The Tao of Vin Scully VII: Bob Miller

As a professional play-by-play man, what can you learn about your craft simply by listening to Vin Scully today?


== Kings Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Miller (linked here), who often tutors younger broadcasters at sportscaster camps, picks up the series from here with his answer:

“I think first of all, Vin and other announcers can teach young play by play announcers the value of preparation. I think it’s the most important word anyone can hear regardless of their profession. If you don’t take time to prepare, that’s when you start to lose your job.

“If you listen to Vin you can hear the value of story telling. Baseball especially lends itself to weaving stories because of the time you have in that sport. That time is usually not available in faster moving sports where it’s difficult to find time to complete a story. These stories come again from preparation and from getting to know the playing personnel. I think all listeners or viewers love human interest stories, or anecdotes about their favorite players, not just statistics.

“Accuracy is another trait a young announcer can pick up from Vin. Accuracy in who is involved in the play, and especially on radio, the words that ‘paint the picture’ and make the game come alive in your mind. No one uses the English language to do this better than Vin. That’s another area to be aware of, using proper English, and listening to the way certain announcers describe certain plays. Vin uses a vast knowlege of literature to punctuate his stoires. To me, this shows the value of a well-rounded education, not just sports knowlege and statistics about certain players.

“I always tell young, upcoming, announcers to listen carefully to the way the announcer describes certain plays. Not that you want to copy anyone’s signature calls, but just in the way certain phrases and descriptive words are used.

“Also, know when to be conversational, which Vin does very well, and another area which lends itself to baseball, and then know when to get excited and have the listener on the edge of his seat. There is a certain ebb and flow to a broadcast because you can’t be screaming at the top of your lungs all night long because when something really exciting happens you have no where to go.

“One final thought, and again Vin does this well — Let the audience breathe. Let the sounds and atmosphere of the game come through to the listener. This sometimes is almost as important as the play by play because the sounds of the ballpark or arena make the listener feel as if he is in the crowd. After an exciting play, stop talking, and let the listener hear the roar of the crowd.”

== Previous answers to the question as posted on the blog:
= Jim Nantz (linked here)
= Ross Porter (linked here)
= Ken Levine (linked here)
= Matt Vasgersian (linked here)
= Victor Rojas (linked here)
= Charley Steiner (linked here)

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email