"And a very pleasant evening to you wherever you may be..."
November 29, 2012 2:48 PM   Subscribe

Today is the 85th birthday of Hall of Fame baseball announcer Vin Scully. He will be returning next year for his unprecedented 64th season calling games for the Dodgers, in a career reaching back to the team's Brooklyn days and their move to Los Angeles in 1958. The New York Yankees tried to pry him away in the 1960s, but he remained with the team and has become an LA institution. In the 21st Century, he has inspired blog names and tattoos and even dabbled in the online world himself during a game last season -- as an experiment, he asked fans to get a topic trending on Twitter about Dodger catcher A.J. Ellis, "a nice boy." Later in the broadcast he announced sheepishly that Ellis was trending across the U.S. This coming Monday, he will be taking over the team's Twitter feed to answer questions -- tag your tweets #askvin.

Scully has announced many historical moments, including the Brooklyn Dodgers' only championship in 1955, Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run in 1974, and various perfect games including Sandy Koufax's in 1965 (MP3 and transcript)...although as one fan pointed out today,
Every game Vin Scully calls is a perfect game.
A famously humble man in a town known for its egos and flashy ways, one who gets uncomfortable with the spotlight pointed at him, he is adored by Angelinos. When he missed last season's Dodgers opening game at home for only the second time ever:
It took the breath out of 56,000 people, that's what it did. When it was announced before the game that you were sick, a giant "Ohhhhhh" rippled through the crowd. Moments later, when they showed your image on the giant scoreboard, fans regrouped to give you the longest and loudest pregame ovation of anyone.
After missing a handful of games, he was back, to the collective relief of millions.

posted by Celsius1414 (22 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Didn't his daughter Dana work for the FBI at some point?
posted by hippybear at 2:49 PM on November 29, 2012 [4 favorites]

You are correct! :)
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:50 PM on November 29, 2012

How about that!
posted by Egg Shen at 2:54 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

A total class act of a human being. As a Canadian who only gets to hear him sparingly I relish every opportunity to see/listen to him call a game! The Best period.
posted by ktrain at 2:55 PM on November 29, 2012

Didn't his daughter Dana work for the FBI at some point?

And he's a noted and accomplished architectural historian - I've seen him lecture!
posted by LionIndex at 2:58 PM on November 29, 2012

He's pretty much the main reason I've gotten into the Dodgers since moving to LA. And the contrast with the stump-humpers and tack-headed jabberers they have down in Anaheim has only reinforced my hatred of the Angels.
posted by klangklangston at 3:15 PM on November 29, 2012

"And here come the pretzels!"
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:17 PM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

Vin Scully is a treasure, and Dodger fans are lucky he's still around. (As a lifelong Cardinal fan, I still miss Jack Buck, who was sort of our equivalent of Scully - skilled at his craft, long-tenured, and loved by fans for both his personal and professional qualities.)
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 3:33 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

As a Phillies fan, I naturally hate the Dodgers (and every other team), but I love Vin Scully. He is the best.

64th season calling games for the Dodgers

Wow. How many people anywhere do the same job for 64 years?

Moreover, I am jealous that people my age who grew up as kids listening to Vin Scully calling Dodger games get to enjoy the same pleasure today. I grew up listening to the late Harry Kallas and as much as I like Chris Wheeler, it'll never be the same.
posted by three blind mice at 3:38 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

klang, you missed the Angels in the days when Dick Enberg was the #1 voice, backed up by Dave Niehaus (who left to become an institution at the Seattle Mariners) and later Don Drysdale (the Dodgers' all-star pitcher?!? Treasonous!). It was a golden era for Los Angeles sports (Enberg also did the Rams and, of course, Chick Hearn did the Lakers). Enberg and pitcher Nolan Ryan (before he became legendary in Texas) were the only reasons to care about the Angels, but I always rooted for the underdog and learned to accept disappointment.

