First Memories Of Vin Scully
By the time I heard Vin Scully as a play-by-play man he was less than halfway through his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Not knowing much about Scully at the time I was unaware he started out with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Despite my lack of knowledge about Scully I was drawn to him because of his love for the history of baseball. I love history as well, and hearing Scully and analyst Joe Garagiola discuss their time in baseball and its past drew me in.
Scully possessed all the qualities of a great broadcaster. John Madden, Keith Jackson, and Marv Albert showed their excitement over big plays. Billy Packer broke down the game of basketball well. Mel Allen, who did play-by-play for the New York Yankees while Scully was starting with the Dodgers, was great on “This Week In Baseball.” “This Week In Baseball” was a weekly baseball highlight show that aired before the games on Saturday, in the late 1970’s and the ’80s. The call of Kirk Gibson’s at bat against Dennis Eckersly in game one of the 1988 World Series proves Scully could do all those things:
What Set Scully Apart?
Unlike other broadcasters Scully wanted to carry on a conversation with fans. Pull up a chair, he said, let’s enjoy the game together. He used the time and space between plays in the game to bring you stories like this:
He never stops doing the play-by-play, keeping up with what’s happening in the game while telling Bumgarner’s story. Viewers not only got a sense of the games action, but who Bumgarner was away from the field as well.
Scully brought a rare perspective on baseball’s history to his broadcasts, which he gained over the 67 years he did it. Here’s an example:
Even when talking about subjects other than baseball Vin held an audience:
Last Memories Of Vin Scully
After the ’80s Scully rarely was on national broadcasts, although he did do radio play-by-play for the World Series until 1998. Then MLB Network came along. It was perfect for night owls, because you got to hear Scully on the Dodgers broadcast. He broadcasted by himself because the Dodgers realized that’s what fans wanted, to hear him.
Gradually Scully cut back on his broadcasting duties, to the point that in his last season he was only doing about 100 games a year. It made you sad as a fan of baseball, and hearing him, to know you would not have the chance to hear him as often. You understood why that was, and he had given you enough, after all. Here is his sendoff after his final game, October 2, 2016:
Scully showed up on Twitter just two short years ago. He made you feel, just as he did when broadcasting a game, as if you were hearing from an old friend. He made Twitter a brighter place by being on the platform. It was a chance for him to talk to fans directly about the game he loved.
Scully died Tuesday, leaving a hole in the heart all fans of baseball. There will never been another like him. Every season that passes the memory of him will not fade, because fans will not forget his voice, nor his friendship with the players and fans of the Dodgers and baseball. After all he did and meant to the sport there is only one thing to say: thank you, Vin.
The Dodgers honored Vin before his final season:
Scully’s call of Hank Aaron’s record breaking 715th home run:
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