Our post on Vin Scully, 81, who just wrapped up his 60th season calling play-by-play for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers (and plans to stay on through next season), elicited some wonderful reader comments.
First, Frank MacDonald (yes, that Frank MacDonald, the other Inverness County writer who deserves a Giller):
Enjoyed your reminder of the Koufax perfect game. In my own writing during the baseball season, the game plays the role for me that music plays for many others. Even when it is televised, as it mostly is in this house, it is two rooms away, and the sound of the game (changes in pitch tell me to go see) is soothing as a lullaby.
Unfortunately, current commentators seem more interested in sounding off as if their own opinions are more important than the game (a lot like newspaper columnists that way, I guess), but none of them tell stories any more, just data reports from fact sheets in front of them.
Anyway, it was a pleasure to read what I once listened to.
Frank also sent us the lyrics to a baseball song he wrote.
Contrarian friend Cliff White also likes the sound of a baseball game:
I love the piece on Vin Scully. I’m in no way a sports fan but I remember baseball on the radio from a very young age. There is something about the slow rhythms of game that radio captures and transmits perfectly, but that get completely lost on television. It’s actually two entirely different games.
The record of the Koufax game took me back decades, to when baseball was a major part of Nova Scotia summer culture. And this from a non fan, that’s real power.
It’s difficult if not impossible to catch major leage games on radio in most parts of Nova Scotia, but here’s a little secret to remember next March: $15 (US) will buy you a year’s subscription to the radio broadcasts every Major League baseball game, regular and post-season, with a few spring training games thrown in. Then you can listen on your computer or your iPhone, just like the good old days.
Hugh Fraser, the former press secretary to Premier John Hamm who now toils for Bristol Communications, sent kind comments about Contrarian, and a recommendation:
If you’re a baseball fan, I suspect you’ve already been reading Doug Glanville’s occasional columns in the NYTimes. They are great — insightful and addictive. I’m a big Roger Angell fan and I think Glanville’s baseball writing approaches his.
Anyhow, keep up the good work. Better luck with the Dodgers next year.
Ah, Hugh, Dem Bums left town in 1958. Contrarian roots for the Jays now, and sometimes the Sox, and he still hates the Yankess.
Miles Tompkins remembers how the World Series played out on his family’s Margaree farm in the 1950s:
My mom, who knew more about baseball then my father ever did, came to Margaree from Antigonish in the 1950s. We had a large farm and in the fall there were plenty of potatoes to pick. My mother had two jobs: feed the pickers, and come to the front step at the end of every half inning to give the lowdown on the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Yankees. More then once she saw a bucket of potatoes kicked over after a Yankee home run.
Contrarian reader Stan Jones points out that, with the $9.98 MLB app for the iPhone, you get to choose which team’s announcers you want to listen to. You also get one or two free telecasts every day. By contrast, Stan reports, the NBA app isn’t nearly as good, and the NHL has… nothing.