Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Get Comfortable and "Pull up a Chair"

Slammin’ Sam on Sports Media

Before we get started, I should offer my apologies to Cardinals fans. I’m sure the wound is still fresh. If the setback to the Dodgers is still too much to bear, you might not be exactly tickled about today’s recommendation. However, one of baseball’s most radiant beams of light is waning, so you would do well to consider the following:

A couple of years ago, my cousin and I enjoyed a wonderful visit with our uncle and aunt in DC. One treat, the cream filling in the middle of a Bavarian donut, if you will, was my uncle’s subscription to the Extra Innings TV package. The Dodgers game ranked first and foremost on our list of viewing options, though not on account of the action on the field. I can’t recall a single at-bat, but what I do remember was the one-of-a-kind delivery of LA broadcaster Vin Scully. His Hall of Fame label seems insufficient to do him justice, but any other descriptor would appear to be trite hyperbole for the subject of “Pull up a Chair” by Curt Smith.

Read “Pull up a Chair” because:
1. Vin Scully’s 60-year career glides along with the history of baseball gloves.
Scully’s tenure began before Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese’s Dodgers departed Brooklyn and continues to the present. His voice served as the medium for a record 25 World Series, 18 no-hitters, Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, and for “Manny being Manny.” From the airwaves’ infancy to their explosion, he has seen and described a wealth of baseball’s lore, which Smith chronicles in the book.

2. Scully’s career reminds us to be the person/professional we were created to be, not someone else, and to speak from that point of view.
Mentored by Brooklyn’s first Voice, Red Barber, Scully learned early on to refrain from pretense. “‘Don’t copy. You will water your own wine,’” Barber told Scully in the 1950s. “Only then could I ‘bring to the booth a precious ingredient no one else could – me, and whatever personal qualities made me a human being.’” (Pull, 33) Years later, Boston Globe columnist Thomas Oliphant, himself a Brooklyn native, said Scully “seemed like a bar pal, but with Einstein’s wisdom.” (19) “Sparta and Athens are at it again,” Scully said in reference to an epic far, far away from the Giants-Dodgers game he described. (59)

3. You will discover in more detail what makes Scully who he is – his cadences, his encyclopedic knowledge, and the balance he brings to the game by taking the fan as close to the action as possible without intruding or presuming.

The Dodgers icon often begins his broadcasts by saying, “A pleasant good evening to you.” Spend a night getting comfortable with “Pull up a Chair,” and you won’t be disappointed.

Sam Miller/Free Keon

No comments:

Post a Comment

[Valid Atom 1.0]