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Vin Scully's dream of becoming a broadcaster

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When Vin Scully looks back on his 1930s childhood in the Bronx, one living- room fixture stands out: ”a four-legged monster with a wooden crosspiece.”

”I’d take a pillow and crawl underneath it with some cookies and milk and listen to the radio all day,” he says now of that electronic, rather magical relic. ”I was so close to the speaker that when the crowd roared it was like water through a shower head — I felt it through my entire body. That’s when I dreamed of becoming a broadcaster.” He’s still basking in the roar of the crowd, but now the voice on the radio is his own. And 50 million Americans are expected to be listening to it Oct. 16 when CBS Radio — with 325 U.S. affiliates — begins its 15th year of Series coverage. (CBS Radio and CBS Television are broadcasting both the play-offs and the Series.)

Scully, the voice of the L.A. Dodgers, began calling that team’s games in Brooklyn 40 years ago with the legendary Red Barber (who, at 82, still does a weekly commentary for National Public Radio). For this year’s Series, Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench will join Scully as game analyst. They’ll air live from the home stadiums. That’s a major improvement over the first Series broadcast booth in 1921: a shack atop the Westinghouse building in Newark, N.J

Scully, 62, who has also covered baseball on TV since the ’50s (including a stint on NBC’s ”Game of the Week” from ’83 to ’89), says radio is more challenging. ”When you do radio, you come into the booth and there’s an empty canvas. You bring your own paints and brushes and you spend the next three hours splashing away. With TV, the picture’s already there, and I just produce the subtitles.” Besides, Scully says, radio ”doesn’t make you prisoner — you can be painting a closet or commuting on the freeway and still enjoy a game.”

Today’s radios may not be as imposing as they were in Scully’s youth, but the experience of listening to baseball on them is just as memorable.

6/Saturday * Baseball American League play-off game 1. CBS (8-11 p.m.)

7/Sunday * Baseball American League play-off game 2. CBS (8-11 p.m.)

8/MONDAY * Baseball National League play-off game 3. CBS (3-6 p.m.)

9/Tuesday * Baseball American League play-off game 3. CBS (3-6 p.m.) * Baseball National League play-off game 4. CBS (8-11 p.m.)

10/Wednesday * Baseball American League play-off game 4. CBS (3-6 p.m.) * Baseball National League play-off game 5, if necessary. CBS (8-11 p.m.)

11/Thursday * Baseball American League play-off game 5, if necessary. CBS (8-11 p.m.)

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