His 'Dulcet Tones Provided the Soundtrack of Summer'

Beloved Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully dead at 94
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 2, 2022 11:08 PM CDT
His 'Dulcet Tones Provided the Soundtrack of Summer'
Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully gestures in his booth during a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies, Sept. 23, 2016, in Los Angeles, two days before his final game from Dodger Stadium.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

(Newser) – Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, whose dulcet tones provided the soundtrack of summer while entertaining and informing Dodgers fans in Brooklyn and Los Angeles for 67 years, died Tuesday night, the team said. He was 94. Scully died at his home in the Hidden Hills section of Los Angeles, according to the team, which spoke to family members. As the longest tenured broadcaster with a single team in pro sports history, Scully saw it all and called it all, the AP reports. The Dodgers changed players, managers, executives, owners—and even coasts—but Scully and his soothing, insightful style remained a constant for the fans. He opened broadcasts with the familiar greeting, “Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good evening to you wherever you may be.”

He began in the 1950s era of Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson, on to the 1960s with Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax, into the 1970s with Steve Garvey and Don Sutton, and through the 1980s with Orel Hershiser and Fernando Valenzuela. In the 1990s, it was Mike Piazza and Hideo Nomo, followed by Clayton Kershaw, Manny Ramirez, and Yasiel Puig in the 21st century. Ever gracious both in person and on the air, Scully considered himself merely a conduit between the game and the fans. Although he was paid by the Dodgers, Scully was unafraid to criticize a bad play or a manager’s decision, or praise an opponent while spinning stories against a backdrop of routine plays and noteworthy achievements. He always said he wanted to see things with his eyes, not his heart.

As a child, Scully would grab a pillow, put it under the family’s four-legged radio and lay his head directly under the speaker to hear whatever college football game was on the air. The boy was transfixed by the crowd’s roar that raised goosebumps. He thought he’d like to call the action himself. In 1953, at age 25, Scully became the youngest person to broadcast a World Series game, a mark that still stands. He called three perfect games and 18 no-hitters. He also was on the air when Don Drysdale set his scoreless innings streak of 58 2/3 innings in 1968 and again when Hershiser broke the record with 59 consecutive scoreless innings 20 years later. When Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run to break Babe Ruth’s record in 1974, it was against the Dodgers and, of course, Scully called it.

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that year, and also had the stadium’s press box named for him in 2001. The street leading to Dodger Stadium’s main gate was named in his honor in 2016. That same year he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama. In addition to being the voice of the Dodgers, Scully called play-by-play for NFL games and PGA Tour events as well as calling 25 World Series and 12 All-Star Games. He was NBC’s lead baseball announcer from 1983-89. While being one of the most widely heard broadcasters in the nation, Scully was an intensely private man. Once the baseball season ended, he would disappear. He rarely did personal appearances or sports talk shows. He preferred spending time with his family. (More on his life here.)

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