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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Dodgers Extend Scully Through 2008

The Dodgers have extended broadcaster Vin Scully through 2008, according to MLB.com. Spanish-language broadcaster Jaime Jarrin was extended earlier in the year through 2010, five additional years.

The man was and is amazing. Like so many other Southern Californians who grew up in the 50s and 60s, I learned far more about baseball listening to Vin Scully than I ever did from my dad or any Little League coach.

What many younger readers (and by my standards, that's anyone under 50) may not be aware of is that before Vin, many if not most MLB radio voices were Southerners who played the "country boy" role to the nth degree.

In the 1950s, all three New York teams had Southerners as lead announcers: Red Barber, Dodgers (Mississippi); Mel Allen, Yankees (Tennessee); and Russ Hodges, Giants (Tennessee). Mel Allen was an interesting case on point. Not only was he from one of the bigger southern cities (Memphis), he was Jewish to boot. Nonetheless, he felt the need to add "Gee Whizzes" and "Gosh Gollys" and other country-boy-isms to his repertoire.

Also, it may astound the youngin's to learn that many broadcasters were drunks, and after the 5th or 6th innings would forget the names of players: "Hard line drive, and the left fielder moves in to make the catch." Who was the left fielder? Did he have a name? Jim Beam perhaps, or Johnny Walker? I could name names, but choose not to for now.

Vin changed all that. His Brooklyn accent had largely dissipated, though we were treated to "farr-ed" for "forehead" and "pomm" for "palm" on occasion. But the vast store of baseball info he conveyed and the professionalism he brought to the broadcast booth changed the craft forever.
was it ever in doubt? i can't imagine dodger baseball without vinny. vinny - congrats.
as an Angel fan, my happiest moments are when they play the Dodgers because Angel baseball broadcast by Vin Scully is true bliss.
I must have been smoking a different variety of marijuana yesterday from what I'm used to. Mel Allen, of course, was a native of Birmingham, Alabama.

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