Monday, December 30, 2013

Gary Park Was a Talented, Mysterious, Anchor at KTVU

 Gary Park was one of the most powerful, talented, feared, misunderstood and eccentric TV News personalities in the Bay Area.

He anchored news, sports, culture and he loved good restaurants and fine wine.

When I was a kid in the 70's growing up, I distinctly remember seeing Park, always alone, in Oakland Chinatown a stone's throw from KTVU's old 1 Jack London Square studios.

He didn't like to mix it up, talk much, but he was always courteous and nice and exchanged hello's.

Few people really knew Gary Park that well which was just as well because he didn't like to socialize a lot. Just do his show, (and he always wrote his own script and was a helluva writer), get in and out and leave. He was married and had a daughter and lived in the Oakland hills.

Many people remember Gary Park for his work on Channel 2 with the SF Giants. He died in May of 2009 due to complications from cancer.

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10 comments:

  1. I remember him more for his extensive use of a sun lamp than his work.

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  2. I really liked Gary's work and tone, both in the studio and at the events.

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  3. Gary Park/ Will Clark Giants' 1987 clinching celebratory interview: priceless.

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    1. Park: You're overmodulating

      Clark: Nooo way. I've been waiting a loooong time for this!

      It was Clark's second second in the big leagues, and Park's last Giants broadcast.

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    2. Oops! I meant to write Clark's second season in the big leagues.

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  4. As the first comment stated, he was memorable for his eternal tan -- an orangish glow, befitting his status as the lead PBP guy on the black and orange Giants' TV broadcasts.
    People forget how few Giants' games were actually televised then (and only road games at that), so each Giants' broadcast was something of an event.

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  5. I always got a kick out of Park during Giants games. When the Giants played in Montreal, Park would talk about the jazz clubs and restaurants he visited rather than talk about how bad the Giants were.

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  6. Here's a classic Gary Park snippet from KTVU broadcast from a Giants/San Diego in the mid 1980s:

    "We're here in the delightful border town of San Diego, which, believe it or not, has some wonderful eateries. San Diego as you may know, is a burough of some half a million souls, and besides the delights of sun and surf, there are plenty establishments for the gastromes such as myself.. Take this little gem of a spot I discovered last night, tucked away in a corner of Mission Bay. It's called 'Ned's Place.' They serve a savory BOTTOM fish there, and I had it to the accompaniment with some fresh greens, rice pilaf and a tangy wedge of lemon. r. If you ever go to Ned's, be aware that they have a very full wine cellar, and I ordered a bottle of Wente Brothers 1976 Chardonnay, which turned out to be the perfect accompaniment to a delightful meal. Oh, by the way, you might have noticed that Chili Davis just hit a home run But you saw that on your screen. Let's get back to the restaurant seen for a moment shall we?!"

    The interview with Clark (Park's last ever Giants' game) went something like this:

    Park: "Here's Will Clark, come on over here Will."

    Clark: "Hey Gary! We won the fucking thing, that's goddam right! Woo hoo!"

    Park: "Will, you're over modulating!"

    Clark: "What? No way Gary! No fucking way! I've been waiting my whole fucking life for this, I won all the amateur ones, now we're going to the fucking pros! Woo-hoo!"

    Park: "So I see you've got a bottle of Champagne. Are you drinking or pouring?"

    Will: "I'm pouring Gary! I'm fucking pouring! I've had plenty to fucking drink already! Woo-hoo! Yeah, fuckin' A! We won the goddam thing didn't we!?"

    As you can imagine, Gary looked extremely embarrassed and Clark apologized profusely afterward. I work in the media myself and was covering that game and remember Clark being totally crazed after that game. I tried to interview him myself and he was using a lot of profanity and was extremely excited. Gary should have known better! It was a sad way for his Giants career to end.

    Steve Physioc did some games that year and that's when he called John Kruk's long fly ball to the wall that was caught by outfielder Jeffrey Leonard for the final out: "A little looper to left field! Leonard to the wall! LET THE CELEBRATION BEGIN!"




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    1. Really??? There is a classic youtube of every word?

      'http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7x0mfHNy-E

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  7. I didn't know of Gary Park when he was on the air. His attire and attitude remind me of this movie I jus t saw "Amercian Hustle" a delightful movie for adults full of comedy and intrique. I used to dress that way too back in the 70s. See that movie for a fun time, if you can deal with the profanity. It's not a mean movie, everybody is so sincere that they are completely ridiculous in their own way, sort of like real life, no?

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