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Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Best Sports Announcer

Howard links to this article about Los Angeles Dodgers Broadcaster Vin Scully.  A book had previously named Scully the best baseball broadcaster of all time, a conclusion that seems to me entirely appropriate, though I remember listening to very little from Mel Allen, Curt Gowdy, and some of the other greats (whether or not they were in the booth for the Naked Gun scene).  I adore listening to Scully now, and find it astounding that he can call a game so beautifully working, as he does, alone.

Posted by Michael Dimino on October 5, 2006 at 11:38 AM in Culture | Permalink


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Thank you, thank you. I've been busy on the Legal Profession Blog (come on over), but ESPN had Ernie Harwell do a couple innings during the Saturday night Yankees-"Tigahs" game, and it was a trip down memory lane.

The man has objective credentials: Hall of Fame, and the networks regularly brought him in to do post-season radio even when the Tigers (sob) were out. But in truth, all these announcers are important to us because they invoke memories, feelings, particularly of being young and in a good place.

Posted by: Jeff Lipshaw | Oct 7, 2006 1:40:27 AM

My dad began announcing local HS football games in 1958, 4 months after I was born. He did the PA work at home games and also recorded games for delay broadcast on the local radio station. From the time I was old enough to stand I went to games with him - sometimes watching from the press box (@ home) or wherever the visitng team put him (clinging to light poles, atop concession stands.) I truly learned the game at his knee, had the benefit of learning from coaches as well, and truly learned to appreciate the art of good announcing. So much of what passes for it today is only so much fluff. The job is to inform, not embellish. The best know that.

Posted by: Kile | Oct 6, 2006 3:46:33 PM

Scully, Gowdy, and Harwell are, in many ways, in a class all their own. Especially in Scully's case, because he so often works alone. But just because I won't ever get to say so anywhere else, I should add here my own personal fondness for the late Bob Murphy, whose voice calling the play-by-play for the Mets on WFAN will always be ingrained into my head. Murphy will never make the "greatest baseball broadcasters" conversation, but I'm not sure it's because he doesn't deserve to be there...

Posted by: Steve Vladeck | Oct 5, 2006 3:00:53 PM

Not to take anything away from Scully, who is great, but solely to complicate the matter, I would nominate Ernie Harwell of the Detroit Tigers as deserving of consideration. Maybe Lipshaw can come back to the Prawfs site to offer his opinion on the matter.

Posted by: Randy | Oct 5, 2006 2:18:50 PM

I adore Vin Scully, and not just because he's the Dodgers' announcer (though that doesn't hurt!). It's simply an utterly unadulterated blissful experience to have nothing whatsoever to do (or to refuse to do anything else whatsoever) but sit back in your favorite chair or on a well-worn sofa and listen to him do play-by-play and commentary. My passion for baseball has grown over the years in no small part because his knowledge and love of the games is infectious. I thought Chick Hearn (Lakers basketball) was incomparable, but Scully is in a league of his own (Curt Gowdy was very good, mind you, and in some respects they're hard to compare, as Gowdy did not confine himself to one sport). I'm in no position to assess who's the best all time, but I'm not surprised others have seen fit to argue this. Incidentally, Pico Iyer, the travel writer, novelist and Time essayist has told me of his love for Vin Scully, as we made simultaneous expressions of surprise upon learning of our mutual affection for the man (neither of us knew of the other's fondness for baseball, let alone Vin Scully).

Posted by: Patrick S. O'Donnell | Oct 5, 2006 1:41:29 PM

Curt Gowdy.

Posted by: pchuck | Oct 5, 2006 12:04:23 PM

I'll always have a special place in my heart for the inimitable Marty Brennaman. The recent news that the Reds have hired his son Thom away from the Diamondbacks to be his booth partner (and eventually replace him) made my day yesterday.

Posted by: CL | Oct 5, 2006 11:49:01 AM

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