I have a story coming up on iconic Hall of Fame Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, who is stepping away from the microphone after 67 years of broadcasting. I talked with Joe Buck, lead play-by-play man for baseball and NFL for Fox Sports and the son of the late Hall of Fame announcer Jack Buck. Here is Joe on Vin:
"Not to be too drippy about this, but there's a princely, almost regal feel to that name. I'm blown away at the way his mind works and his mastery over the language and his ability to weave. Probably in another life, Vin would have made great carpets. He can weave a story into the middle of play-by-play and make it seamless. And to be his age now, 88, to continue to be able to do that, is shocking.
"A lot like my dad, I think Vin has a worldly feel to him. His life isn't just baseball. You know he's going home and reading biographies, that he's well aware of what's going on in the world around him. There's at least one fun, cool history lesson every broadcast. It's almost as if he's an educator as much as he's a baseball broadcaster.
"On a sad level, he's kind of the last voice of this great generation, guys who came along, you could be yourself, have a little more personality, do it your way, and everybody wasn't seemingly coming out of the same factory and sounding identical. He has a unique style that others have tried to copy and failed miserably.
"Just the simple descriptions, like during the Sandy Koufax perfect game, Vin describing Koufax taking his hat off, wiping sweat off with his index finger … you could see it … you could lie on your couch or bed and see it. That's kind of a dying art.
"He goes to TV and that's a lay-up for him. The pictures are doing half the work for him. But he has the ability to color in the open spots with things that wouldn't even cross my mind, like the history of the American flag. I'm just blown away."
"It's been suggested over the years that he do something (with Fox). Like the All-Star Game this year. I made the comment that I would drive to wherever Vin was and drive him to the All-Star Game and carry him to the booth. He simply won't do it. He doesn't want that."
"Kids will send me resume tapes or highlight tapes. I tell them the highlights are great, but I want to know what you're doing between the home run calls. I want to hear how you talk about what the sounds are at the ball park. No one is better between pitches than Vin. That's probably why he's the greatest ever. There are so many styles. It's like different languages. But what he does between pitches, between batters, there is no one like him."