This is Vin Scully, wishing you a very pleasant good afternoon.
August 3, 2022 9:31 AM   Subscribe

"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 needed me, and I’ll miss our time together more 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 it will be time for Dodger baseball. So this is Vin Scully, wishing you a very pleasant good afternoon, wherever you may be."

Vincent Edward Scully was born in the Bronx in 1927, in the shadow of the Polo Grounds where he became a great fan of the New York Giants. He began his announcing career at Fordham University, where he skillfully called football games. He began covering one inning per game with the Dodgers in 1950 with his mentor, Red Barber. He took over full-time in 1953, and moved west with the Dodgers in 1958.

Vin Scully was the voice of 67 summers not just for the Dodgers, but for baseball fans across the country. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball rules and history, but he wasn't a living sports computer. He could skillfully call a game in a way that was equal parts sport, philosophy, and poetry. He was every bit as important to baseball as any person who has ever played.

His call of game 7 of the 1957 World Series was added to the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.
He called Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965, and Hank Aaron's 715th home run. In his time, he called 25 world series, 12 All-star games, 20 no-nos, and 3 perfect games. His final game was on October 2nd, 2016.

He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 with the Ford C. Frick award for broadcasters' contributions to baseball; and he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

Washington Post
New York Times
MLB


I'm not a Dodgers fan, but I AM a lifelong, strident supporter of Baseball on the Radio and he was unquestionably the best in the game. There was nothing sweeter on the earth than finding a Scully-narrated Dodgers game on scratchy AM radio on a late summer night. Vin Scully, we wish you a very pleasant good afternoon, wherever you may be.
posted by Gray Duck (48 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
Another giant of sports and an even greater giant of a man lost. I am a Yankees fan who used to use his MLB season subscription to listen to a few innings of Dodgers baseball when Vin was still being Vin. Baseball, hot dogs and Vin Scully. Nothing could be finer.

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posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:40 AM on August 3 [5 favorites]


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posted by SystematicAbuse at 9:41 AM on August 3


An absolute icon even if you just take the times where he was smart enough to say nothing at all.

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posted by Etrigan at 9:45 AM on August 3 [9 favorites]


He never made himself the focus, something so many of today's announcers seem to have forgotten.

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posted by Thorzdad at 10:06 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


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I train Little League umpires and I use this clip from a late career game he called to illustrate the rule for the extremely rare circumstance of playing a batted ball with detached equipment: Link.

Listen to the glee in Vin's voice as he realizes he's seen something he's never seen in his decades of baseball, and likely will never see again. And, note how quickly he picks up on it, when I'm quite sure 90% of announcers would be blathering on with no clue of what happened.

This was May 28, 2005. He was 77 years old at the time and still that much on his game.
posted by stevis23 at 10:07 AM on August 3 [32 favorites]


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posted by adekllny at 10:16 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


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posted by Gelatin at 10:28 AM on August 3


I love baseball on the radio, and now we've lost another giant of that fading art form. "Deuces are wild" (2 on, 2 out, 2 balls, 2 strikes) was my favorite Scully-ism.

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posted by OHenryPacey at 10:32 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Despite living in LA for 26 years now, I've never been a Dodgers fan, but I've always been a Vin fan. Something about baseball is better with an accent.
posted by drewbage1847 at 10:34 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


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posted by jquinby at 10:37 AM on August 3


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posted by Windopaene at 10:38 AM on August 3


Molly Knight, who covers the Dodgers, on the loss of Vin Scully:
The first time I ever met Vin, I heard him singing before I even saw him. He loved to sing his favorite songs, show tunes mostly, from favorites like Music Man. It will come as no surprise to those who listened to him on the radio every night that he had a wonderful singing voice. It took me years to muster saying more than just “hello” to him in the hallways. The first time he called me by my name I must have called 10 people and told them about it.
posted by the primroses were over at 10:38 AM on August 3 [8 favorites]


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posted by sigmagalator at 10:51 AM on August 3


"It's time for Dodger baseball" is just lodged in my brain as deeply as any sense memory could ever be. What a giant he was.

