There has never been anyone like Vin Scully. There never will be another person like him, and the city of Los Angeles and baseball fans worldwide are mourning the loss of the golden-voiced icon, who died Wednesday at the age of 94.
His incomparable mastery of the English language, coupled with the timing of a seasoned comedian and a folksy style of storytelling that had millions of people hanging on his every melodic word, made him what he was; the greatest baseball announcer of all time and the soundtrack of summer for generations of fans.
He began his legendary career in 1954 and was behind the microphone describing moments in time that rivaled the first moon landing in historical significance.
He called games for the Brooklyn Dodgers before moving with the team to LA in 1957. Always impeccably dressed and never flustered, he was the epitome of California cool, working alone in the broadcast booth for almost his entire career because he didn’t need help.
Here’s what Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax once said about Scully.
“It may sound corny, but I enjoyed listening to Vin call a game almost more than playing in them.”
No broadcaster could string together sequences of words to capture a moment better than Vin Scully. When he called the perfect game Koufax threw in 1965, he said nothing for 30 seconds, letting the natural sound describe the moment, then he painted the picture in the way only he could when he finally spoke.
“On the scoreboard in right field it is 9:46 p.m. in the City of Angels, Los Angeles, California.”
Bob Costas once told the LA Times this about how Scully captured that moment.
“It was like a perfect essay composed on the spot, off the top of his head.”
Two of the greatest and most dramatic moments in the history of baseball were called by Scully. In 1974, he was on the microphone for Hank Aaron’s record-setting 715th home run when the Dodgers played the Atlanta Braves.
In 1988, he pieced together a performance for the ages when he described the game-winning home run by Kirk Gibson in Game 1 of the World Series this way.
“She is gone! In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.”
He was funny, poetic, whimsical, and an absolute master of his craft who broadcast games until 2016.
His voice harkened back to a simpler time.
When he declared at the top of every broadcast, “It’s time for Dodgers baseball,” it meant whatever you were dealing with, no matter how stressful or burdensome, could be put on the back burner for a couple of hours as the maestro performed his nightly magic.