Vin Scully, the voice of the Dodgers for more than six decades, passed away on Tuesday. He was 94.
Vin Scully is widely regarded as one of the greatest sportscasters of all time. For 67 years, he served as the voice of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, providing play-by-play commentary for some of the most memorable moments in baseball history.
His velvety voice and smooth story-telling style endeared him to fans across the country, and he quickly became one of the most beloved figures in the Dodgers franchise. After graduating from Fordham University, where he helped start the student radio station WFUV, he began working on Brooklyn Dodgers broadcasts in 1950. He moved with the team to Los Angeles in 1957.
Vin Scully’s 67 years with the Dodgers are a testament to his talent and longevity, and his impact on the game of baseball will be felt for generations to come.
Vincent Edward Scully was born in 1927 in the Bronx and grew up a Giants fan. He graduated from Fordham University and was recruited by broadcaster Red Barber. After 67 seasons, he retired in 2016. The team held a ceremony for him at Dodger Stadium before his final home stand. When asked what he was going to do now, he replied with his classic sense of humour.
If you’re 65 and you retire, you might have 20 years of life left, and you better have some plans. Later in his career, he cut back on travel. A devout Roman Catholic, as he got older, he’d ask God whether to come back for another year. God may have said yes, but Scully was glad to do it.
Vin Scully, legendary broadcaster, passed away today at 94. He was the voice of the Dodgers and so much more.
He captured their beauty and chronicled their glory from Jackie Robinson to Sandy Koufax, Kirk Gibson to Clayton Kershaw. Vin Scully was the heartbeat of the Dodgers and, in so many ways, the heartbeat of all of Los Angeles. He was the best of them all, both for the incredible length of his tenure in the booth and his unmatched quality over those 66 years of broadcasting Dodgers games.
Amazingly, Scully was already a Hall-of-Fame level broadcaster even aside from his work with the Dodgers, as he covered the NFL, pro golf, tennis, and (naturally) postseason and All-Star baseball games for such outlets as CBS, NBC, ABC, and TBS.
Scully was something of a wonder, as quite early in his career, he began calling Dodgers games in Brooklyn in 1950 on both TV and radio broadcasts. He was then in the booth until the end of the 2016 season, following the Dodgers to Los Angeles.
As noted in the press release,
“It was Vin as much as anyone who bonded the franchise with its new city. Fans – not only around the city but at the games themselves in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – would listen on their new transistor radios to Vin and colleague Jerry Doggett.”
Some of his most memorable moments were while calling Sandy Koufax’s perfect game against the Chicago Cubs on September 9, 1965. His ninth-inning call of that game has been called pure baseball literature. “There are 29,000 people in the ballpark and a million butterflies,” Scully said.
He gained more recognition for his voice nationally while working for CBS from 1975-82, calling baseball, NFL football, and golf. Then he moved to NBC and became the network’s lead baseball play-by-play announcer from 1983-89.
On behalf of all of us at MLBTR, we send our condolences to Vin Scully’s family and legions of friends and fans.
Some of his most memorable calls were made during this stint, including Kirk Gibson’s famous pinch-hit homer for the Dodgers in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series against the Oakland A’s.
Scully exclaimed after letting the pictures speak for themselves for more than a minute, “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!” Though he didn’t travel as much in the latter stages of his career, Scully continued to call most Dodgers home games until his retirement following the 2016 season.
His countless awards and honours include the Ford Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, a lifetime achievement Emmy presented in 1995, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame dedicated in 2001, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. The Dodger Stadium press box is also named in Scully’s honour.
Vin Scully was known for his interesting stories, which he would share with fans in between pitches. He was quoted as saying,
“Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamp post: for support, not illumination.”
Scully was able to narrate big moments on the field with excitement, such as when Sandy Koufax was pitching a perfect game in 1965.
“One strike away. Sandy goes into his windup. Here’s the pitch. Swung on and missed. A perfect game!”
“Vin Scully was an icon and one of the greatest voices in sports,” said Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten.
“He was a giant of a man, not only as a broadcaster but as a humanitarian. He loved people, life, baseball, and the Dodgers. His voice will always be heard and etched in our minds forever.”
“I know he was looking forward to joining the love of his life, Sandi. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this very difficult time. Vin will be truly missed.”
Truly he became the heart of broadcast for the Sports industry.