The Baseball Desert

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Happy, erm, March 9th

It's Wednesday, it's Juliette Binoche's birthday, it's Baron Bliss day in Belize. OK, so I'm trying a little bit too hard to find an excuse for passing on a fine gift, but via Futility Infielder and a couple of other websites comes this gem: an mp3 of the ninth inning of Sandy Koufax's perfect game on September 9th, 1965.

Beyond the obviously historic nature of the broadcast, it's just a sheer pleasure to hear Vin Scully. His voice is inextricably linked to my love of baseball because, having got hooked by the 1986 World Series on TV, the first baseball videotape I ever owned was the highlights tape of the '88 World Series, with Scully broadcasting for NBC. His commentary just seemed to flow so naturally - it didn't feel like he was trying to make too much of it. When you listen to him broadcasting a game, you find yourself focusing on the game, not on the broadcaster. He filters the game's crucial moments through a mastery of the beauty and simple poetry of the English language. In stark contrast to some of today's high-profile broadcasters (*cough* Tim McCarver *cough*) the focus is on the message, not the messenger. At crucial and historic moments, we don't want contrived cleverness, which tends to take away from the moment, but rather simple imagery, which adds to the moment and ensures that it will stay with us for years.

"There's 29, 000 people in the ballpark and a million butterflies..."

Perfect line, perfect game.