“There is nobody close to Scully”

Jon Weisman transcribes a Red Barber television interview from 1982 during which he describes how Vin Scully got his start:

I was out at the end of the football season, doing a California-Stanford football game. And at halftime, the engineer handed me a note and said, “Ernie Harwell has joined Russ Hodges at the Polo Grounds.” So, flying back to New York, I kept thinking, “Well, who are we gonna get? Who are we gonna get for the third man?” Then I said, “That red-headed fella that went up to Boston did a good job,” so I sent for him, and talked to him for a little bit. And I said, “Would you be interested?”

Well, his eyes got big as teacups. So I said, “You’ll have to go and talk to Mr. Rickey.” Well, in a bout an hour, Mr. Rickey called back, and he said, “Walter?” — he always called me Walter — he said, “Walter, you’ve found the right man.” And that was the beginning.

There’s much more to it, so do click through and read it all.

(thanks to YankeeFanLen for the heads up)

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  1. Wells said...

    That’s right there’s no one like Scully, and sadly there doesn’t seem like there ever will be again. Firstly because they have to cram 3 guys in the booth so they can yammer on about everything, and, more importantly, the idea of the narrative in baseball seems to have gone out the window, and it’s all “he’s hit 3 runs in 7 innings against left handed pitchers under 6 foot tall in sub-60 degree weather!” and random quips about mostly boring statistics. I love statistics and statistical analysis and the truth stuff like sabermetrics yields, but man oh man do I love a good baseball story, a real narrative, and Vin Scully is a man who appreciates that.

    Never die, Vin. Never die.

  2. Scarf said...

    As a young broadcast major with an eye towards the commentary box, I’ve followed three rules that I’ve made just from listening to Scully on Gameday Audio:

    —Silence is golden. Sometimes just hearing the crowd react is better than saying something stupid.
    —Get the fan interested in the player or game. Stats are great, and educating fans on newer metrics is what I’d like to do a bit, but sometimes they aren’t as good as stories or other things that humanize the players.
    —Economy of words is key, especially on television. You’ve got a visual medium, so why not utilize it?

  3. Taylor said...

    As someone who finally picked up and started reading “Forever Blue” this is a real cool article.  I would really like to hear more about Red Barber from his days with Cincinnati too.

  4. Aaron Moreno said...

    I listened to a couple of old broadcasts by Vin on Baseball Analysts the other day, from June 30, 1959, and the 9th of Koufax’s perfect game.

    When fans talk about the Golden Age, those broadcasts are what they meant.

  5. daOldGuy said...

    As a lifelong Giants fan, I can honestly say the only good thing to ever come from Da Bums is Vin Scully. What a treasure! I’ve made sure both my boys have had the chance to listen to his TV broadcasts. Close your eyes and just like listgenong to him on the radio!

    But I loved the Red Barber narrative. Sounds like he spoke as colorful and fluently as he wrote. Thankls for sharing this!

  6. Adam said...

    I got the mlb package just so I could watch (and listen) to Vin every couple of nights.  Just a few innings purges my brain of the John Sterling gunk that collects up there.

  7. AlexB said...

    The least you could do is spell Mr. Weisman’s name correctly. He is deserving of any/all attention directed toward his outstanding writing/blog with proper attribution. Thank you.

  8. Gregor said...

    Scully SUCKS!  He never shuts up and he has no humor!  He must have never heard the expression, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  Jon Miller is a real announcer and he adds to the game . . . Scully smothers the game with his incessant yapping . . . G

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