Pull Up a Chair

Vin Scully’s trademark “Pull up a chair” welcomed the listener. Pull Up a Chair: The Vin Scully Story welcomes the reader to the first-ever biography of baseball’s greatest Voice. Written by Curt Smith—“a brilliant tour de force,” says National Journal‘s Tom DeFrank—it captures Scully’s odyssey from Brooklyn via Los Angeles to NBC TV and CBS Radio. The book, released in Vin’s record 60th straight year of play-by-play, was a coda to a nonpareil career.

Pull Up a Chair (Potomac Press, 2009, 300 Pages) begins with irony. Born in the New York Yankees’ Bronx, the future Dodgers broadcaster grew up a New York Giants fan! Later Scully graduated from Fordham University, joined Brooklyn’s Red Barber as a 22-year-old announcer in 1950, and aired the borough’s sole world title in 1955. Two years later the Dodgers moved to California, Vin becoming “The Transistor Kid”—connecting tissue between the public and its game.

In the 1970s, Scully went national: CBS TV football; CBS Radio baseball; later, NBC TV’s Game of the Week, doing network baseball as no one else has or is ever likely to. He made every sports Hall of Fame imaginable, announced a record number of World Series and no-hitters, and etched Henry Aaron’s 715th home run in 1974, Bill Buckner’s 1986 Error, and Kirk Gibson, improbably going deep in 1988. In a sense, Scully’s history became baseball’s history. It is how millions will always remember him.

Pull Up a Chair details Vin’s 1965 call of Sandy Koufax’s perfect game: to many, play-by-play’s Mount Everest. It shows him saying, “It was so hot today the moon got sun-burned”; terming a curveball “like a kid scaling a stone on a pond”; and likening a poor fielder to the Ancient Mariner—“He stoppeth one in three.” In 2008, a heavily side-burned player entered a game. Straightaway Scully forged poetry. “What kind of men are these,” he rhymed, “who wear their sideburns like parentheses?” In 2009, Vin was named the American Sportscasters Association’s “Top Sportscaster of All-Time.” Pull Up a Chair shows why.