Vin Scully, the legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster, has died.

 Vin Scully, the legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster, has died.

Vin Scully, the legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster, has died.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's not a player, manager, or team official whose name is synonymous with the Dodgers. It's Vin Scully calling.


For more than a half-century, no Dodgers game began any other way for fans at home or in the stadium: "It's Time For Dodger Baseball!"


When the Dodgers were still based in Brooklyn, Vin Scully began announcing games on the radio and then on television. He spent more time with one team than any other sports announcer in history before retiring at the end of the 2016 season.


The Dodgers announced Vin Scully's death in a tweet. He was 94.


Scully was great for more than just his longevity. It wasn't his prodigious baseball knowledge. It was his distinct voice...poetic and philosophical asides...and his ability to connect with listeners on a personal level.


It was there from the beginning. Catcher Joe Pignatano was coming up for his first at-bat as a Brooklyn Dodger in 1957. Scully wanted to make sure the player's family didn't miss out during the broadcast. "I'll tell you what. You may be familiar with the Pignatanos. If you do, it's possible that his wife is caring for the baby and not paying attention to the game. Please contact her. Joe appears to be on his way to the Major Leagues tonight."

Larry King, a veteran broadcaster, remembered Vin Scully from his time in both Brooklyn and Los Angeles. "There is a zone of comfort. You feel at ease, "King recalled a game when the Dodgers were out of contention one year. He described Scully's voice as mesmerizing. "A pointless game. I'm driving from Los Angeles to San Diego. When I start the game, I can't turn it off."



Former Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully greets fans before Game 2 of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Harry How/Getty Images

Scully was just as much a part of the team as the other players. Scully's voice could be heard from radios brought to Dodger Stadium by fans. Cary Gepner, for example, preferred his radio play-by-play to a TV broadcast without him. "You don't need to watch a baseball game to listen to Vin Scully call it because he paints a better picture than the television ever could. I adore him."


Vin Scully was prepared with baseball statistics. He, however, did not rely on them. "Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamp post: for support, not illumination," he once said. It was because of the stories he told. They came from baseball, Shakespeare, and anything else that piqued his interest. Here's an example from an interview with KPCC, a member station: "We were playing on Friday the 13th, and I was thinking, "I wonder why the background of Friday the 13th is such a big deal?" So I looked it up, and it dates back to the 1800s. "

As a result, fans learned something new in between pitches. He conveyed the excitement of a big moment on the field. And he had a lot of big moments in his career. Sandy Koufax is about to pitch a perfect game in 1965:


"Just one strike away. Sandy enters his windup. Here's my pitch: Swung at it and missed. A flawless game!"


Hank Aaron's historic and record-breaking 715th home run in 1974, surpassing Babe Ruth:



In 1974, Vin Scully was the play-by-play announcer for Hank Aaron's 715th career home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Since he began calling Brooklyn Dodgers games in 1950, Scully has narrated some of baseball's most memorable moments.

Associated Press photographer Bob Daugherty

"Fastball. It's a deep centerfield line drive. Buckner returns to the fence, but it has vanished!" Scully didn't say anything for the next half-minute. Taking it all in as the Atlanta crowd roared and cheered. And then Scully explained what that homerun meant "What a fantastic time for baseball. What a fantastic opportunity for Atlanta and the state of Georgia. What a wonderful time for the country and the world. In the Deep South, a Black man is receiving a standing ovation for breaking an all-time baseball idol's record. And it's an exciting time for all of us."


1988--Kirk Gibson's unlikely pinch-hit home run in Game 1 of the World Series:


"Right field, high fly ball She's. Gone!"


He also did network TV sports for CBS and NBC for many years. He made the famous call during the Red Sox-Mets World Series game in 1986, when Bill Buckner let a ground ball go through his legs at first base.


"Small roller up first, behind the bag. It gets past Buckner. Here we are, and the Mets have won!"


Vincent Edward Scully was born in the Bronx in 1927. He was a Giants fan growing up. He was hired by legendary broadcaster Red Barber after graduating from Fordham University.


Scully joined the Dodgers on the West Coast in 1958. He reduced his travel later in his career. As a devout Roman Catholic, he'd ask God whether he could return for another year as he grew older. God may have said yes, but Scully was more than happy to do it. "I'm overjoyed to be here. I know it sounds silly, and I'm probably a little silly myself. But I'm genuinely happy and grateful."


He finally decided that age had caught up with him. He retired after 67 seasons in 2016. The team held a moving ceremony at Dodger Stadium prior to their final home stand. Scully stood up and spoke at the end. He told the audience that their roars kept him going. And, with his underappreciated wit, he responded to the question, "What are you going to do now?" His response was typical Scully:


"So, if you're 65 and retire, you might only have 20 years of life left, so make some plans. When you're 89 and people ask what you are, I'm going to try to live..."


Vin Scully once stated that a player was "day-to-day" due to an injury. "Aren't we all?" he added after a brief pause.

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