Los Angeles has had many legendary broadcasters, such as Chick Hern for the Los Angeles Lakers, Bob Miller for the Los Angeles Kings and of course, Vin Scully for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Growing up in Southern California, the sounds of Vin Scully's voice announcing for the Dodgers is the reason why I love baseball. His calm broadcasting demeanor and unique narration style is a throw back to much simpler times. Today, the N.F.L. is Americans' favorite pastime sport. I can't argue that the subtle "cat and mouse" game of stealing a base or moving a runner into scoring position is more exciting than a touchdown, but it's a simple fact that baseball's popularity is slipping. Often times in modern sports the Agents and the contract negotiations make the news, but when listening to Vin, you forget about the giant contracts. His simple, yet elegant broadcasting style reduces the game to its beautiful core. The simple game of bat and ball.
It has been said that broadcasting baseball for radio is like walking into the booth with a blank canvas painting the scene with broad brushes, then smaller brushes to get the shadowing and texture. Then three hours later, you set back and the painting is set. Vin comes from the broadcasting school where you respect the action on the field and say the minimal amount to let the listener experience the maximum amount of natural sounds. This may sound lazy but as jazz master Miles Davis once said, "It's the notes you don't play that end up being the most important notes to a musician." The same holds true to broadcasting sports, so many announcers try to fill the airtime with so many facts, stats and talking points that as the listener you can't help but get caught into it the chaos and controversy.
Vin on the other hand tells footnotes to players while they're hitting or pitching about their lives that make them "human" and not these gigantic larger than life sports figures that the media makes them out to be. He simplifies the game so you fee like your not even listening to a sports event, but rather feels like you're in a John Steinbeck novel with the California sun setting in perfect seventy degree weather. It's rare to see art and sport collide. Vin has all the artistry that a painter brings to a canvas and a writer to an empty page.
He's seen the Dodgers go from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. He's worked thru black and white television to H.D T.V, Twitter and the explosion of the internet, all in one lifetime. As sad as it is to see him broadcast his last game, I'm optimistic that there is someone who's coming up that will carry on the tradition of showing how art and sport can sit side by side....
Thank you Vin for bringing baseball to life for many in Southern California.