Vin Scully. It's a name synonymous with baseball, and with the Dodgers organization in particular. If you grew up in or around Los Angeles, chances are that you're familiar with Scully's resonant voice and his calm demeanor. Whether he was calling Sandy Koufax's perfect game on September 9, 1965 or Charlie Culberson's walk-off home run on his final day as the Los Angeles Dodgers' play-by-play announcer, he always did his job with a measure of coolness and class reserved only for the most interesting men in the world. Listening to Vin Scully talk about baseball was like reading Mark Twain or listening to Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Attending a game called by Scully was akin to watching a master of their craft exercise that ability with precision and grace. Like all great visionaries however, we didn't really know what we had until it was gone.
After spending two years in the United States Navy, Scully attended Fordham University and was very active in multiple sports as well as various publishing and broadcasting endeavors. After earning his degree, he wrote over 100 letters to various broadcasting companies and received a response from just one: a CBS Radio affiliate in Washington. He began work as a fill-in announcer before being recruited by Red Barber, the sports director of the CBS Radio Network, to cover college football. After a series of events which saw Barber end up not calling the 1953 World Series due to a contract dispute, Scully filled in and became the youngest announcer, at the age of 25, to ever call a World Series game. Barber moved on to work for the New York Yankees the following season and Scully took over as the principal announcer for the then-Brooklyn Dodgers.
When the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Southern California in 1958, Scully followed the franchise and quickly became a fan favorite. Fans attending the game have even gone as far as to bring in radios so that they could keep up with Scully's excellent commentary. It's a testament to the descriptive nature of his play calling ability. Scully became so popular with Los Angeles residents and the Dodger faithful that he was voted the franchise's most memorable personality in 1976.
Since then, Scully's gone on to have a long and storied career and a personal life that was marked by both a lasting legacy and the sadness that comes with personal tragedy, which included the deaths of his first wife and his oldest son. However, Scully was able to use his work and his faith to deal with that grief when it began to overwhelm him and in doing so, he provided a comforting and steady voice to millions of baseball fans around the world. For that and for the years of memories, we thank you. Not only will the Los Angeles Dodgers never again be the same, but neither will the game of baseball. Here's wishing you a very pleasant good evening in the twilight of your career, wherever you may end up. We'll miss you, Vin.