A special message of acknowledgement to the great, legendary broadcaster Vin Scully. Scully has finally called it quits after an amazing 67 years behind the mic for the Dodgers.
Vincent Edward Scully was born in the Bronx & attended Fordham University. He lived near the Polo Grounds & became a New York Giants fan during the 1936 World Series. His broadcast journey began in 1950 back in Brooklyn when Red Barber recruited him at age 23. Under Barber's mentorship he learned-never be a "homer", never listen to other announcers, and keep your opinions to yourself.
Back then New York had baseballs greatest rivalry, the Brooklyn Dodgers & New York Giants. Scully the Giant fan, now the voice of the Dodgers, would broadcast the 1951 Shot Heard Round the World, when Bobby Thompson won the pennant with baseballs most famous HR ever. He would be there for all the classic Subway World Series' of the 1950's & the final years of Jackie Robinson's career. He was the guy who called Brooklyn's only World Championship in 1955 as Johnny Podres closed out Game #7 in the Bronx. He would also call the only perfect game in World Series history two years later on the losing side.
Scully said goodbye to Brooklyn with the Dodgers & move out west to broadcast California baseball in Hollywood at Los Angeles. It was literally a whole new ball game & a new era began. The L.A. Dodgers would win three World Championships in their first seven years in Los Angles. Scully would call Sandy Koufax's perfect games, no hitters & all the strike outs that went with it.
The 1970's brought the first all California World Series in 1974 as the Oakland A's Dynasty won their third straight Championship, beating the Dodgers. Scully was there for the two Tommy Lasorda Dodgers' Pennants of the late 70's with Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell & Ron Cey baseballs longest running infield. It was onto "Fernandomania" in 1981 as the Dodgers won another World Series, beating their old AL New York rivals. In 1988 when Kirk Gibson hit his now famous, pinch hit HR off the bench, it was once again Scully making the call.
Scully continued to work alone in the booth on Dodger home games & certain road games as well. His mix of old stories & facts about the current players on the field kept the broadcast interesting, like no one else could do. He never missed anything on the field, never screaming or trying to show up the game itself. His dulcet voice, described as sweet & flowing said it all, he made the game more enjoyable to listen to.
In the 2000's when baseball cable packages & MLB.com subscriptions started, I was able to listen to Scully on a nightly basis, since I'd always tune in to the late night Dodgers games. I found myself looking forward to just listening to Vin Scully broadcast more than the actual game matchups.
My favorite part of the game was between innings late in the game, the camera would go onto Scully & he would tell a story of a game on that day in Dodger history. He would give his account of it & then say "now lets get back to this one". It was almost like no, don't get back to this let Vin tell more stories of past games!!. Mr. Scully, I thank you for the enjoyment of just sitting back, relaxing & enjoying a casual baseball game.
In addition to his Dodger broadcast he was a network announcer as well for CBS (1975-1982) NBC(1983-1989) & national radio broadcasts as well. Not only did he do baseball but also PGA Golf & NFL Football. In 1970 he actually turned down the offer to work the brand new Monday Night Football games. He called many World Series, Championship Series, All Star Games & Games of the Week in his career.
Trivia: Mets fans remember him & Joe Garagiola calling the 1986 World Series, it's Scully who said "little roller up along first, it gets by Buckner & the Mets win it!" After a long silence letting the cameras catch all the action on the field & in the stands, Scully came back & said it perfectly " if a picture is worth a thousand words then you just seen a million".
Scully has won the Ford Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame. He has a star on Hollywood Blvd, has a street named after him in Vero Beach, Florida, long time Spring Training home of the Dodgers. The press box in Dodger Stadium is named after him & as of this year, the address of Dodger Stadium is 1000 Vin Scully Way.
He was named Sportscaster of the Year three times & California Sportscaster of the Year 32 times. He of course is in National Sportswriters & Radio Halls of Fame.
Scully has been married to his wife Sandi since 1973, his first wife Joan, passed away in 1972. He has four kids, two stepchildren, sixteen grand kids & three great grand kids.
His son Michael was killed in helicopter crash at age 33. Scully said that being a Catholic, his faith made him go on from his sons death & get back into his work.
He signed off on Sunday at Candlestick Park as the Dodgers & Giants went at it for the last time with Scully behind the mic. Willie Mays, the greatest player Scully said he ever saw joined him in the booth, quite a moment. Scully signed off saying "I have said enough for a lifetime".