Vin Scully Dies at 94

Vin Scully
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Vin Scully, the legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster has died at the age of 94. The Dodgers announced his passing on Twitter late Tuesday evening. In cinema, you have Darth Vader’s “Luke, I am your father”, and Rocky’s “Yo, Adrian! I did it!”. Some of the greatest quotes in history have contained five words. Then there was Scully. In baseball circles around the globe, his trademark five-word catchphrase “It’s time for Dodger baseball” will be loved by many for the rest of time. Scully leaves behind a legacy that will be almost impossible to match, both in and out of the broadcast booth. Here is a look at the life, and career, of Vincent Edward Scully.

 

Birth of a Legend

Vin Scully was born on November 29, 1927 in New York, and he spent his childhood in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. As a young boy growing up in the Bronx, he dreamed of becoming a sports announcer. He even wrote a composition about it in grade school. When he was a child, his family had a large radio that stood on four legs in their home. It had a crossbeam underneath it for support.

He would listen to any sport that he could on it, even if it was a college football game between Alabama, and Mississippi. When he was small enough to do so, Scully would crawl underneath that radio with a glass of milk, and some Saltine crackers. The main speaker of the radio would be right above his red head. He would spend hours underneath that radio soaking in the vibrations from the crowd noise that emanated from the radio speaker. That’s when the love affair with sports broadcasting began.

 

 

The Roar of the Crowd

From then on, Vin Scully was hooked. He always loved the noise and excitement of the crowd. Even in the late stages of his career, it is one of the things that he loved most about his job. Scully spent 67 years of his life in broadcasting. As amazing as he was as a broadcaster, he was an even better human being. If you ask anyone that knew him, or even spent as little as five minutes with him, they would have nothing but the most heartfelt praise for this extraordinary man. He lived a long and wonderful life, but for many, it seems that he has gone too soon. Whatever the reason was, we can conclude that God needed him for something very important. Perhaps Don Larsen is pitching in an All-Star game against the likes of Babe Ruth, and Mickey Mantle right now.

As heartbreaking as this loss is, we can at least take comfort in knowing that Vin Scully is up there right now. He is calling that game with his commanding, yet calming voice, razor sharp wit, and unparalleled knowledge of the game of baseball.

 

 

Iconic Calls

It is impossible, and tremendously unfair, to pick a favorite call that Vin Scully made in his illustrious broadcasting career.  You have to include Sandy Koufax’ perfect game on September 9, 1965 against the Chicago Cubs. You also have Don Larsen’s perfect game for the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series against the then Brooklyn Dodgers. Then there’s the 1986 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets in which the ball went right through Bill Bucknor’s legs at first base in Game Six. These are only a few of his most iconic calls. There are far too many to count. He also called football, and golf on occasion. This piece, however, is about the man as well as the broadcaster. He had a heart of gold, and a smile to match it.

 

 

Remembering Vin Scully

Legendary broadcaster Al Michaels remembers Vin Scully fondly. “When you talk about instrumental people in your lives, I can’t think of anyone more important,” Michaels said. “Vinny could take a run-of-the-mill game, a totally forgettable game … and make it far more interesting than the game itself. And then he can take a great game and make it iconic,” Michaels said. Two-time World Series champion Kirk Gibson also shared his thoughts on Scully. For Gibson, one memory will always stand out. “My 2nd favorite vin quote “in case you’re wondering….Will Clark is due up……………………………….7th ……this inning” Rip Vin….the best,” Gibson wrote.Gibson and the Dodgers would beat the Mets in seven before beating the Oakland Athletics to win their sixth World Series title. It would also be the last World Series win for the Dodgers until 2020.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Going forward, Summers just won’t be the same without Vin Scully. He was the wordsmith of all wordsmith’s. People have said that they could listen to him for hours on end, and never tire of it. Even listening to him read a grocery list is amazing. People would bring radios to Dodger Stadium just to listen to his broadcast of the game that evening. That trend seemed to stop when he retired at the end of the 2016 season, but people will still remember that and him with nothing, but fondness and love. One thing is for sure. Fans everywhere will miss him, even if they aren’t Dodger fans. For them, it will be “Time for Dodger Baseball”. Rest in Heaven, Vincent Edward Scully.

 

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

Players Mentioned:

Don Larsen, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax, Kirk Gibson, Will Clark