As we are getting ready to tell players like David Ortiz and Mark Teixeira goodbye, we can not forget about one more retiree. At the end of the 2016 regular season, we are also having to say goodbye to the voice of the Los Angeles Dodger.
For the past 67 years, we have heard Scully call some of the best games in baseball. He has ventured into calling NFL games and golf matches over his career.
Scully is a native New York as he was born there in 1927. Beginning his career at the age of 22, he studied at Fordham University. Before his broadcasting career, he also spent time in the U.S. Navy also working with their radio communications program. A radio station in Washington D.C. gave him his first gig calling play-by-play for college football. He was then discovered by Red Barber of CBS. He slowly began to be their primary announcer for Dodger games. In 1953, he called the World Series with Mel Allen, the voice of the Yankees at the time.
Most became familiar with Scully as he called the World Series and All-Star Game on CBS radio and NBC television, From 1975 to 1982, he also called NFL games, tennis, and golf for CBS television.
Some say Scully’s call of Bill Buckner’s error in the 1986 World Series and the 1988 World Series when Kirk Gibson’s game winning run. He has called a record 28 World Series.
He also has the longest tenure with one club at 65 seasons. Scully has also been behind the microphone for 20 no-hitters and three perfect games
In 1958, Scully followed the Dodgers as they moved from Brooklyn to L.A.. He seen the Dodgers win 5 World Series titles, the first being on 1959. He also called the 715 home run from Hank Aaron in Atlanta.
Friday, September 23, the Dodgers had a pre-game ceremony for Scully as it was Vin Scully Appreciation night. The ceremony pushed the first pitch back 37 minutes but no one complained. They had a host of guest speaker including Clayton Kershaw, Jaime Jarrin, commissioner Rod Manfred, and Kevin Costner. The Los Angeles major Eric Garcetti and Sandy Koufax also joined them.
“We will miss you, my friend,” Costner said. “We will miss you on our radio, in our cars and in our backyards. You have been a gift to Los Angeles and to baseball itself. How lucky we were that day in Brooklyn when the microphone was passed into your hands. You were the chosen one.”
“As many times as I’ve been on this field, I’ve never been this nervous,” Koufax said.
When it was time for him to take the microphone himself, Scully did not shy away from his usual. He said one of his famous sign-on to games and it felt as he was talking to each fan personally. He thanked the fans, the players, the media, and the commissioner’s office.
“When I was 8 years old, I fell in love with the roar of a football crowd coming out of a speaker on an old four-legged radio,” Scully said. “When you roar, when you cheer, when you are thrilled, for a brief moment, I am 8 years old again.” “Now I am looking for a much smaller house, and a much larger medicine cabinet.”
“You know, if you’re 65 and you retire, you might have 20 years of life left or more, and you better have some plans,” Scully said. “When you’re 89 and they ask you what your plans are — I’m going to try to live.”
Scully will be turning 89 in November.
“It’s time for Dodger baseball,” he said as he was concluding his speech.
To honor his final season as well, , the Los Angeles city council renamed the street on which Dodger Stadium is located “Vin Scully Avenue”, with the ballpark’s address being 100 Vin Scully Ave. In 2012, the Dodgers also honored him with a bobble head and the threw out the first pitch of the Dodger August 30th game that season.
More of Scully’s honors include a 21 time winner of the California Sportscaster of the Year, the Ford Frick Award, a Lifetime Achievement Emmy as well as being named the Broadcaster of the Century in 2000. Then on January 1, 2014, he was the Grand Marshal of the annual Tournament of Roses Parade. In that September he received the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award. This made him only the second non-player to receive award.
A poll was given to the fans to vote for their favorite Scully call and the results were their favorite was Kirk Gibson’s home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
“I’ve loved this game for 80 years.” -Vin Scully