Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Review of "Perfect Eloquence"

I never thought I could hear more good things about Vin Scully, nearly two years after his passing - but this book has many of them.  I learned a lot more about the legendary broadcaster by reading this book.  Here is my review of "Perfect Eloquence." 


“Perfect Eloquence: An Appreciation of Vin Scully” by Tom Hoffarth


5 of 5 stars (Excellent)

Review:  It’s difficult to add any more praise and adulation for Vin Scully that hasn’t already been said, but this book by Tom Hoffrarth does just that.  Scully was the broadcasting voice of the Dodger, covering them both in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, for 67 years.  Imagine doing a job you love, with millions listening to you, for that long.  Whether you are a big fan of the Dodgers or know practically nothing about baseball, the chance to meet or talk to Scully was a memorable moment for those lucky enough to do so.  This book is a collection of stories from people of all walks of like who were able to do so.

That is why this book is not only such a joy to read but is also one that must be given credit for accomplishing a difficult task – namely to share insights into the man that were not already shared either during his last year of broadcasting in 2016 or after his death in 2022. By interviewing various people – from fans to baseball personnel to other celebrities – Hoffrath was able to compile a great selection of stories on many different aspects of Scully’s life. To a person, everyone that Hoffrath gathered information from said the same thing about Scully – that he treated them with kindness, listened to them and expressed sincere pleasure in meeting them.

This went well beyond his broadcasting excellence. Many of the stories were about Scully’s faith and how that shaped his personality and how he interacted with people.  While the book stayed away from politics unless the person sharing the Scully story mentioned it, his leanings in that topic were shown. But even then, if the person had a different viewpoint than Scully, it didn’t affect the kindness and grace they showed in their feelings on him. That was very refreshing given today’s landscape.

Of course, there is baseball and Scully broadcasting moments in the book as well, but they were not the biggest takeaways from the book.  Whether your favorite call of Scully’s was his description of the perfect game by Sandy Koufax in 1965, his description of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run (my personal favorite) or the miraculous home run by Kirk Gibson in the 1988 World Series, fans of the sport and of Scully will not only recall those great moments, but they may also learn more about the man himself.  Hoffrath deserves a lot of praise for being able to not only collect all these wonderful stories, but also weave them together in a great book that does justice to one of the greatest sports broadcasters of all time.

I wish to thank University of Nebraska Press and NetGalley for providing a review copy. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Link: Amazon.com: Perfect Eloquence: An Appreciation of Vin Scully: 9781496238788: Hoffarth, Tom, Rapoport, Ron: Books

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