How Vin Scully, Chick Hearn and Bob Miller influenced generations of L.A. play-by-play men, and continue to do so

Photographer Jon SooHoo captured this ironic portrait when Vin Scully, Chick Hearn and Bob Miller were all part of the Fox Sports Net broadcasting team in the 1990s.

What made it into this week’s strung-together paragraphs:

Who were the greatest influences on L.A.’s play-by-play men growing up in this town? You can’t help but top the list with a Chick Hearn, Vin Scully and Bob Miller.

But the road must include Dick Lane (left) as well as Fred Haney, Jaime Jarrin and Dick Enberg — all who are rightly in the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Our top 10 list (plus one) is open for interpretation, depending on how you’re influenced by it. Let’s hear who we’ve left out, but more, why those on the list influenced your careers — be it broadcasting or otherwise.

(Without them, I’d have nothing productive to write about, for one).

What’s also included is our latest rankings of the play-by-play/analyst game pairings in Southern California.

What didn’t make it into today’s column:

== Jim Lampley, another former L.A. based play-by-play known around the globe for his boxing calls on HBO since 1988, starts the second season of “The Fight Game with Jim Lampley” on the network Saturday at 11:30 p.m., following coverage of the Bernard Hopkins-Tavoris Cloud match.

== Among the media mogels and mortals who made it into the Sports Illustrated first “Power Issue” naming the top 50 movers and shakers (already a longtime annual staple by The Sporting News) are (and it’s a sneaky way for you to click through all 50 on the website just to see): ESPN president John Skipper (at No. 4), NBC Sports chairman Mrak Lazarus (at No. 7, sorry, Dick Ebersol), CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus (at No. 13), Fox Sports co-president Eric Shanks (at No. 15), Turner Broadcasting lead man David Levy (at No. 28), MLB Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman (at No. 33) and Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza (at No. 49).

In a separate list ranking the Top 10 most “powerful” people in the sports media, Richard Deitsch has regrettably tagged’s Bill Simmons at No. 1 “by a wide margin,” and includes the network’s Chris Berman and Skip Bayless. Again, power and quality aren’t mutually exclusive, more a sign of the times.

We were far more entertained by Deitsch’s list of the 10 “least powerful” people in sports.

== More on Jenn Brown’s departure from ESPN.

== Still, no matter what Fox Sports 1 Channel wants to challenge it, ESPN reminds everyone why it’s No. 1.

== How the next interesting move by DirecTV could be finding ways to share “NFL Sunday Ticket” if it becomes too pricey for its tastes in 2015.

== Another Gus Johnson soccer call, this time a Manchester United-Chelsea game live Sunday at 9 a.m. on Fox Soccer Channel.

==The TBS MLB Sunday afternoon schedule through May 26 includes the Dodgers twice and New York Yankees three times, starting with the April 7 game in Detroit. Most games are at 10 a.m. or 10:30 a.m., but do not air in the local team’s markets.

== And a tweet forwarded to us from a bloke who still has a show somehow going on in San Diego:

Lee Hacksaw Hamilton (@hacksaw1090)
Interesting-all the Radio-TV columnists-who spent their careers ripping me-don’t have those jobs anymore/Dick Posner/Fritz Quindt/THoffart/

Not the first time, nor the last, Hamilton (never going to be his real name) has been incorrect on a fact (or a name spelling). Remember, the final “H” is not silent, but can be deadly.

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  • Tom Danheiser

    What is ironic about the photo?

  • Craig Elsten

    Growing up in Long Beach my whole decision to pursue a career in PBP came from growing up listening to Chick Hearn, Bob Miller and Vin Scully. I often say they were the top influences on my career, and continue to influence me to this day. Much of my style and my attitude toward broadcasting comes from Chick Hearn. Bob Miller is the best at reflecting the tension in the game through his voice (you can have your back turned to the TV and know when a rush is coming) and Vin is unparalleled in storytelling, preparedness and professionalism. No city will ever do better than those three stalwarts of the profession.

  • Serge

    i’d rather tag the above image as ICONIC =)