July 9, 2007

Ol' times there are ne'er forgotten

In Los Angeles, the main (and perhaps only) manifestation of traditionalism is that elderly sportscasters and broadcasters are seldom put out to pasture. The airwaves are full of decrepit old gents from my childhood. For example, Chick Hearn, the Lakers' basketball broadcaster, dropped dead in harness at about age 85. Today, during his Dodger broadcast, Vin Scully told a story about something Hall of Famer Frankie Frisch (who first played in the majors in 1919) told him in 1950 or 1951 when Vin was announcing Dodger games from Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, which was torn down after the Dodgers left in 1957. Now, that's continuity.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

And let's not forget the master, George Putnam, 97 years young, and still going strong:

live feed


wikipedia entry

Anonymous said...

Hey, Steve, how about this: the lack of activity on this thread is another small example of the decline of America's obsessive interest in SoCal, and also SoCal's influence on the rest of America.

The 20th century Californian cultural vanguard was powered by immigration from other US states obviously. Free thinkers who pulled up roots.

California's new immigrants, Hispanics and the Asians, are not innovating in the same ways. Frankly, it takes brains AND charisma to mesmerize the world. And both these groups come up short.

Miami/Dade is not an American cultural vanguard today is it? Los Angeles no longer is either. No Latin city can be.

I guess the new cutting edge American city is the internet. What exactly is going on on the Latin internet, Steve? Maybe you could do a column on the Latin internet. It's an important issue, because if we are to become a Latin country, then that will be our internet, and someone else will be running and developing the non-Latin internet. Or am I wrong?

Anonymous said...

Hey, Steve, how about this: the lack of activity on this thread is another small example of the decline of America's obsessive interest in SoCal, and also SoCal's influence on the rest of America.

In defense of Mr Sailer, did you ever see California in its prime?

When Hitchcock was filming Vertigo, or when Bruce Brown was filming Endless Summer?

When the Surfaris were cutting "Wipe Out", or the Beach Boys were cutting "Good Vibrations"?

When Carlo Maria Giulini conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic?

When Donald Douglas was building the DC3, when Howard Hughes dominated the aircraft industry in Orange County, when the Skunk Works was defending the world from both fascist socialism and bolshevik socialism?

When Hewlett & Packard, working out of a garage, started what would become the world's largest computer company?

When Huntington and Getty were gathering the great artworks of human history?

Those were the heady days, witnessed by men like Chick Hearn, Vin Scully, Ronald Reagan, and George Putnam, during their lifetimes.

And even as recently as the mid-1980's [when I first visited California - and oh, how beautiful it was], the state was still reliably, rock-solid GOP.

But then The Gipper went and signed Simpson-Mazzoli [in retrospect, possibly the greatest strategic blunder of his career], and, to paraphrase Ross Perot, the giant flushing sound of toilet exhaust overwhelmed the state.

I can't fault the old-timers for waxing nostalgic about the good old days - from everything I ever saw, those days must have been pretty darned spectacular, bordering on nirvana.

[And no, the surfers weren't all heroin-addled trailer park trash, like they're portrayed in John from Cincinnati.]

Anonymous said...

Or perhaps Steve, the talent pool in broadcasting play-by-play locally is so small that guys hang on forever.

If someone with as much skills as Vin Scully or Chick had come along earlier, both those guys would have retired.

Only in Football, to some extent, have the older guys like Keith Jackson retired. Aikman is OK as a commentator, so too Simms, but Madden and Michaels still continue on. Likely because the skills are hard to develop and the supply of guys coming up is not large.

Back in Vin and Chick's days, when they came up, there seemed to be a lot of low-level broadcasts of local teams where they could hone their craft just like minor league pitchers. Now? You have to be good from the start. And pretty much everything is national, with national games replacing regional minor-league sports.

Why watch/listen to a minor league game when you can catch your choice of Major League games any day?