Vin Scully was the beloved voice of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for 67 years. His descriptions of the games were often so poetic that they were almost like poetry. He died at his home in the Hidden Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles on Tuesday. He was 94.
Stan Kasten, the president and CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers, said in a statement Tuesday night, “We have lost an icon.” “Vin Vin Scully, the voice of the Dodgers, had one of the best voices in all of the sports. He was a giant of a man, both as a broadcaster and as a person who helped others. He cared for people. He enjoyed living. He was a big fan of baseball and the Dodgers. He also cared about his family. We will always remember his voice and be able to hear it.
The Fordham University graduate was born in The Bronx and raised in Washington Heights. He retired from the Dodgers’ broadcast booth at the end of the 2016 season, ending a baseball career that began at Ebbetts Field in 1950 and is known as the longest career of any broadcaster with a single team in the history of professional sports.
But it wasn’t only about living longer. Vin Scully was a master of both the English language and the art of radio broadcasting. Vin Scully was great at baseball, football, and golf. He set a standard that will be hard to reach for those who come after him.
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When he said, “It’s time for Dodger baseball,” at the beginning of each local broadcast, Los Angelenos of all ages knew that the game was about to start. After the 1957 season, the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, and the Giants moved from New York to San Francisco. This was the first time that major league baseball was played west of the Mississippi River, and Scully brought the game to the City of Angels. During those early years, so many fans brought their transistor radios to games that Vin Scully’s play-by-play could be heard on the field.
When things were going really well for the Dodgers, it was said that you could walk from Malibu Beach to Newport Beach in Southern California and not miss a pitch.
“Vin Scully made the Dodgers successful in Los Angeles more than anyone else,” Dodgers general manager Buzzie Bavasi wrote in his autobiography. “He was the best thing we had with us when we went to California.”
In the early 1960s, Vin Scully was called “as much a part of the Los Angeles scene as the freeways and the smog” by Sports Illustrated.
Vin Scully was a good storyteller who worked alone most of the time. Over the course of his seven-decade career, he called more than 9,000 baseball games. He was behind the microphone for 28 World Series, 20 no-hitters, and 4 perfect games, either on radio or TV.
He called Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game 6 of the 1956 World Series, Hank Aaron’s record-setting 715th home run in 1974, Mookie Wilson’s ground ball that “gets through Buckner” as the Mets rallied to win Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, and Kirk Gibson’s one-legged, game-winning homer in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series: “In a year that has been so unlikely, the impossible has happened.”
There will never be another Vin Scully. You will be forever missed. 🎙💙 pic.twitter.com/WyTmXsati5
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 3, 2022
His detailed and dramatic description of the ninth inning of Sandy Koufax’s perfect game in 1965 made it sound like he was reading from a script instead of speaking on the spot. The text of his off-the-cuff comments was included in “The Baseball Reader” by Charles Einstein.
His favorite moment, though, was when the Dodgers beat the Yankees in seven games to win the 1955 World Series. It was the only time “Dem Bums” won a world title in Brooklyn.
Scully said, “I have to start by saying that I was younger and more impressionable back then.” “You have to know that the Dodgers have a history of frustration, and I did as a kid growing up in New York. In 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, and 1953, the Dodgers played the Yankees in the World Series, and they always lost. There were a lot of guys in the 1955 Dodgers club who were there when I joined. It was kind of like my high school graduation. I knew how upset they were that they were so close but didn’t make it. I felt for them.
“When the last out was made in the final game, I told everyone, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the Brooklyn Dodgers are the world champions.'” “Then I just stopped talking and didn’t say anything else,” Scully said. “People asked me all winter, ‘How did you stay so calm?’ Well, the truth is that I was so upset by it all that I think I would have cried if I had to say anything else.”
Vincent Aloysius and Bridget Scully had Vincent Edward Scully on November 29, 1927, in The Bronx. His father was a salesman who sold silk. He died when Scully was only 4 years old from pneumonia. His mother later married a sailor named Allan Reeve, who Scully said he thought of as his father.
One of the most iconic calls in MLB history.
RIP Vin Scully 💙🤍 pic.twitter.com/Bb4YqU6yHg
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 3, 2022
Vin Scully said that he first became interested in baseball during the 1936 World Series. He was walking by a local laundry when he saw a sign in the window that said the Yankees beat the New York Giants 18–4 that day. Vin Scully took in the Giants because he felt sorry for them. He chose Mel Ott, an outfielder who hits left-handed, as his favorite player.
On the day of his last game, October 2, 2016, Vin Scully noticed that it was exactly 80 years to the day of that World Series game that he was so interested in when he was a skinny, red-headed boy.
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As a member of the Police Athletic League and the Catholic Youth Organization, Scully often got free tickets. When those weren’t available, he’d return soda bottles and use the deposit money and coins he got from collecting newspapers to buy a ticket to see his favorite team play at the Polo Grounds. He stayed loyal to them until 1950 when he started working for the Dodgers.
Scully also remembered long, exciting afternoons when he lay with his head under the speakers of his family’s big radio and let the roar of the crowd wash over him, whether it was a baseball game, a big college football game, or a prize fight. He said that was when he knew he wanted to be a sportscaster. As an 8-year-old, he wrote just that in a paper for school.
After Scully graduated from Fordham Prep, he went to Fordham University, where he played baseball. After a stint in the Navy, he was one of the first students to be accepted into the school’s new radio communications programme. He spent a lot of time at WFUV, the campus radio station, where he did things like talk about football and basketball games. Since 2008, Fordham has given the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award every year to a broadcaster who has done a great job. The first person to get it was Scully.
After he graduated, he got a summer job as an intern at WTOP, the CBS station in Washington, D.C. As a last-minute fill-in, Vin Scully did a great job calling a football game between Maryland and Boston University at Fenway Park. He did this from the ballpark’s roof on a cold, windy day when he thought he’d be working from inside the press box. This got the attention of Red Barber, who was the sports director for the CBS Radio Network at the time.
Barber was the one who hired Vin Scully to work in the Dodgers booth with him and Connie Desmond the next spring. Vin Scully was 22 years old when he worked the third and seventh innings. Three years later, at the age of 25, he was the youngest person to ever call a World Series game.
In addition to his duties with the Dodgers, Vin Scully worked for CBS from 1975 to 1982, where he did NFL football, tennis, and golf, and for NBC from 1983 to 1989, where he mostly did baseball’s “Game of the Week.”
In 1964, when they were looking for a new voice to replace Mel Allen, the Yankees tried to get Vin Scully to move back to his hometown. Scully turned down the offer made through a middleman because he was loyal to the Dodgers.
Longtime Yankees play-by-play announcer Michael Kay told the Wall Street Journal in 2013: “I would have been thrilled to grow up listening to him, but I don’t think I would have my job right now.” “He would still be doing Yankees games.”
In 1982, the Baseball Hall of Fame gave Vin Scully the Ford C. Frick Award. In 2016, Barack Obama gave Vin Scully the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Sandra, Vin Scully’s wife, died in January 2021. He has five kids, 21 grandkids, and six great-grandkids. Joan, his first wife, died at age 35 in 1972, and Michael, his oldest son, died in a helicopter crash at age 33 in January 1994.
At the end of his last broadcast, Vin Scully told his fans this while sitting in the TV booth at AT&T Park in San Francisco, where the regular season for the Dodgers ended in 2016.
“You and I have been friends for a long time, but I know in my heart that I’ve always needed you more than you’ve ever needed me. I’ll miss our time together more than I can say.
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