That said, Vin Scully is THE Los Angeles sports broadcasting institution. And that was obvious within a few years after the Trolleydodgers moved from Brooklyn to Chavez Ravine (NOT named for Cesar Chavez). In my brief tenure in the fringes of the LA radio biz in the '70s, he was ONE person NOBODY had an unkind word about (the only other I recall was Gary Owens, who is another story).

64 years? He's barely to the 7th inning stretch.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:43 PM on November 29, 2012

I mainly love Vin Scully because I listen to so much Dan Bern music, and Bern loves baseball. It is sweet to see someone so beloved for his artful turns of phrase and distinctive voice.

Fwiw, here is Dan Bern's song "The Golden Voice of Vin Scully," where Bern sings and then, at the end, perfectly (to me, anyway) imitates Scully calling a game. I think it is an extraordinary song and a lovely tribute to Scully.
posted by onlyconnect at 3:53 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I miss Niehaus terribly.

But no one calls a game like Scully. And he is a private and public class act, too.
posted by bearwife at 3:54 PM on November 29, 2012

I followed the Dodgers for years when I lived in L.A., and Vin Scully was the commencement speaker at my college graduation. He was great, and I was so grateful that our speaker was such an improvement over the previous class' (Laura Bush).

And he's a noted and accomplished architectural historian

When I watched Ric Burn's New York: A Documentary Film and heard this great quote about the demolition of the original Penn Station ("One entered the city like a god; one scuttles in now like a rat.") I assumed it was said by Vin during his time with the Dodgers in Brooklyn, but Vincent Scully the architectural historian is another person altogether.
posted by mediated self at 5:36 PM on November 29, 2012

This is gonna break Twitter.
posted by fshgrl at 5:50 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

This season Scully referenced Dylan Thomas and Monet. Then there was the time a broadcast came back from commercial with a shot of the full moon, and he said "can you believe we put a man up there?"

I'm not always the best at treasuring the moment, but listening to Vin Scully call a baseball game is one of the true joys of this life. Savour him while we have him.
posted by dry white toast at 7:44 PM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

Once, in discussing a player with a minor injury, he said that so and so "is listed as day to day.... Aren't we all?"
posted by AJaffe at 7:54 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

A seat on the porch, beer in hand, and Vin Scully on the radio, telling the story of the game.

Not a terrible way to spend a summer afternoon.
posted by notyou at 7:57 PM on November 29, 2012

Unless I'm missing something - and I often miss something - wouldn't 64 years reach back to 1948, not 1958?

He had already been with the Dodgers when the team moved to Los Angeles in 1958.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:52 PM on November 29, 2012

It's an absolute crime that Fox doesn't have him call the World Series. One more before he retires please! Can't someone start a petition???
posted by chaz at 10:06 PM on November 29, 2012

As a Giants fan, I always respected Scully for his career and historical value to the game, but never had much affection for the man beyond that. During the past season, I had to work during one of the games in which SF thumped the Dodgers and arriving home late, fired up MLB.tv to watch the game. I wasn't paying attention in setting it up and accidentally tuned it to Scully's broadcast over Miller's and didn't bother to change it once I realized.
It was a sheer delight to actually listen to the man's craft. He made me chuckle throughout the game with his unique quips and anecdotes and I actually got a lot of fresh insight and new factoids on the Giants themselves from listening to Scully.
Rivalries aside, the game of baseball and fans everywhere are fortunate to have this character. Let him call the Series!
posted by ws at 10:30 PM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

As a Mets fan, I'm partial to Ralph Kiner, and love how every once in a while he'll show up in the booth to spend a few innings with Gary, Keith, and Ron (who are, IMO, the single best broadcast team in all of professional sports. They did stuff like broadcast a game while sitting in the upper deck the last year Shea was around). But I admit, Vin is a national treasure, and the last of his kind. One of my favorite memories of this past baseball season was a lazy Sunday afternoon when MLB channel was showing a Dodgers game and I drifted in and out of naptime to the Vin's dulcet tones.
posted by old_growler at 12:11 PM on November 30, 2012

I've got nothing but admiration for a man who is referenced in two separate classic Simpsons eps.
posted by Skot at 12:30 PM on November 30, 2012

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