I fell asleep the other night listening to Vin Scully calling a Dodgers game. It was perfect, except when Charley Steiner, his partner in the broadcast booth, started screaming about a triple and woke me back up.
But apart from that, it was like some kind of scene from the past, like living a memory of times gone by – turning the dial just right, tuning into a baseball game thousands of miles away, listening through the static.
There was no static, of course, or even a radio for that matter. With Major League Baseball’s Gameday Audio subscription, you can listen to any game in the country with a few clicks of the mouse.
And I love it.
People say baseball is boring. By extension, they think baseball on the radio must be boring beyond belief. But there’s something about it that keeps me coming back.
I first signed up for the subscription a few years ago, when my Cubs were doing well. They are, uh, not doing so well now, but MLB keeps auto-renewing me. I’ve planned to cancel it a number of times, but I always think about lounging on the couch and listening to a Sunday afternoon game or catching a West Coast game in bed. The possibilities are enough to keep me tuning in.
It’s different than catching a game on TV, when you sit down specifically to watch. You can have a radio game on in the background, and you’ll then find yourself paying closer attention when the voices rise, hanging on every word.
You can also get a feel for baseball towns far and wide. I listened to a Pittsburgh game a few weeks ago. The Pirates are in contention for the first time in decades, and you can hear the excitement in the radio voices. These are not the lazy September games they’re used to calling. They mean something.
The Dodgers are returning to their place as the West Coast’s premier team, and the great Vin Scully – who has witnessed it all – is still calling every pitch. In Kansas City and Cleveland, you can listen to unlikely pennant races.
It’s a wonderful thing.
I’m a sucker for old things. I still own T-Shirts from my childhood and shoes from high school. So maybe I’m just grasping at some ideal – and baseball on the radio isn’t all that great.
But I’ll keep listening, and if you happen to tune in some time, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Find some static and it’ll be even better.
William Geoghegan is the sports editor at the Warwick Beacon. He can be reached at 732-3100 and firstname.lastname@example.org.