The Tao of Vin Scully XIX: Larry Burnett

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

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== Larry Burnett (linked here), who has done radio and TV play-by-play for the Lakers, Sparks and college sports:

“I love baseball and I thoroughly enjoy calling baseball play-by-play, but the toughest part of the job is filling the numerous gaps in activity. Vin Scully is the best ‘gap-filler’ in the business. I am constantly amazed at his wealth of knowledge about the teams, the players and the history of the game. There are no lulls when Scully is in the broadcast booth and he gives us so much more than batting averages and ERAs.

“Sometimes I’ll watch a Dodger game on TV and I’ll say out loud, ‘How does he know that?’ Vin has obviously mastered the art of preparation and he is a tremendous storyteller. I don’t know how he remembers all those tales from his many years behind the microphone, but they are treasures that he effortlessly weaves between the strikes, balls, hits, runs and errors. Classic!

“I cannot discuss Vin Scully without mentioning how seamlessly he glides from radio play-by-play to calling a game for television. They are two completely different animals. He sets the scene so well on radio that listeners are electronically transported right to ballpark. Vin’s voice is the eyes of the radio audience and he gives them an informed, concise, and accurate ‘birds-eye’ view. On television, Vin lets the pictures do more of the talking, but still injects an incomparable combination of style, information and entertainment.

“Vin once told me that calling Dodger games on television was similar to doing a paint-by-numbers picture. The form and the structure are there in front of you on TV. All you have to do is add some color in the right spots and stay within the lines. Radio, though, provides a blank canvas on which an announcer must visualize, create, and then paint a unique and accurate picture for the listeners.

“No matter the medium, when Vin Scully calls a game, it is true artistry.”

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