John Keen, Staff Writer
From Sandy Koufax’s perfect game to Kirk Gibson’s walk-off homerun in game one of the 1988 World Series, Vin Scully’s voice has narrated some of baseball’s most iconic moments. Sunday, Oct.2 marked the end of his 67 year-long broadcasting career.
Scully’s fireside chat-like narrations and charismatic smile have endeared him to baseball fans for over six decades.
Dick Enberg, longtime friend of Scully and legendary broadcaster in his own right, gave his thoughts on what Scully means to the sporting world.
“He is the best ever to call the game. He is the Poet Laureate, and he’s going to leave a huge hole in our profession in baseball,” Enberg said during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show last week.
Scully’s broadcasting career may have started in 1949 calling Brooklyn Dodger games, but his love of baseball extends back much further.
On Oct. 2 1936, exactly 80 years before his final broadcast, Scully, walking home from preparatory school, noticed a box score on the front page of the local paper from game two of the New York Giants and New York Yankees World Series.
Scully, being the inquisitive child that he was, decided to attend game three. From that moment, Scully was hooked.
However, the game itself did not hook young Scully, the roar of the crowd did. This roaring crowd forever shaped Scully’s broadcasting style as he will tune himself out in favor of cheering crowds, whenever the moment presented itself.
No call Scully has been a part of exemplifies this more than Hank Aaron’s 715th home run in Atlanta to break Babe Ruth’s near 40-year-old record.
What struck Scully about this call was a Southern, predominantly white crowd, cheering for a black man breaking a white man’s record during a time of strong racial tension.
It has always been about the people for Scully. Yes, the games matter, but without the crowd baseball loses its magic.
When asked by Los Angeles area reporters about what he will miss most about baseball, Scully gave an expected answer.
“Will I miss the games? Yeah, but I can turn on the radio or the TV and catch the games. The people, that’s what I will miss. They’ve made me feel so much at home, and I think I’ve carried that right out onto the air.”
One thing is certain, while Scully may be able to listen and enjoy baseball as he had done before his broadcasting career, baseball will not be broadcasted the same way after his career.
Scully’s retirement does not just mark an ending career; it marks the ending of a baseball era.
This quote from Scully’s 1995 Radio Hall of Fame induction best summarizes Scully’s imprint on America’s past-time.
“Vin Scully holds the distinction of the longest consecutive service of any current major league broadcaster for one team. When you think of Vin Scully, you think of the Dodgers.”
When you think of Vin Scully you do not think of the Dodgers. You think of baseball.
Thank you, Vin.