Editor's Note: The above video is from April 15, 2014.
OAKLAND — The familiar voice of A’s radio play-by-play man Ken Korach won’t be heard during Friday night’s game, but there’s a good reason.
Korach is making the trip to Los Angeles to be at Dodgers Stadium on Friday night when the team honors legendary announcer Vin Scully in a pregame ceremony, as Scully winds down his 67th and final season calling Dodger games.
Korach is simply buying a ticket to soak in the experience as a fan, and it’s a pilgrimage that he says he’d regret not making. Korach grew up in Southern California listening to sports broadcasting greats like Scully, the Lakers’ Chick Hearn and Dick Enberg, who called UCLA basketball for several years in a storied career that is still going. But Scully left an especially deep impression.
“I don’t know that I’d be here without having grown up listening to him,” said Korach, who’s in his 21st season behind the mike for the A’s.
Korach has gotten to interview Scully several times since interleague play began in 1997, and he’s always struck by how a legendary figure carries himself in such a humble way.
“He’s always just been so gracious,” Korach said. “That’s the thing about him. He deflects (his celebrity). Vin is really a very gracious man.”
In 2013, Korach wrote the book “Holy Toledo” about another broadcasting giant, Bill King, who called A’s, Raiders and Warriors games for many years and worked alongside Korach in the latter stages of his career. Korach sees parallels between Scully and King.
“I think the thing about Vin and Bill is the work ethic, the preparation for every broadcast, to make every broadcast special,” Korach said. “(Scully) could have mailed it in 20 years ago and just done the games, but he just won’t do that. That’s the one thing more than anything that stands out to me. He’s just so dedicated.”
Chris Townsend will fill in for Korach calling Friday’s A’s-Rangers game alongside Vince Cotroneo.