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Pull Up a Chair: The Vin Scully Story Hardcover – May, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.; 1 edition (May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597974242
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597974240
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Over 234 riveting and exquisitely reported pages in a book that clearly was a labor of love for the author, but hardly a fawning piece of fluff.”Washington Post, July 29, 2009

“Curt Smith deftly shows how Scully’s melodious six decades with the Dodgers . . . began baseball radio and television’s longest same-team skein. . . . Vin Scully has supplied the raw material, while Curt Smith possessed the skills to bring off a gem of a book. This is a wonderful read. . . . You won’t be disappointed.”The Lowell [MA] Sun, July 26, 2009

Pull Up a Chair isn’t so much a biography of Scully as it is an elegant and eloquent appreciation of a man who may be the greatest American broadcaster of the 20th century--and who is staking claims on the 21st.”San Antonio Express, August 2, 2009

"An honest attempt to illuminate Scully's life. It is full of interesting tidbits and amusing stories from his childhood and long career."—www.campuscircle.com, August 31, 2009

"No one can truly capture Scully's use of English and sense of history in a book. Smith does as well as possible by not only telling the Scully story, but also spicing the narrative with play-by-play script."USA Today, June 11, 2009

"A great new book . . . about the life and times of Dodgers announcer Vin Scully. Author Curt Smith captures . . . the great things about this very popular man and why he has lasted so long in one job, which is basically unheard of in the media world.”The San Francisco Examiner, June 20, 2009

"[A] wonderful tribute. . . . Pull Up a Chair is a wonderful read and a fitting tribute to an 81-year-old broadcaster who hasn't lost anything off his fastball."—scottpitoniak.blogspot.com, June 19, 2009

"Smith has as much a mastery of the English language as Scully."—DemocratChronicle.com, June 18, 2009

“Smith…makes the perfect Scully biographer. . . . Longtime baseball fans will savor this one as they would a fine brandy. . . . Baseball used to bring out the best in those who wrote and spoke about it; Scully and Smith remind us that, in some cases, it still does.”Booklist, June 1, 2009

"I highly recommend it. . . . His life story has been beautifully sculpted by Curt Smith in Pull Up a Chair. It makes for great summer reading."—politicalmavens.com, May 30, 2009

“It is fitting that Curt Smith would be the author who gives sports fans a wonderful gift: the first biography of the great Vin Scully. No writer knows baseball announcers as well as Smith does, and no one captures their voice so perfectly. If you can’t get near a television or radio to listen to Scully, read this book. It’s the next best thing.”—Christine Brennan, USA Today

“Curt Smith’s salute to Vin Scully makes for what those familiar with both men would expect: one passionate but poised professional writing about another, a noble subject in the hands of a noble author. In the highest possible sense, they deserve each other. We win.”—Phil Mushnick, New York Post

“Curt Smith’s passion for the written word and the national pastime leaps from every page. If Vin Scully is baseball’s Homer, Smith is unquestionably its Boswell. Meticulously reported and elegantly written, a brilliant tour de force.”—Tom DeFrank, New York Daily News

“Can you believe it? There has never been a biography of Vin Scully, and this book is that—and so much more. This is a book about baseball—and an artist. This is a book worth waiting for. Believe it this book is a winner.”—Juan Williams, National Public Radio

“If Scully is the Perfect 10 in Smith’s dead-on reckoning, Pull Up a Chair is a 9.8 (marred only by East German judges), as both a riveting biography and appreciation of the last Dodger link between Brooklyn and the City of the Angels.”—Walter Shapiro, author of One-Car Caravan

“This rhapsody is a delightful romp through a half-century of baseball. With the kind of eloquence that Scully made famous behind a microphone, Smith takes us into the broadcast booths and onto the diamonds in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and everywhere in between.”—Burt Solomon, National Journal

“What a great read. At a time when familiar institutions are reeling from scandal and incompetence, Curt Smith reminds us of baseball’s voice of clarity, honesty, and reality. Smith is the country’s pre-eminent baseball raconteur.”—John Zogby, author of The Way We’ll Be

“There’s nothing more relaxing than listening to a baseball game that Vin Scully is broadcasting. Curt Smith has captured that quality. Pull Up a Chair makes you want to do just that—pull up a chair, pop open a beer, sit back, and read.”—Allen Barra, Wall Street Journal

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Curt Smith is "the Voice of authority on baseball broadcasting" (USA Today). He is the author of fourteen books, including the classic Voices of the Game, Voices of Summer, and, most recently, the best-selling Pull Up a Chair. Smith is a columnist for GateHouse Media, the host of Perspectives for National Public Radio’s Rochester affiliate, and senior lecturer of English at the University of Rochester. Says Bob Costas of the former presidential speechwriter, "Curt Smith stands up for the beauty of words."