My dad is a Big Deal in his industry, and has met every celebrity, countless world leaders, traveled everywhere, seen and done a hell of a lot. But he's also a Brooklyn boy who grew up with a standard radio and then got a transistor radio as a teen. Later he moved to LA. The one time I saw him fanboying and almost tongue-tied? When we met Vin behind the scenes at Dodger Stadium around 2015 or so. It was a lovely moment for me to watch as he met his hero.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:00 AM on August 3 [7 favorites]


Legendary .
posted by Chuffy at 11:10 AM on August 3


Last at-bat of Koufax's perfect game....

One of the best calls ever

I wrote this in a previous thread when Tony Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's....

Sinatra came out of a big band era. Bennett came out of a post-war bebop era. Sinatra was a microphone. Bennett was an instrument. Bennett could sing in intimate settings with small groups. Besides a singer he was also an instrument.

I think this is why Vin was so good on radio. I loved him. I also liked him better on radio than TV. Seeing what he was seeing at the same time was lacking.

My sense is that Vin was both the microphone and the instrument. he began describing the game in an era that wasn't fully wired wit TV until the late 50's and early 60's. I can easily see him practicing alone in the mid-forties modulating the voice to his own ears. (Jon Miller of the Giants did the same) He also does a mean Vin imitation in English, Spanish and Japanese Both have similar nasal sonorous sounds. Miller sounds like he comes more from the belly, while Vin, literally sounded like he came from the heart.

Vin was one of the few people my friends and I referred to "a God"
posted by goalyeehah at 11:11 AM on August 3 [3 favorites]


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posted by synecdoche at 11:19 AM on August 3


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posted by Billiken at 11:44 AM on August 3


He was a classic play by play announcer. He was in the same league as Mel Allen and Red Barber. This is how I learned about the game, listening to the Yankee games on the radio with my uncle in small town RI.
posted by DJZouke at 11:44 AM on August 3 [4 favorites]


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LA loves ya, Vin!
posted by calgirl at 12:11 PM on August 3


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posted by evilDoug at 12:23 PM on August 3


At The Ringer
posted by calgirl at 12:26 PM on August 3


I have no words. I stopped paying attention to baseball many years ago, but would still listen to his play-by-plays in the car. Probably the last voice of my childhood left, at this point. Shut up, I'm not crying, you're crying!
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:50 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


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posted by brujita at 1:12 PM on August 3


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posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 1:33 PM on August 3


Here's a great write-up about how skilled he was at pulling a yarn when the moment needed it with disrupting the flow of calling the game. By Lauren Theisen over at Defector.
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:49 PM on August 3 [4 favorites]


Baseball has been blessed, as probably no other sport has, with transcendent Voices to share its stories with us over the airwaves. And we've lost so many of them over the last two or three decades. Red Barber. Mel Allen. Lindsey Nelson. Harry Caray. Jack Buck. Chuck Thompson. Bob Murphy. Bill King. Curt Gowdy. Ernie Harwell. Dave Niehaus. Herb Carneal. Harry Kalas. Lon Simmons. Dick Enberg.

Now Scully, the greatest of them all, is gone. It really is the end of a wonderful era.
posted by non canadian guy at 1:56 PM on August 3 [5 favorites]


Everyone talks about the the Koufax perfect game, the Bill Buckner play, the Kirk Gibson home run, etc. But for my money the absolute pinnacle of Vin Scully's career – and probably all of American sports broadcasting – is his call of Henry Aaron's 715th home run in 1974. I used the word "transcendent" above, and it absolutely applies here. By all means give it a listen if you've never had the pleasure.
posted by non canadian guy at 2:05 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


Deuces are wild. I caught his epic calls with the 1986 and 1988 World Series and he captured the drama impeccably. Then upon moving to Brooklyn in the 2000s, I didn't figure an idle visit to a 1955 Dodgers anniversary exhibit would make me a fan of team (mostly since the Expos disappeared, sigh), especially during the weird Frank McCourt years, but lo and behold, finding live streams of Scully calling games online turned me blue.

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All the best to the Scully family.
posted by myopicman at 2:52 PM on August 3


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posted by filtergik at 3:00 PM on August 3


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posted by egregious theorem at 3:23 PM on August 3


This obituary brought to you by Farmer John hot dogs...
posted by banshee at 3:33 PM on August 3 [4 favorites]


I flew from Toronto to LA to catch his last week of games at Dodger Stadium, including Vin Scully Appreciation Day, where I have never seen so many people crying in public. A voice that got me through so many lonely nights, helping me feel like I wasn't alone. He and Sandi are together again. What a man, what a life.

