King narrated the team’s commercial pitch video that was directed and produced by Mindy Rich. In it, he recalled his first impressions of the Bisons new downtown ballpark.

“I remember the first time I laid eyes on Pilot Field. It reminded me of all the things I love about baseball; the fun, the excitement, the feelings you get from this park… an intimacy, a closeness to the action are really what baseball is all about,” said King in the video’s open.

King would become a visitor to the ballpark and once threw out a ceremonial first pitch prior to a game. During one contest between the Bisons and the Syracuse Chiefs, King even became a temporary member of the Herd’s broadcasting team with Pete Weber and John Murphy.

“I am very impressed with this ballpark and the whole flavor here. I didn’t know what to expect. It’s infinitely nicer than I thought it would be. It’s a Major League ballpark and I have a feeling I am in an older ballpark, which is what a… pitch is high and away,” commented King before the three broadcasters shared a laugh. Admitting “I have a tendency to take over,” King continued to call the action on the field while also comparing the Herd’s home to his memories of Ebbets Field as a child.

King’s broadcasting career began in 1957 as a disc jockey on WAHR in Miami Beach and he spent a pair of seasons as a color commentator on Miami Dolphins broadcasts for WIOD in 1970-1971. He then gained national recognition with his coast-to-coast nightly radio talk show, The Larry King Show. Known as an expert interviewer who could often get exclusive guests to open up to him like never before, King hosted the highly-popular Larry King Live on CNN television program from 1985-2010. According to CNN, King conducted more than 30,000 interviews during his illustrious career with the cable network.