Angi: Vin Scully still looking to make a connection with ‘friends’

From SABR member Cee Angi at SB Nation on June 2, 2014:

On a typical night at Dodger Stadium, Vin Scully sits in the booth that’s named after him, perched on the chair he calls home for approximately 81 games a season. He has two media guides, home and away. Both are stuffed with index cards on which Scully has written notes on the stories he’s researched, stories of greater depth, insight, and humor than the ones that come pre-printed in the team-authored books. His scorebook sits front and center in a custom-leather binder. He has another book off to the side containing key stats and more index cards, all of which are also prepared by Scully himself.

There’s a yellow highlighter, a red pen for pitching changes, and a blue pen just in case his notes need correction. He keeps a handful of Jolly Rancher candies in his pocket, just in case his throat gets dry during the broadcast. It’s a trick he learned years ago so he could avoid drinking water while working — every broadcaster fears missing a pitch because he had to run to the restroom. It says something about a baseball commentator that his choice of pens, lozenges, and other accessories has been deemed worthy of documentation.

Many of the tools of Scully’s trade are easily visible whenever the camera cuts to the booth, but they fail to distract from Scully himself. Always impeccably dressed, he can be simultaneously dapper and dated, with lapels of powder blue, ties the color of 1970’s kitchen appliances, and such debonair though archaic touches as complementary pocket squares. His hair isn’t as ablaze with color or as full as it was when he first began broadcasting, the red hue that was part of his Irish heritage giving way to gray and white. His smile is unchanged and his eyes just as blue, but his face is fuller and his eyelids sag more, as you’d expect from a man who was born well before World War II but still sometimes finds himself calling the 15th inning of some interminable game well after midnight.

Yet, it’s not about how Scully looks; it never has been. It’s about how he sounds.

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Originally published: June 2, 2014. Last Updated: June 2, 2014.