Vin Scully is the best in the business, September 27, 1968
September 27, 2008 | 6:47 am
"Whiskey river, don't run dry...."
Times Staff Writer
Vin Scully's fans include his competitors in the broadcast booth.
Dick Enberg had just signed a deal to become the Angels' lead broadcaster, a job he would hold through most of the 1970s. In a story by The Times' Ross Newhan, Enberg went to great lengths to praise the longtime voice of the Dodgers.
"Vin Scully is the best in the business," Enberg said. "He has showed us all how a game should be called. ... I am also not ashamed to say that I have applied some of his techniques to my coverage of football. I expect that I will apply some to baseball."
Generations of Southern Californians grew up listening to Scully and the Dodgers. Enberg became a media presence in the 1960s broadcasting games on radio and TV with UCLA basketball, the Rams and then the Angels.
I listened to a lot more Angel games than Dodger games during the '60s and '70s. Enberg had to suffer through a lot of bad teams while in Anaheim, even during the Nolan Ryan years. Watching Ryan pitch was a treat. Watching Rudi Meoli at shortstop was no thrill. But Enberg kept a listener entertained. Maybe he discussed the town the Angels were visiting or a book he had read. And when Don Drysdale joined Enberg in the Angels' booth, their chemistry helped lighten many a long game.
Enberg certainly was no carbon copy of Scully, but he clearly thought about what made Scully so special.
"Basically, Vin is an intelligent man and never takes himself for granted," Enberg said. "He prepares well and is patient with his good pieces of information. ... He also describes the scene as it is happening rather than in the past tense. He knows how to use the crowd and this is an important facet which I have tried to follow in football.
"Baseball provides you with air time that isn't available in other sports. It provides the announcer with time to be a teacher, and too few announcers take advantage of it. Scully does it with subtlety. He's not talking down to his fans but he's teaching them on a low-key level. He's putting them into the game. He's whetting their anticipation."