For over 60 years his was the voice Dodgers’ fans heard on television and radio broadcasts. On August 2, 2022 Vin Scully died in his Los Angeles home at the age of 94.
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Keyshawn summed up Scully when he said, “he was the best there ever was. Just such a special man. I’m grateful and thankful I got to know him as well as I did.”
Scully began his legendary Hall of Fame career when the team was still in New York as the Brooklyn Dodgers. At 67 years in front of the microphone, he holds the record for the longest career with a single team in any professional sport. And no matter where he was broadcasting a game, it always began with, “Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good evening to you wherever you may be.”
And while it common today for a broadcast to have two, three, and even four people who seem to spend as much time discussing opinions and personal matters as much as the game itself; Vin Scully worked alone and was always ready with a story about the players and their accomplishments, even as his career began to wind down well into his eighties.
MLB. Commissioner Bob Manfred spoke on Scully saying, “today, we mourn the loss of a legend in our game. Vin was an extraordinary man whose gift for broadcasting brought joy to generations of Dodger fans. In addition, his voice played a memorable role in some of the greatest moments in the history of our sport. I am proud that Vin was synonymous with Baseball because he embodied the very best of our National Pastime. As great as he was as a broadcaster, he was equally great as a person.
Dodgers manager Dave Robert’s added, “there’s not a better storyteller and I think everyone considers him family. He was in our living rooms for many generations. He lived a fantastic life, a legacy that will live on forever.”
He was born in ent Edward Scully on November 29, 1927 in the Bronx, New York. After the death of his father when young Vincent was just seven years old, the family moved to the burrough of Brooklyn. While he grew up playing stickball, it was the family radio and the college football and Dodger baseball broadcasts that captured his attention and had him dreaming of calling games.
That dream became a reality while Scully was at Fordham University where he would call the football, basketball, and baseball games from the university’s radio station.
His first professional broadcasting job came when he was just 22 in a job with the local CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C. that led to a job broadcasting the games for the Brooklyn Dodgers with Red Barber and Connie Desmond. At 25, Vin Scully became the youngest person to ever broadcast a World Series game – a mark that has never been broken.
When the Dodgers moved west in 1958, Scully came right along with them. During his storied career Scully has seen and broadcast some history making moments including four perfect games, 21 no hitters, six Dodger championships, Don Drysdale’s scoreless streak of 58 2/3 in game and again when Orel Hershiser broke it 20 years later, and Hank Aaron’s record setting home run. Calling the game, Scully said, “a Black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol. What a marvelous moment for baseball.”
While working at NBC, Scully called football games and PGA tournaments. He has also called a total of 25 World Series games and 12 MLB All Star games.
In broadcasting dead air is a major taboo, but Scully would often describe a big play as quickly as he could so the fans listening could get a feel for what was happening at the stadium. When Sandy Koufax threw a perfect game in 1965, Scully was silent for 38 seconds and it happened again when Kirk Gibson hit a game winning pinch hit home run in game one of the 1988 World Series.
A private man who usually disappeared during the off season, Scully lent his talents, usually as an announcer, in a handful of film and television productions including an episode of “Mister Ed”, “The Fugitive”, as the narrator on “Occasional Wife”, “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In”,”Highway to Heaven”,and “The X-Files”.
There are thousands of stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame including one for Vin Scully, but the Baseball Hall of Fame member also has the Dodgers Stadium press box named for him; as well as, the road leading up to Dodgers Stadium. And President Barack Obama presented Scully with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His other Honours include, the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award, a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award from the National Radio Hall of Fame, a four-time winner of the National Sportscaster of the Year honour, and is an inductee of the American Sportscasters Association and the Sports Broadcasting Halls of Fame.
Predeceased by his first wife Joan, his second wife Sandra, and a son Michael; Vin Scully is survived by his children Catherine, Kelly, Erin, Todd and Kevin.
feature photo credit: Vin Scully.jpg