When Vin Scully exited the Los Angeles Dodgers broadcasting booth last fall after 67 seasons he left a giant void.
Who could ever occupy so hallowed a seat in sports?
Meet Joe Davis, an announcer from Michigan who, at 29, was born five years after Scully was honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame in the 1980s.
He’s young, the Los Angeles Times sportswriter Bill Plaschke wrote in a recent column.
But he’s good, Plaschke added: “He’s actually really good, with a distinct voice that booms like Joe Buck’s, a keen eye for detail, an appreciation for drama, and a youthful enthusiasm that makes the Dodgers sound not only credible and professional, but fun.”
Davis will have help. While Scully was a solo show, Davis will be joined in the Dodgers booth by either Orel Hershiser or Nomar Garciaparra.
Davis and his wife, Libby, along with their 9-month-old daughter, Charlotte, moved to the Los Angeles area earlier this year. A New York Times reporter caught up with him by phone. Some excerpts from the conversation:
Q: How does your style differ from Scully’s?
A: I think Vin is so unique that it’s impossible to compare anybody’s style to his — not just his storytelling ability but the fact that he saw the stories he’s telling firsthand in a lot of cases. So the fact that he was around for 67 years of calling games made his style unique. The fact that he was a solo booth made it unique. You don’t see those anymore. What Vin has done for all these years is almost like it’s own category.
Q: Have you gotten advice from him?
A: I’ve not gotten any advice necessarily straight from him. But the No. 1 piece of advice that he talks about getting from Red Barber, his mentor, is that you bring one thing to the booth that nobody else can, and that is yourself. And so to lose sight of that is a huge crime to yourself and to your listeners.
Q: How is the team looking?
A: I’m really excited about this roster. It’s hard to find too many weaknesses.
Q: How are you adjusting to California?
A: We relocated to South Pasadena in early January. We particularly love that community. It feels a little like home to us. It has kind of a Midwestern feel to it. And being from Michigan, we’ve never been able to walk anywhere in January and February. I know for a lot of people in Southern California it’s like their worst winter ever with a lot of the rain. It’s our best winter ever, by far.