30 Oct Talkin’ baseball
In response to my post about “seeing” baseball on the radio (and the iPhone), Cliff White writes:
Although I am not now, nor have I ever been, a major sports fan, I remember clearly listening as a young boy in the fifties to radio broadcast of local and major league games. I remember nothing of those games except the rhythm and pacing of the broadcasts. I suspect much of the nostalgia for the fifties golden age of baseball is rooted in the soothing, tension dissolving effects of those broadcasts. At a time when fears of the mushroom cloud hung over everyone, those broadcasts took you to a simple world where everything moved at a human pace.
Here’s the windup… the pitch… low and inside.
Here is as good a place as any for a footnote about Vin Scully, the incredibly enduring Dodger broadcaster who did as much as anyone to create the atmosphere Cliff describes. When the Dodgers extended Scully’s contract for a 60th (!) season last year, I listed a few Scullyisms. My favorite of these came in the 1987 All-Star game, when Scully saw the Blue Jays’ graceful shortstop Tony Fernández field a ball for the first time.
“He’s like a bolt of silk,” Scully said.
What I didn’t know, but learned this week reading Scully’s Wikipedia entry, is that the broadcaster grew up in Manhattan’s Washington Heights district, where his father was… a silk salesman.
This year, the Dodgers extended Scully’s contract for a 61st season.