The numbers are breathtaking, as reported by sports broadcasting historian Curt Smith: "At one time or another, (Vin) Scully has aired NBC Television's Game of the Week, 12 All-Star Games, nonpareil 25 World Series and 18 no-hitters, and CBS football, golf, and tennis; made every major radio and TV Hall of Fame; got an Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award and Star, Hollywood Walk of Fame; been named 'most memorable [L.A. Dodgers] franchise personality,' four-time National Sportscaster of the Year, and 'Top Sportscaster of All-Time' by more than 500 national members of the American Sportscasters Association."


Note: Today is the release of this title. Please read an excerpt of the book here.
And it's through these achievements that Vin Scully has been chronicled by reporters and baseball historians. Over the many years in the public arena, Vin Scully has politely declined requests by authors to write authorized biographies or to co-write his autobiography. 

Smith was also rebuffed by Scully, but pieced together this first -- and unauthorized -- biography, Pull Up a Chair: The Vin Scully Story (Potomac Books, 2009), on the iconic figure through an exhaustive exploration of past material from a number of major media sources, including quotes from Scully and interviews with Bob Costas, Jack Buck, Ernie Harwell and Red Barber.

From Scully's birth in the Bronx on November 29, 1927, to his work with the Brooklyn Dodgers beginning at age 22 and continuing after the club's controversial move to Los Angeles, along with taking the national stage for NBC-TV and CBS Radio, Smith captures the professional and personal qualities of a public figure who guards his private life once the game is over and the microphone is turned off for the day.

Along the base paths of 12 chapters that are split into segments of time from Scully's life, Smith delivers some neat web gems, including a brief history of the Brooklyn Dodgers, how Ebbets Field got its name and a brief -- but neat -- biography of Barber. The final chapter -- "Let Us Define Our Terms" -- is the definitive exploration into the stage craft of Scully. "What makes Scully, Scully?" writes Smith, before delving into the key personal and professional attributes of the legend.

"The Transistor Kid" has a clear-channel through Smith -- a former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush -- and the author of Voices of the Game, The Voice: Mel Allen's Untold Story and Voices of Summer: Ranking Baseball's 101 All-Time Best Announcers. And the legend truly comes to life from the location where Scully's multitude of fans have gotten to know him over the many years...the perch above the field of play on a warm summer day, with not one cloud in the sky.

"Pick a student aspiring to radio/TV. Whom should he emulate? Almost every Voice has, if not a vice, some chink," writes Smith. "In decline, Mel Allen talked too much. Bob Prince would wander; Ned Martin, misstate; Curt Gowdy, bore. Jack Buck could be flip. Harry Caray morphed into caricature. A tyro should avoid each flaw. Vin had none."

Enough said.

AHP Rating: 3.5 Balls writes its book reviews with the following rating scale in mind:

Four Balls: An exceptional book that truly earns a walk straight to the local book store to get a copy.
Three Balls: This book stands out from its peers and is highly recommended.
Two Balls: A book worth reading/owning and is usually above average.
One Ball: This book has something to say but is nothing special.