Perfect Eloquence

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Perfect Eloquence

An Appreciation of Vin Scully

Edited by Tom Hoffarth
Foreword by Ron Rapoport

288 pages
38 photographs, 6 illustrations, 1 chronology

Hardcover

May 2024

978-1-4962-3878-8

$34.95 Pre-order

About the Book

When Vin Scully passed away in 2022, the city of Los Angeles lost its soundtrack. If you were able to deliver a eulogy for him, what might it include? What impact did he have on you? What do you carry forward from his legacy? Sixty-seven essayists—one representing each season of his career calling games for the Los Angeles Dodgers, from 1950 through 2016—reflect on the ways his professional and private life influenced them. The contributions include a range of stories and remembrances from those who knew and followed him. The consensus of the contributions is that Scully’s actions spoke louder than his well-recognized words.

This collection includes fellow broadcasters as well as historians, players, journalists, celebrities, and others connected to the game of baseball, with each piece introduced by sports journalist Tom Hoffarth. Readers can consider Scully’s life through common themes: his sincerity, his humility, his professionalism, his passion for his faith, his devotion to his family, his insistence on remembering and giving context to important moments in the history of not just the game but the world in general, all wrapped up in a gift for weaving storytelling with accurate reporting, fellowship with performance art, humor, and connection.
 

Author Bio

Tom Hoffarth is an Associated Press award-winning journalist with more than forty years of experience reporting in Southern California, focusing on sports and the media. He has written for the Southern California News Group, the Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter, Angelus News, National Catholic Reporte, Los Angeles Business Journal, and Sports Business Journal. He is a coauthor (with Tom Kelly) of Tales from the USC Trojans Sideline: A Collection of the Greatest Trojans Stories Ever Told. Ron Rapoport worked as a sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times for more than twenty years and is the author of Let’s Play Two: The Legend of Mr. Cub, the Life of Ernie Banks and the editor of The Lost Journalism of Ring Lardner (Nebraska, 2017).
 
 

Praise

“Vin was more than a broadcaster, he was my friend.”—Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher

“With his mellifluous voice, razor-sharp analysis, and expert storytelling, Vin Scully became the singular voice of the Dodgers for generations of fans. His talent and class were cherished, and he is dearly missed. This book reminds us of all that—and keeps his voice always in our ears and his spirit in our Dodgers-blue hearts.”—Annette Bening, Oscar, Emmy, and Tony Award–nominated actress

“Vin Scully wasn’t just the voice of the Dodgers, he was the voice of Los Angeles, a city many said has no center. They are wrong. Scully was the center of sprawling, diverse, complex LA for more than half a century. This remarkable collection of essays attests to his brilliance and impact.”—Ron Shelton, Academy Award–nominated screenwriter for the film Bull Durham

“This is the Vin Scully book you’ve been waiting for. Tom Hoffarth’s creativity and deft touch, the ringing of old and new voices, and the return of comforting memories team up for an unforgettable journey. Turn the pages and feel the spirit of the game. Of the Dodgers. And of Vin.”—Tim Brown, New York Times best-selling coauthor of The Phenomenon

“For twenty-nine of the thirty Major League teams there are lively debates about who was ‘the face of the franchise’ over the years. Although the Dodgers have had many—Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Sandy Koufax—who have deserved that designation at various times, for sixty-seven years the face of the franchise was a voice: Vin Scully’s. This volume shows why.”—George F. Will, author of the New York Times bestseller Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball

“I never saw Vin Scully without a book—how immensely he’d enjoy this one. Just the sound of his name makes you smile. And this collection of essays by people who knew him well and loved him more is better than a summer afternoon.”—Lesley Visser, reporter for CBS Sports and winner of the Sports Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award

“It is very likely that Vin Scully’s voice reached the ears of more sports fans than any in the history of our country. Anyone who loved listening to him, which means pretty much everyone, will enjoy this look at the man behind those memories, and the extraordinary life he led.”—Mike Greenberg, ESPN host

“Vin Scully loved to tell stories yet shied away from being one, so it’s only fitting that Tom Hoffarth has expertly crafted a narrative weaving stories told by those who knew and revered the man behind the mic. If you’ve ever loved Scully’s voice, now you’ll value his heart even more.”—Andrea Kremer, Emmy and Peabody Award–winning TV sports journalist and Pro Football Hall of Fame honoree

“For Vin-o-philes like me, this book is like a free buffet to a starving man. Wonderful, fun, new stories about the best announcer who ever lived.”—Rick Reilly, National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame inductee

“It’s impossible for any one person to do Vin Scully justice on the page—I know because I’ve tried. But this collection of essays, by colleagues, friends, and folks like me who just felt like they were listening to a friend, does him more than justice. We were lucky to listen to Vinny for all those years. And now we’re lucky Tom Hoffarth has put together this book.”—Eric Nusbaum, author of Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword by Ron Rapoport
Preface
A Vin Scully Timeline: 1927–2022

First Inning. “The Shelf Where I Live”: Mastering the Craft
Bob Costas, David J. Halberstam, Andy Rosenberg, Jeff Proctor, Tom Villante

Second Inning. “I’m With Them”: Family and Faith
Ann Meyers Drysdale, Steve Garvey, Kevin O’Malley, Brian Golden, Fr. Willy Raymond, Tim Klosterman, Lisa Nehus Saxon, Dale Marini, Pablo Kay

Third Inning. “That’s the Story, Morning Glory”: The Voice of a Storyteller
Joe Davis, Chris Erskine, Ross Porter, Ben Platt, Dan Durbin, T. J. Simers

Fourth Inning. “I’m The Last Person Who Should Ever Complain”: Humility and Sincerity
Orel Hershiser, Eric Karros, Derrick Hall, Boyd Robertson, Tim Mead, John Olguin, Jill Painter Lopez

Fifth Inning. “Be Quiet and Eat Your Cookie”: Building Connections
Peter O’Malley, Al Michaels, Jessica Mendoza, Kevin Fagan, Sammy Roth, Joe Saltzman, Emma Amaya

Sixth Inning. “It Was Trust Well Placed”: Kindness and Friendship
Jaime Jarrin, Fred Claire, Ned Colletti, Bruce Froemming, Bob Miller, Dennis Gilbert, Steve Dilbeck, Brent Shyer, Doug Mann

Seventh Inning. “God Bless Us in Our Effort, God Bless America”: History and Patriotism
Josh Rawitch, Gil Hodges Jr., Joe Buck, Michael Green, Paul Haddad, Will Leitch, Bud Selig

Eighth Inning. “I’m Not Hollywood”: Celebrity and Fame
Patt Morrison, Bryan Cranston, Harry Shearer, Bill Dwyre, J. P. Hoornstra, Dennis McCarthy

Ninth Inning. “The Tao of Vin”: Inspiration and Influence
Ken Levine, Matt Vasgersian, Tom Leykis, Jim Hill, John Ireland, Ken Korach, Brian Wheeler, Mike Parker, Josh Suchon, Paul Vercammen, Jon Weisman

Epilogue
Acknowledgments
Notes on Sources
Contributors

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