On Thursday night, Marv Albert, who was born in Brooklyn, will call his first-ever Nets game in his home borough on TNT.
Grantland's Bryan Curtis has an excellent piece on Albert's life growing up.
One interesting excerpt:
As a teenager, Marv got a job at 215 Montague Street working for the Brooklyn Dodgers, a gig he earned after appearing on a radio show, "All-League Clubhouse", as a child panelist. As a "very significant office boy," Marv managed the giant public scoreboard the Dodgers kept atop the building. The cool thing was, Ebbets Field became his new arena for fake broadcasting.
On game days, Marv hauled the giant Wollensak tape recorder onto the bus in Manhattan Beach. The recorder was about the size of an accordion -- only klezmer bands suffered more for their art. Marv hoisted it onto the subway. Then up the stairs to the employee side of the Ebbets Field press box, between home plate and first base.
From there, only a thin wall separated Marv from Vin Scully, the Dodgers play-by-play man who'd replaced Red Barber in 1954. "He had this different, mellifluous voice -- it was almost poetic," Marv says. "What I admired about him was the preparation of anecdotes."
At every game, Scully would deliver prepared anecdotes to Brooklyn, and Marv, who was 16, would deliver prepared anecdotes into a tape recorder.
"I'd usually have a friend or one of my brothers as a color commentator," Marv says. One of the color commentators was the forefather of Gus Johnson. He screamed. Finally, Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley sent word that the fake broadcast team needed to move. Marv and his team relocated down the right-field line. "We didn't have quite the same vantage point," he says. He kept broadcasting.