Saying Goodbye to a Legend

Jake DeWitt

When most people think of Los Angeles they see the Hollywood Sign, celebrities, and beautiful beaches. When I think of LA, I think of the Dodgers. When I think of the Dodgers, I think of Vin Scully. Well, sometimes I think of how much I want the Giants to #BeatLA. But mostly I think of Vin Scully.

“It’s time for Dodger baseball! Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good (afternoon/evening) to you, wherever you may be.”

His signature opening to every game is as recognizable as “Let’s get ready to rumble!” In my opinion, Vin Scully elicits the most distinct, recognizable, and pleasant voices. The Voice of the Dodgers deftly paints pictures with words, effectively obliterating the need to watch a Dodgers’ game on television. In fact, I prefer to just listen to Vin. His broadcasts remind me of the longevity of his career, the vast changes baseball experienced over the last 67 years, and the beauty with which he decorates America’s greatest pastime.

After serving two years in the US Navy, Scully became a student announcer at Fordham University before moving into the Brooklyn Dodgers’ broadcast booth in 1950 for the foreseeable future. As a sprightly 25-year old Scully became the youngest broadcaster to call a World Series. He and Mel Allen, the longtime Yankees announcer, called the 1953 World Series between the Dodgers and Yankees. Scully followed the Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1958 and hasn’t looked back despite previous offers to broadcast for the Yankees. Crazy stat: Vin has called nearly half of the franchise’s games. His career total, including All-Star games and postseason games, is up around 9,800. When the Dodgers’ 2016 regular season concludes on Sunday, the franchise will have played 20,305 games.

The emergence of the transistor radio played right into Scully’s ability to dual as the play-by-play announcer and color commentator. No other broadcast professional in history has been able to master the feat.

Check out some of Vin’s greatest calls!

Sandy Koufax’ 1965 Perfect Game

Hank Aaron’s 715th Home Run

Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series Game 1 Home Run

Rookie Wilson vs. Bill Buckner

Don Larsen’s Perfect Game in 1956 World Series

Of course, he’s lyrically illustrated countless other unforgettable moments over the last 67 years, but those are some of my favorites. Those are the memories you relive on sports commercials, ESPN Classic, and in personal memory.

Sure, Alex Rodriguez bid us farewell earlier this year. We’ll lose David Ortiz and Mark Teixeira at the end of the season, too. But, by God. Since Abner Doubleday, nobody has been more influential to baseball, and how the game reaches the eyes and ears of fans everywhere, than Vin Scully.

On Saturday October 1st I will be one of 42,000 at AT&T Park in San Francisco for Vin Scully’s second-to-last broadcast. While I won’t be listening to Scully’s play-by-play commentary on the radio, I will surely paint my memory with his vivid expressions.

To all up and coming broadcasters and those who have been professional commentators for 30-plus years, I do not envy you. I imagine following in the footsteps of Vin Scully is a daunting task even on the best of days. To all up and coming athletes and youth everywhere, Vin Scully is the man you should aspire to be. A man of faith. A painter of words. A man of hope and promise.

Thank you, Vin.

Author: Thrive Nation

Amateur sports journalism blog, primarily posting about the latest happenings in EPL, MLB, NFL, and Boxing.

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