Scully named top broadcaster

Scully named top broadcaster

LOS ANGELES -- Charley Steiner grew up in Brooklyn listening to Vin Scully call Dodgers games on the radio, and ever since those formative summer nights, Steiner's had no doubt about whom he wanted to emulate.

"His voice is the sound of baseball," Steiner said. "When I was 7 years old, he was the first voice I ever listened to and he's the reason I wanted to get into this racket."

Not surprisingly, then, the first-year Dodgers broadcaster wasn't at all surprised to hear that Hall of Famer Scully was named as the best announcer in baseball history in Curt Smith's just-released book, "Voices of Summer."

"It's the absolute truth," Steiner said. "His voice, his timing, his experience. [Scully's] the man."

Scully is in his 56th season as the voice of the Dodgers, and he's been behind the mike for each and every one of the Dodgers' world championships. Perhaps befitting baseball's greatest announcer, Scully has had some excellent company in the broadcast booth.

Among active Dodger broadcasters, Hall of Famer Jaime Jarrin was named the No. 1 Spanish-language sportscaster (28th overall) and Steiner received an honorable mention.

Jarrin's voice is as recognizable among Spanish-language listeners as Scully's is with the English-language audience, giving the Dodgers the first-ever tandem of Hall of Fame broadcasters in both Spanish and English.

As if that wasn't enough of a legacy, seven other Dodgers broadcasters cracked the 101-man list, including Hall of Famers Ernie Harwell (No. 3) and Red Barber (No. 5).

Smith's book ranked baseball's top 101 announcers on a scale of 1-10 in 10 categories: "longevity, continuity, network coverage, kudos, language, popularity, persona, voice knowledge and miscellany." Scully was the only broadcaster to score a perfect 100.

It's the latest in a long line of honors for Scully, Jarrin and Steiner. Scully, honored by the Hall of Fame in 1982, was voted the "Sportscaster of the 20th Century" by the American Sportscasters Association in 2000. Jarrin, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998, was awarded Ecuador's highest non-military commendation in 1992. Steiner won a Clarion Award and contributed to an Emmy Award-winning series during 14 years at ESPN.

And, unlike many of the greats from days gone by listed in Smith's book, Scully, Jarrin and Steiner are still alive, well and as entertaining as ever.

Mark Thoma is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.