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posted by avocet at 3:34 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Baseball has been blessed, as probably no other sport has, with transcendent Voices to share its stories with us over the airwaves. And we've lost so many of them over the last two or three decades. Red Barber. Mel Allen. Lindsey Nelson. Harry Caray. Jack Buck. Chuck Thompson. Bob Murphy. Bill King. Curt Gowdy. Ernie Harwell. Dave Niehaus. Herb Carneal. Harry Kalas. Lon Simmons. Dick Enberg.

Sitting here thinking that Marty Brennaman was "only" (part) voice of the Reds for 45 years and how impossible it is to wrap one's head around Vin doing 22 more years for the Dodgers - simply no comparison to his career or his titanic persona - but we should respectfully include Marty among the" transcendent Voices" of baseball.
posted by thecincinnatikid at 3:45 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


⚾ A consummate pro.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:58 PM on August 3


A slight derail about how my mom almost married Sandy Koufax. Or maybe didn't. She's always said she dated Sandy Koufax, which is technically possible since she moved to Los Angeles in her early- to mid-20s in the early 1960s, which would've been while he was on the Dodgers (1955-1966). Implausible, sure, but possible.

The story has become increasingly elaborate over the years. The latest version is the he travelled by train with her across the United States and sailed to Europe with her on an ocean liner. (Which is actually how she moved to Europe, where she met my dad.) She's not BS-ing; she claims it's all true.

posted by kirkaracha at 4:15 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


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posted by eckeric at 4:40 PM on August 3


Huh, TIL his name wasn't "Vince Cully".
posted by The Tensor at 4:49 PM on August 3


KFI in the 1960s, as a kid in LA with a just invented transistor radio :(
posted by baegucb at 5:32 PM on August 3


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posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 7:28 PM on August 3


This obituary brought to you by Farmer John hot dogs...

Easternmost in quality, Westernmost in flavor.
posted by non canadian guy at 8:39 PM on August 3


but we should respectfully include Marty among the" transcendent Voices" of baseball.

Definitely wasn't my intention to slight the man from Cincinnati, nor any of the other greats I omitted above. There were so damn many. Scully's NBC partner, Joe Garagiola. Jack Brickhouse with the Cubs. Phil Rizzuto with the Yankees. Tom Cheek in Toronto. Jerry Coleman in San Diego. Gene Elston and Milo Hamilton in Houston. Skip and Pete in Atlanta. Etc. etc.

At least Bob Uecker and Jon Miller are still with us, and active. I try to catch their games whenever I can.
posted by non canadian guy at 8:50 PM on August 3


From April, the last video Scully released on Twitter. This is very worth the 1:10 watch.

The greatest ever behind a microphone in sports. He knew the game, he knew when to tell a story, he knew how to call a game with no one doing color commentary, and most important of all, he knew when to be quiet, to let the sounds of the moment take over.
posted by azpenguin at 8:57 PM on August 3 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure if I read this upthread....someone wrote that people who are writing obits/memories online are getting frustrated when they realize they are over-explaining it after two words :)

A friends stopped by Dodger Stadium yesterday and saw massive flowers and candles out in front of one of the gates. Making my pilgrimage today
posted by goalyeehah at 9:02 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I had a blue spherical transistor radio in middle school, and used to fall asleep to Vin Scully (and Jerry Doggett) in my ear every night a game was on the radio. Just...the humanity there. He was going to tell you what was happening with joy, sorrow, whatever was appropriate from a good, good man.

In the early 80s the Dodgers traded away my favorite players and I had too much homework to follow them, but damned if I didn't tune in sometimes just for Vin.

A mensch.
posted by allthinky at 10:41 AM on August 4


Sadly, Farmer John was kicked out of The Show a few years ago.
posted by calgirl at 12:40 PM on August 4


. ⚾🧢
posted by socialjusticeworrier at 1:52 PM on August 4



posted by dogstoevski at 8:29 PM on August 4


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