It is hard to pick one trait that distinguishes Vin Scully from ordinary broadcasters, but we’ll go with this one: He knows when to shut up.
Scully, working on radio during the playoffs, was at the microphone in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s Game 4 of the National League championship series. With one out and the St. Louis Cardinals leading, 4-2, the Dodgers’ Nick Punto doubled. The Dodgers had the potential tying run at bat, and Dodger Stadium was rocking.
Punto was picked off. This is what Scully said: “Listen to the crowd now.”
Dead silence, for a few uncomfortably long moments.
“It really was kind of a precious audio sequence,” Scully said Wednesday. “That’s highfalutin for ‘It sounded pretty good.’ ”
The silence was worth a thousand words, when most broadcasters would try using a thousand words. This was not the first time Scully let the audience tell the story. In 1974, when Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home-run record, Scully deferred to crowd noise for a minute and a half (hear that call).
“I think I set the record for audio silence,” Scully said.