A Great American

It’s not an indulgence when you’re unemployed, it’s a necessity: the MLB Extra Innings package. This way, I can regularly catch West Coast ball games, especially the Dodgers.

Of course, what it means is I get the feeds from some broadcast or another, which emphasizes how many terrible, stupid announcers there are on the local level. Except for those frequent nights when the Dodger game is the Dodger broadcast, brought to the world by the one-man-band known as Vin Scully.

There is simply no one like him, nor has there ever been. Babe Ruth and Wayne Gretzky and even Michael Jordan had their peers – Scully has none. He doesn’t just give you the ball game, he narrates, he tells a story full of digressions that fill in the detail and meaning of what is happening in real-time. And, like baseball itself, he is a true maker of American culture. The Tuesday night Dodgers-Reds game featured a moment when he was speaking of Brandon Phillips frustration for grounding into a double-play in his previous at-bat, describing the ballplayer as the Red’s “Big Butter and Egg Man,” thereby bringing together ball, bat, Louis Armstrong, segregation and integration and baseball into a short set of golden syllables.

Thanks Vin. Thanks Louie.

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