Vin Scully memories from the media: Geoff Witcher

vin-scully-and-geoff-witcherThey have been Vin Scully’s colleagues in the media. As while the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame broadcaster has already called his last game, more want to share their interactions and stories. So we happily and graciously continue:

Geoff Witcher is on the exclusive list of broadcasters who have called Dodgers game in the L.A. market, handling play-by-play for the ON-TV channel back in the 1980s, as well as hosting “DodgerTalk” on KABC. Witcher and Scully even appeared in the same movie, “For Love of the Game”: As Scully was doing the TV call, Witcher’s voice was used as the Detroit Tigers’ radio broadcaster.
The Cal State Northridge grad has been heard lately as a sports anchor on KNX-AM (1070) after a run at KFWB-AM (980), and continues a career with voice-over work, commercials and TV spots. He shares these stories about his career as it relates to Scully:

“My story is very similar to other broadcasters that have such fond memories of Vin Scully over the years. I was born and reared here in Los Angeles, so as a young boy who liked sports I listened to Bob Kelly call the play-by-play of the Rams on radio.  And then when the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to play in Los Angeles in 1958, I was in seventh heaven.

“I knew I wanted to be a sportscaster when I was around 10 years old. Vin Scully was one of my inspirations.  It’s a given that every baseball announcer has to have a home run call, and like all of Los Angeles, I fell in love with Scully’s calls …
“Snider swings and belts it to deep right field…Clemente going back…awaaay back…to the track…to the wall….sheeee is gone!!

“I still get goosebumps to this day when I hear Vin call a home run. I had the pleasure of interviewing Vin a couple of days after Vin Scully Appreciation Weekend at Dodger Stadium, and one of the questions I asked him was where he came up with his home run call.  He told me it just happened and explained that most of the time the outfielder will tell you whether it’s a home run or not. Continue reading

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Play It Forward Oct. 17-23: Jake Arrieta … Dodgers fans remember that guy?

mlbf_432973683_th_45Jake Arrieta, the Cubs’ scheduled starter as the series moves from Chicago to L.A. for Tuesday’s Game 5 of the NLCS, merely went 18-8 with a 3.13 ERA this season as a followup act to his 2015 Cy Young winning campaign. His most famous moment of that ’15 season was probably at Dodger Stadium, throwing a no-hitter against the Dodgers on a nationally-televised Sunday night game before finishing 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA.
But talk about a luxury that the Cubs have this year — Arrieta was only needed for one appearance in their four-game NLDS against the Giants, and despite giving up just two runs in six innings, he got a no-decision in a 6-5 13-inning loss where he also had a three-run homer off Madison Bumgarner.
More on the week ahead for the Rams, UCLA, Lakers, Kings, Sparks and Galaxy at this link …

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Sunday media: Holly Rowe, and the WNBA support group for her cancer battle

roweIt started with a freckle on her chest. And under her arm pit.
“I really didn’t know much about melanoma,” Holly Rowe said. “I wish I did. I’m a sun baby and would have covered up more. It doesn’t always start with the exterior.”
The rare desmoplastic melanoma that the 50-year-old ESPN sideline reporter has been having treated at UCLA is something that typically happens to a 65-year-old farmer who spends long hours in the sun.
rowe-holly-660x400“I also lived in Utah my whole life, and it turns out they have the highest cases of melanoma — it has to do with the elevation and difference in the air,” she said.
Rowe’s connection to covering the WNBA has been a huge help in her recovery process, and she also finds herself able to talk to female athletes about the dangers of skin cancer, based on her experiences.
“I’ve been trying to remind young softball girls — no suntan is worth what I’m going through,” she said. “Having a whole new armpit constructed is not fun. If you really want to stay cute, cover up and be healthy.”
We caught up with Rowe before her recent weekend where she covered a Mississippi-Arkansas college football game in Fayetteville, Ark., on a Saturday night and then flew to L.A. for Game 4 of the WNBA Finals at Staples Center. As the Sparks-Lynx series moves to a decisive Game 5 in Minneapolis on Thursday, Rowe will be there as well before heading out to her next college football assignment.
More at this link.

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Weekly media notes version 10.13.16: They can be Kings for a day … or eight

Prior to the launch of our weekly Sunday media column, we have these notes worth processing heading into the weekend:

screen-shot-2015-11-08-at-2-21-00-pm== The Kings’ ultimate decision to split up 17 road-game assignments that Bob Miller will pass on this year among four broadcasters seems rather inspired for this 50th anniversary season – if only more games could have been given to original play-by-play man and Hockey Hall of Famer Jiggs McDonald.
McDonald, hired when the expansion Kings started in 1967 and having the late PR man and writer Ed Fitkin and the late great L.A. voice Dan Avey as his partners, left in 1972 to join the expansion Atlanta Flames/Calgary Flames. After McDonald’s departure, the late Roy Storey did a season (1972-73) before Miller was hired in starting in 1973.
McDonald is most known for doing 15 seasons for the New York Islanders when the team won three Stanley Cup titles. He retired after the 2003-04 season after working for the Florida Panthers.
McDonald’s only call for the Kings during this Miller hiatus will be when the Kings travel to him and visit the Panthers on Feb. 9. McDonald will also be present Friday at Staples Center as part of the Kings’ salute to their 1967-68 team, and it will be Miller’s first regular-season broadcast since going in for heart bypass surgery last February that resulted in his missing the final 33 games of the 2015-16 regular season.
We reported in mid-September that the Kings were to allow Miller a reduced schedule considering his continued recovery as well as the stress that goes into making East Coast trips.
However, consider, too, that McDonald will turn 78 this November. He is a month younger than Miller, who turned 78 on the day the Kings opened the season Wednesday with the 2-1 loss in San Jose. Continue reading

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NFL Week 6 in the L.A. TV market: Technically, last Sunday really wasn’t an issue

1f03Raise your hand if you experienced some issues last Sunday with NFL games on Channel 2 and Channel 11, as your TV screen went black on those stations and there was nothing you could really do to fix it.
Welcome to another Spectrum Cable Company glitch.
(Yes, the company that’s been running ads ad nauseam welcoming you “to a new day.”)
The picture was fine one second, then it didn’t work. They it worked, then … when the Rams-Bills game around at 1:25 p.m., all was fine. Probably.
Enough of us were already invested in the Dodgers-Nationals NLDS Game 2 at 10 a.m. anyway on FS1, but had that game been played as scheduled on Saturday, our NFL Sunday morning would have been … interrupted.
The schedule ahead for Week 6 (with Fox having the doubleheader):
= Denver at San Diego, 5:25 p.m., Channel 2, NFL Network (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson)
= Rams at Detroit, 10 a.m., Channel 11 (Justin Kutcher, Charles Davis, Chris Spielman, going to 24 percent of the country, including Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, Seattle and, yes, St. Louis). This eliminates Fox choices of Philadelphia at Washington (39 percent of the country) and Carolina at New Orleans (15 percent). CBS also can not show Cleveland at Tennessee, Baltimore at N.Y. Giants, Jacksonville at Chicago, Pittsburgh at Miami or Tom Brady’s first home game of the season with New England hosting Cincinnati.
= Kansas City at Oakland, 1 p.m., Channel 2 (Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon) There is no other CBS choice in this window.
= Dallas at Green Bay, 1:25 p.m., Channel 11 (Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman as Joe Buck goes to the MLB playoffs). Only other choice is Atlanta at Seattle.
= Indianapolis at Houston, 5:25 p.m., Channel 4 (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)
= N.Y. Jets at Arizona, 5:30 p.m., ESPN (Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden)

Bye weeks: Minnesota and Tampa Bay

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