Vin Scully, the radio and TV voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers for 67 years who in the process became synonymous with the city, died Tuesday, the Dodgers organization said. He was 94.
“We have lost an icon,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said in the statement. “The Dodgers Vin Scully was one of the greatest voices in all of sports. He was a giant of a man, not only as a broadcaster, but as a humanitarian. He loved people. He loved life. He loved baseball and the Dodgers. And he loved his family. His voice will always be heard and etched in all of our minds forever. I know he was looking forward to joining the love of his life, Sandi. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this very difficult time. Vin will be truly missed.”
Scully got his start with the Dodgers franchise in 1950 in Brooklyn, where at age 22 he became the third man in the booth with Hall of Famer Red Barber and Connie Desmond. He followed the team to the West Coast when it moved to Los Angeles in 1958 and was the main radio announcer until retiring in 2016 at age 88 still at the top of his game.
In 1992, Scully, like his mentor Barber, was inducted into the broadcasters’ wing of the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
He became the voice of baseball for the city. Per Scully’s official bio in Cooperstown, Sports Illustrated’s Robert Creamer wrote in 1964: “In the six years that he has been in California, Scully has become as much a part of the Los Angeles scene as the freeways and the smog.”
Overall, Scully called some of the biggest moments in sports for various networks including CBS from 1975-1982, including calling tennis, golf and NFL telecasts (the latter including Dwight Clark’s “The Catch” from Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers in the 1981 NFC Championship Game). He even had a CBS daytime talk show on the Television City lot.
But baseball provided the fodder for his most memorable calls, from Hank Aaron’s 715th home run in 1974 breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time record to hobbled Kirk Gibson’s famous home run in the 1988 World Series. He also called Don Larson’s perfect game for the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series — the only one to do that — and also charted Fernando Valenzuela’s meteoric rise in the 1980s.
All of those iconic baseball moments came calling games for the Dodgers and his legion of fans, many of whom half-eschewed the sounds of Dodger Stadium during games by putting one earpiece in their ears to catch Scully’s calls from above in the press box.
Scully was part of Los Angeles’ rich announcing heritage that included three other eventual Hall of Famers: Lakers announcer Chick Hearn, who like Scully has a street named after him; Kings announcer Bob Miller; and Scully’s Spanish-language counterpart Jaime Jarrin who has been with the Dodgers since 1959.
As news broke of Scully’s passing, Los Angeles reacted:
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