Vin Scully: Dean of Baseball Broadcasters
Vin Scully showed again last night why he is regarded as the dean of baseball broadcasters still broadcasting today and could very well be the best ever.
When he got word that John Wooden had passed away Scully announced to the crowd at Dodger Stadium that Wooden had died and did it in a way that only he could do it. He mixed some Shakespeare in with the announement and also mentioned that Wooden was a a baseball fan. This article and the video of the announcement show Scully at his best.
Vin Scully was born in the Bronx on November 27, 1927 about two months after Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs in a season there in the Bronx. At the age of 22 he joined broadcasting immortal Red Barber in the booth for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950.
Barber told him to never be a homer by rooting openly for the Dodgers and to keep his opinions to himself and he has done just that over his career.
This year marks his 60th anniversary of broadcasting baseball games for Scully. He was there for one of the low points of Dodger history when he was in the booth for the shot heard around the world when Bobby Thomson homered off of Ralph Branca to give the Giants a dramatic 5-4 win over the Dodgers on October 3, 1951.
He witnessed the early days of Sandy Koufax struggling to gain control of his fastball when he was 9-10 in his three years in Brooklyn before moving to Los Angeles. Koufax was 27-30 over his first three years in Los Angeles.
Then Scully saw Koufax at his best in the last four years of his career when he won 25, 19, 26 and 27 games before Koufax retired after the 1966 season at the age of 30.
Scully was also there in 1955 when the Dodgers finally defeated the Yankees for the World Series championship and a year later was at the mike when Don Larsen pitched his perfect game against the Dodgers in 1956 World Series.
His most famous call was when he called the 715th home run of Hank Aaron on April 8, 1974 announcing the game over the Dodgers radio network.
The following video tells in Scully’s own words what was going through his mind when he managed the Dodgers for an inning:
He was not only a baseball announcer but also announced NFL football games for CBS from 1972-1982.
Scully won’t announce a game east of Denver and had announced he might retire after the 2010 season but is not closing the door on returning for the 2011 season.
In the times I have heard Scully broadcasting on television he doesn’t have another broadcaster making idle chatter. With Scully you only need to hear the best broadcaster ever so there is no need for banter between him and another broadcaster. Dodger fans are very fortunate to have had the best baseball broadcaster for the last 60 years.
Scully was voted the winner of the Ford Frick Award and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982. He has broadcast 28 more years since being inducted. He also was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.