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Customer Reviews

Couldn't finish the book.
John Isaacs
As articulate as Vin Scully is, this book is not.
Calvin Biggs
This book is poorly written and a difficult read.
P. Estrada

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Vince Scully the legendary Hall Of Fame announcer for the Brooklyn and now Los Angeles Dodgers... is nearing his sixtieth complete year of broadcasting. I happen to have been blessed to listen to Vinnie as a young boy in New York... and then miraculously... our family moved to Los Angeles the same exact year as the Dodgers... so I have never missed a single year of Vinnie's poetic... magical... announcing of our families beloved Dodgers from the time I was old enough to know the difference between a ball and a strike... till today... when as a Grandfather I listen to Vinnie with my grandchild. This is a book that is long over do... but unfortunately... I'm sad to say it is disappointing for a number of reasons.

Since Vinnie did not participate in the development of this book the author depends entirely on historical quotes... and on countless occasions many sentences and paragraphs include numerous quotes from multiple individuals... and many times the same section has more than one quote from the same individual... IN NO LOGICAL SEQUENCE... and the reader becomes dumbfounded as to which quotes came from which individuals. At times such as these the flow of the story comes to a standstill as the reader literally scratches his head and tries to figure out who said what.

There are also numerous typos and/or sentences that just don't make sense. Such as page forty-eight when the author writes: "IT WOULDN'T HAVE GONE THROUGH THE (BROOKLYN) FENCE." "MUSED CAMPANELLA. MIGHT HAVE GONE THROUGH IT, THOUGH." Huh?? Or on page ninety-nine "THE KID YOU'D LIKE TO SEE RINGING YOUR DOORBELL WHEN YOU DAUGHTER STARTS DATING." There are also important historical mistakes such as the stating that in 1966 Koufax won his third straight Cy Young award. That is incorrect.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By James Mushener on May 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a previous reviewer said, the book came out too quickly. Throughout the book, quotes just appear, without it being clear who said them. Sentences come from nowhere (seemingly misplaced from other chapters where they belong). A very difficult read. Not the quality that Vin Scully deserves, that's for sure.
Hold off on buying this until the problems are corrected.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Joe Consolino on September 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Love Vin Scully, and was looking forward to learning more about him and some behind the scenes stories. So there was an excellent chance I was going to like this book.

Unfortunately, it was one of the most disappointing books I can remember reading. It is only the 3rd book in my life that I returned to the store; the writing was that poor; the information that uninteresting. Very little insight into Vin; very little if any time was spent by the author with Vin. The writing was amateurish (and as you can tell, I am certainly not a great writer, so for me to think "amateurish", well...). The story bounced all over the map - - I had no clue where the next paragraph was going to go because it was often unrelated to the paragraph before. Incomplete sentences and incomplete thoughts abound in this book.

I have since found out that Mr. Scully did not authorize this book, nor did he have much participation in the book. But then, that was obvious to anyone reading the book.

I rarely review items, but again, this one was so bad and disappointing and such a waste of time, I felt I should share.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By K Mallaber on June 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Vin Scully is one of my all-time favorite sports announcers but this book is awful. It seems that Mr. Smith has a list of words that he must use up before the book is finished. His sentences run on and make little sense. One should be able to follow a sentence from beginning to end without going back to the beginning. A waste of money. (Please someone write a real biography of Vin Scully!!)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Bird on January 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up listening to Vin Scully and this book is total disappointment. I cannot believe that this got published. It is the most choppy, incoherent book I have ever tried to read. Smith interjects words and sayings out of context that leave you stumped and bewildered. After the first 3 chapters I was going to throw it away but tried again to read. Alas, half way through I couldn't take it anymore and I threw it out the window. Terrible writing style. Hopefully Vin Scully will collaborate with another author to tell his magnificent story.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mark T. Felderman on March 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am a former baseball coach, a life-long baseball fan and an avid reader, but reading this book was certainly a chore. Not because the subject (Vin Scully) was dull but Curt Smith tried to be so cute in his descriptions that even a seasoned baseball fan has to read and reread each paragraph to figure out where it is going. Here is an example from page 168: "On August 9 the Peacocks aired Wrigley Field's night inaugural. The Confines were rarely friendlier: Cubs, 6-4. L.A. finished 1-10 in the regular season against New York. The LCS became an antigen: ex-Brooks in seven. On October 15 a Series suggestive of 14 years earlier opened vs. Oakland at Dodger Stadium. Happily, network voices were as far from 1974's as Mary Martin from Madonna. Joining Vin was CBS Radio's Buck." The book's beginning is more straight forward, but the farther one reads in the book the more it is written in code.
Vin Scully's story deserves a better tell than this one. It is a very slow read. The editor's let this one go by without a good proofread.
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