May 10, 2016


The voice of baseball: Get to know Vin Scully, the man behind the mike : Longtime Dodgers announcer Vin Scully sits down with SI senior writer Tom Verducci and talks about his 67-year career behind the mic.
undefined (Tom Verducci, May. 10, 2016, Sports Illustrated)

His 67-year run as the voice of the Dodgers--no, wait: the voice of baseball, the voice of our grandparents, our parents, our kids, our summers and our hopes--ends this year. Scully is retiring come October, one month before he turns 89.

One day Dodgers president Stan Kasten mentioned to Scully that he learned the proper execution of a rundown play by reading a book written by Hall of Fame baseball executive Branch Rickey, who died in 1965. "I know it," Scully replied, "because Mr. Rickey told me." It suddenly hit Kasten that Scully has been conversing with players who broke into the major leagues between 1905 (Rickey) and 2016 (Dodgers rookie pitcher Ross Stripling). When Scully began his Dodgers broadcasting career, in 1950, the manager of the team was Burt Shotton, a man born in 1884.

It is as difficult to imagine baseball without Scully as it is without 90 feet between bases. To expand upon Red Smith's observation, both are as close as man has ever come to perfection.

"Los Angeles is a city of stars," says Charley Steiner, a fellow Dodgers broadcaster for the past dozen years and, at home games, a regular 5:30 p.m. dinner partner with Scully and Rick Monday, another colleague. "And Vin is the biggest star of them all. I don't care who it is--Arnold, Leo, Spielberg, Kobe, Magic--nobody is bigger than Vin, and I'll tell you why: With everybody else you can find some subset of people who don't like them. Nobody doesn't like Vin Scully.

"Vin is our Babe Ruth. The best there ever was."

Scully was named the most memorable personality in Dodgers history in a fan poll--beating all players--and that was 40 years ago. With Jerry Doggett, Scully formed the longest-running broadcast partnership in history--until his partner retired 29 years ago. Scully was inducted into the broadcaster's wing of the Hall of Fame--34 years ago.

Posted by at May 10, 2016 1:10 PM