Vin Scully, the legendary broadcaster for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, died on Tuesday at the age of 94.
Scully was the golden voice of the Dodgers for 67 years. He was a Hall of Famer, a poet laureate, an icon, the greatest of all time, and most importantly, a friend.
Scully was born in the Bronx in New York City. At the age of 8, while passing by a laundromat he saw the box score of Game 2 of the 1936 World Series: Yankees 18, Giants 4.
“My first reaction was, ‘Poor Giants,'” he said at the time. Scully lived close to the Giants home at the Polo Ground and often attended games after school. “That’s when I fell in love with baseball and became a true fan.”
Scully would stay up late at night listening to his family’s four-legged radio enjoying the roar of the crowd during live broadcasts of baseball and college football games. That’s when he came up with the idea that he would love to be a broadcaster and call the games himself.
After serving in the United States Navy for two years, Scully began his career as a student broadcaster at Fordham University. At the age of 22, his dreams of becoming a broadcaster came to fruition when he was hired by a CBS radio affiliate in Washington D.C. A year later, he was recruited by legendary broadcaster Red Barber to join him and Connie Desmond in the Brooklyn Dodgers radio booth.
In 1953, when the Dodgers and Yankees met in the Fall Classic, Scully became the youngest broadcaster ever to call a World Series game at the ripe young age of 25.
A year later, Barber left to be the voice of the Yankees and Scully became the sole voice of the Dodgers. A role he remained in for 62 more years, until he retired in 2016. Scully relocated with the team to Los Angeles in 1958.
Over the span of the next seven decades, Scully was the soundtrack of sports for some of the game’s greatest moments.
Scully was on the call in 1974 in Atlanta when Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s all-time total home run record. Scully would later say that it was the most important game he would ever call.
In addition to the Dodgers, Scully also lent his voice to golf, tennis, football, and nationally televised baseball broadcasts on NBC.
It was Scully’s Game 6 call of the 1986 World Series between the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox when a routine ground ball went through the legs of Bill Buckner, leading to one of the most memorable moments in history.
Another memorable call from Scully came in the 1981 NFC Championship Game between the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys. Quarterback Joe Montana found tight-end Dwight Clark in the back of the end zone with less than a minute remaining for the game-winning touchdown. The 49ers would go on to win the Super Bowl, but that play, known simply as “The Catch,” lives on in infamy thanks to Scully’s legendary call.
Among the most memorable moments in Dodgers’ history, Scully was on the call for Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series and again manned the microphone for Sandy Koufax’s perfect game in 1965.
But perhaps Scully’s most famous call in Dodgers’ history, or baseball history for that matter, was his description of Kirk Gibson’s miraculous homer in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series against Dennis Eckersley and the Oakland Athletics.
Scully was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, and was awarded the lifetime achievement award Emmy in 1995. Later that same year, he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. He was named the California Sportscaster of the Year 33 times, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a plaque in the press box at Oracle Park in San Francisco, and the press box at Dodger Stadium will forever bear his name, as will the road leading into the stadium itself.
Off the field, Scully credited kissing the Blarney Stone in Blarney, Ireland for his gift of gab and eloquent storytelling. He was a devout Catholic, who could be found at chapel inside Dodger Stadium for every Sunday afternoon game.
Scully credited his faith in helping him through the triumphs and tragedies that come with life. His first wife, Joan died in 1972, and he lost his son, Michael A. Scully, in a helicopter crash in 1994.
Scully married Sandi Hunt in 1973, and the two were inseparable until her death in January of 2021 to ALS. Scully told the Los Angeles Times later that year, that it was difficult losing his best friend, and the woman who was by his side for nearly 50 years.
“The main thing, I want people to remember me as a good man, a good husband, a good father, a good grandfather,” Scully told the Times. “That’s most important thing of all.”
Vin Scully might be gone, but his voice will ring in our ears forever.
“Hello everybody, and a very pleasant good evening to you wherever you may be…”
And before every game:
“It’s time for Dodger baseball!”
Scully’s voice spanned generations of families, whether you listened to him on your transistor radio, driving in your car, on your television, or sitting next to a four-legged box on your living room floor, Scully was the narrator of our favorite sports stories. A special kind of broadcaster that invited you to sit next to him in the booth and see everything as he saw it.
Scully was more than just a baseball broadcaster, he was a teacher, an advisor, and an inspiration to millions.
Baseball, Los Angeles, and the Dodgers will never be the same without him, but they were made greater because of him.
So wherever you may be, if you’re reading this, take a minute to do what Scully would often do for the game of baseball. The same thing he did after Gibson’s infamous homer, sit in silence and listen to the world around you; whether it be the roar of a crowd, the laughter of children, or the soundtrack of life. Just sit in silence and take it all in. That’s what Vin would have wanted. We’ll miss you, Vin.
Scully is survived by his five children, 21 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
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