TV gives everyone an image, but radio gives birth to a million images in a million brains.
Peggy Noonan, author, presidential speechwriter
The other day NPR ran a story on a local resident, Jim Governale, who is a broadcaster himself in Los Angeles for Talk Radio KKLA, whose grandfather had recorded Vin Scully’s calling of Sandy Koufax’s no-hit game on June 30, 1962, with the Dodgers facing the New York Mets. Governale donated the tape to the Dodgers rather than sell it.
NPR played pieces of the broadcast and you can hear Scully in his prime. What a difference between the broadcasters today and even Scully of today for that matter.
Scully truly provided a play by play so vivid that it was more picturesque to listen to the broadcast than to watch it on television and more understandable than just viewing from the sits inside the stadium. I highly recommend going to NPR and listening to the clip to hear the voice of baseball:
“Koufax goes to the rosin bag and gives it a squeeze. And, here we go, Sandy pulls at the peak of his cap, bends at the waist to read his signs and goes to work…”
I suspect that broadcasters today don’t have nearly the radio audience that used to follow the game with their transistor radios. Unfortunately, broadcasters don’t have a verbal command of the language either to provide a play-by-play description of the game. It’s no wonder broadcasters started teaming up and talking among themselves and telling stories instead of describing the game. Last night driving home from work, I listened to the eighth and ninth innings of the Dodger game with Charley Steiner and Rick Monday. I heard them tell me when the ball was fouled back or a grounder started a double play. If compared to writing their broadcast was passive broadcasting as opposed to active broadcasting. Scully knows this and knows that his skills have softened some too, so he announces the televised portion of the game. A ceremonial three-inning simulcast at the beginning of the game is just a treat.
We can say another era has been retired.