The Los Angeles Dodgers’ play-by-play broadcaster, Vin Scully, said goodbye to the job title he held for 67 years on Oct. 2.
At 25 years old, Scully began his historic career in 1950 with the then Brooklyn Dodgers. This came a year after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and changed the baseball world. At this time, the likes of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Ted Williams were still walking the earth.
Following the Dodgers when they moved to LA, Scully became the glue that held the Dodgers to their fans. Since their move in 1958, Dodgers fans, both at the ballpark and at home, have listened to their favorite broadcaster.
Vinny, as he is affectionately called, broadcasted all six of the Dodgers’ World Series wins and 15 no-hitters. In 1982, Scully was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Six years later, he was responsible for one of the greatest calls of all time. In Game One of the 1988 World Series between the Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics, the Athletics were up 4-3, two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, an injured Dodgers outfielder, Kirk Gibson, came up to the bat. With a three balls and a two-strike count, Gibson belted a home run into the right field bleachers and jogged around the bases pumping his arm in excitement. At this moment, Scully let out one of the most well-known sayings in baseball history: “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!”
Now 88, Scully’s catch phrases have become the standard when listening to or watching Dodgers games. Sayings such as “It’s time for Dodger baseball’ now grace Dodgers’ social media before every game with the hashtag #ITFDB.
Scully leaves a legacy unlike any other, garnering media attention from across the country that praises and thanks him for all that he has done for professional sports.
“How many men or women his age have ever performed so ably, so publicly, with no safety net?” Richard Sandomir wrote in his LA Times coverage of Scully’s last game.
Scully has also inspired countless sports lovers, spanning generations, to pursue a career in broadcasting, including myself and former El Camino Real Charter High School student sports broadcaster, Joshua Schaefer.
Schaefer, who is now pursuing a journalism degree at Arizona State University, was one of the many who, in the last week, took to social media to show their gratitude and love for Scully, posting loving messages thanking him.
“You are the reason I began doing play-by-play commentary in high school. You are simply the greatest of all time,” Schaefer said in an Instagram post.
While watching the Dodgers, listening to Scully’s silky smooth voice made me fall in love with baseball as well. I owe my passions for both baseball and writing about sports to him.
Despite his retirement, his love and his passion for the game lives on in every man, woman, and child he has touched, and for that, all anyone can say is thank you, Vin.