As all who care are aware, Vin Scully, who was the voice of the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers for over 60 years, passed away yesterday at age 94. Since Mr. Scully also broadcast nationally for many years, he was well-known by sports fans nationwide. He had the classiest, smoothest delivery of any sports announcer I have ever heard. The most dramatic baseball moment I have ever witnessed as it happened was the gimpy Kirk Gibson’s 9th inning homerun off Hall of Fame Closer Dennis Eckersley in Game One of the 1988 World Series (it was Mr. Gibson’s only at bat in a series ultimately won by the underdog Dodgers over the Oakland A’s), and Mr. Scully’s call of the moment – in which he said little, and then let the crowd tell the story – by itself ranks as a classic in sports broadcasting.
My mother was from Brooklyn, raised five blocks from Ebbets Field, and could recall Mr. Scully’s start as second chair to Red Barber (a legend in his own right in Brooklyn). Both of my parents were big baseball fans (my father was as rabid a Yankee fan as my mother was an avid Dodger backer, which both later agreed made for interesting Octobers in the late ‘40’s through the mid-‘50’s). Throughout Mr. Scully’s career, he maintained the even-handed style of baseball announcing in which he was trained in New York (and upon which my parents grew up). When we moved to the Midwest in 1959, both of my parents were appalled by the Chicago broadcasters’ “root, root, root for the home team” announcing style. To their mind, Mr. Scully’s delivery was the way it should be done. I came to share their view.
Hear in your head one more time that rich voice, as you would if he were discussing another:
“His reporting brought respite from daily cares to millions of Americans over scores of years. May he rest in peace.”