On Tuesday night, the baseball world received some very sad news. A voice for generations and an absolute icon of a man, Vin Scully, passed away at the age of 94. For 67 years, Scully was the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers and is the bridge between generations of baseball. If you think about any historic baseball moment, you think about Scully. Sandy Koufax. Jackie Robinson. Duke Snider. Don Drysdale. Clayton Kershaw. Vin Scully. Of all the famous Dodger names in their history, Scully is one of the most important ones as he brought so many fans together. He was in the middle of a lot of iconic moments, including Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run and Don Larsen's World Series perfect game. But it didn't have to be an iconic baseball moment that made the legend of Scully. Every game he called was made iconic just due to the fact he was in the middle of it all.
How It Started
Baseball isn't baseball without Vin Scully. The amazing way he went about his business, the way he let big moments breathe, and his vast storytelling made you never want to tune out. His voice was so soothing and calm to the ear, that you could listen to him talk for hours. Not just about baseball, either. Scully began his broadcasting career as a student broadcaster at Fordham University, where he helped form their FM radio station WFUV. He sent about 150 letters to radio stations on the East Coast, and got just one response, from CBS Radio affiliate WTOP in Washington. Scully would go on to call college football games for CBS Radio Network after their sports director Red Barber recruited him. Scully really started to get attention and respect from his boss when he called a college football game from the roof of a frigid Fenway Park without a hat or gloves. He had left his hat and gloves in his hotel, expecting their to be an enclosed press box. This led to Scully joining the Dodgers' booth in 1950, alongside Barber and Cornelius Desmond. Then at age 25 in 1953, he became the youngest person ever to broadcast a World Series. This after Desmond got into a salary dispute with World Series sponser Gillette and Scully stepping in. When the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1957, Scully followed them.
Scully was the lead announcer for CBS Radio Sports' World Series coverage for many years, and between radio and television, he called 28 World Series. He also called National Football League games, tennis, PGA Tour golf and the Master's for CBS television. One of his most famous calls for the NFL was Dwight Clark's touchdown catch in the 1982 NFC Championship Game. Scully wound up leaving CBS and joining NBC, where he was the lead baseball announcer from 1983 to 1989. He called the Saturday Game of the Week for NBC, along with three World Series (1984, 1986, and 1988), four National League Championship Series (1983, 1985, 1987, and 1989), and four All-Star Games (1983, 1985, 1987, and 1989). During this period, he would only broadcast home games on the radio, road games for television as part of his Dodgers schedule.
Scully called many games solo, as he had the rare ability to do both play-by-play and color commenting with his vast storytelling. By rare, I mean he was the only one in history who could ever do that for as long as he had. He was one of one and someone that all broadcasters since have strived to be and take knowledge from. According to Ryan M. Spaeder on Twitter, "Scully called over four percent of all games in MLB history... including those that weren't televised, and those that occurred before the television was invented." Afer his contract ran out at NBC in 1989, he focused primarly on his Dodgers duties. He would also return to being the national radio announcer for CBS Radio's World Series coverage, where he remained until 1997. Before the 2016 season, Scully announced it would be his final season as he would retire. His final game was October 2 at AT&T Park (now Oracle Park) in San Francisco. After the final game, Scully offered a final message to the fans.
"You and I have been friends for a long time, but I know in my heart that I've always needed you more than you've ever needed me, and I'll miss our time together more than I can say. But you know what? There will be a new day and eventually a new year. And when the upcoming winter gives way to spring, rest assured, once again it will be 'time for Dodger baseball.' So this is Vin Scully wishing you a very pleasant good afternoon, wherever you may be."
It really came full circle for Scully. The baseball Gods work in mysterious ways. He grew up a Giants fan who grew up in Manahatten when the Giants were in New York. The final game he called was the Dodgers against the Giants in San Francisco, and the night he passed away the Dodgers were facing the Giants in San Francisco. The Dodgers took down their bitter rivals and the ghost of Vin Scully was certainly present. After the Dodgers won the World Series in 2020, Scully narrated the World Series DVD.
Behind the Bag
The Impossible Has Happened
Koufax Perfect Game
What He Meant To Fans/Broadcasters
"Vin Scully was the unattainable bar. The level at which he called the a game while weaving in the personal side of each player was and is still unmatched. I grew up a Dodgers fan in Pittsburgh. Any chance I could get to hear him was a delight and, looking back now as a broadcaster, an inspiration to what we all try to do." - Adam Marco, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders Radio Announcer
"Obviously being a Mets fan, Vin Scully's call of the ball going under Buckner's legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series [is memorable]. But is voice was as smooth as silk, and it was always a joy listening to him." - Charlie Ettel, Creator of Believe In The Orange and Blue Blog
"Vin Scully is the definition of the perfect broadcaster. How he was able to weave his words and create iconic moments just with his words is something I aspire to everday. I hope to be remembered as fondly as Vin Scully is, not only as a broadcaster but as a person as well. RIP Vin Scully." - Jackson Gross, TDT Writer, Sports Audio Producer at Marquette
"Vin Scully was one of the last few remaining historical icons. He was one of my favorite non-Yankee related broadcasters ever." - Jenna Crofoot, Yankee fan
"Vin reminded me that the love of baseball goes far and remains for a long time. He was a national treasure and one of the best broadcasters in baseball's history." - Laura Eismont, Yankee fan
"Vin meant everything. He was the gold standard of broadcasting. He had a simple elegance and grace about him that will never be duplicated." - Mike Ventola, Lehigh Valley IronPigs Broadcaster
"Vin was - and always will be - Dodger baseball. There will never be anyone like him... ever." - Megan (@MegaQuack24) Dodger fan
"I remember going to games as a toddler with my dad and grandpa and my grandpa would have his transistor radio just so he could listen to Vin. He was the voice of my childhood and my dad's. He wasn't just our announcer, he was our friend and our family. I'll miss him so much." - Ari Tata, Dodgers fan
"Vin Scully was the reason I know and love the game of baseball. He taught me how to enjoy the game of baseball. He taught me how to enjoy the game without a bias, and he always knew the best way to tell every story. There will be many who try to imitate him, but there will only be one Vin Scully, and he never could be replicated. When I hear his voice, I knew it was time for Dodger Baseball." - Dodgers Tailgate
"One of my early memories of Vin Scully was him calling Jack Morris' no-hitter on April 7, 1984. That game was NBC's 'Saturday Game of the Week,' long before every team had it's own network and TV deals. It was the first no-no I ever watched live on TV and I still remember it vividly." - Charile Ricker, IBWAA Writer and Yankee fan
Rest In Peace Vin. It is always time for Dodger Baseball.