This is the perfect book for sports fanatics like me, who enjoy and follow a large variety of sports, as this book covers 20 different sports with many memorable moments. Here is my review of “The Commentators”
Title/Author: “The Commentators: 100 Years of Sports Commentary” by Michael Schiavello
Rating: 4 of 5 stars (very good)
Review: When a book is published about various sports and one aspect that ties them together, there will usually be some fantastic stories to go along with the topic at hand. It helps when the author is considered to be a good authority on the topic and for both of these, Michael Schiavello fits in this far-reaching book on the world of sports broadcasting.
The book is far-reaching simply due to the sheer number of sports that Schivaello writes about, 20 in all from cricket to horse racing, from American football to football as the rest of the world plays it. Because his work is done in the United Kingdom, some of the longer and more detailed descriptions are for sports popular there such as football (soccer) and cricket, but he does a wonderful job of covering American sports as well.
Good examples of his attention to the broadcasters of American sports are the excellent write-ups he provides on two legendary commentators in their respective games, Vin Scully (baseball) and Mike “Doc” Emrick (ice hockey). Even though he many not follow those sports closely, he does a nice job of writing about two of the best and their descriptions of the games. In particular, his writing of Scully’s call of the perfect game pitched by Sandy Koufax in 1965 was a masterpiece. It would be hard to do justice in the printed word to Scully’s wonderful call of that game, but the writing about Scully’s call in the 9th inning is a must-read passage.
Schiavello, himself no slouch when it comes to sports broadcasting and the variety of events he has covered (including oyster shucking), has written a book that any sports fan should read, even if they may not be interested in some of the games. It is also recommended to find the calls written in the book on YouTube so that the audio can be experienced as well if the reader has not heard the call previously. No matter one’s sports interest, one is sure to find something to enjoy in this book.
I wish to thank Wilkinson Publishing for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.