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Legendary Dodgers baseball broadcaster Vin Scully dies aged 94 According to Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully smiles in a broadcast stand during the National League MLB baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, April 25, 2007. REUTERS / Danny Moloshok (USA)

By Peter Cooney

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Vin Scully, one of baseball’s most revered broadcasters, who has called Dodgers games for 67 years and recounted some of the sport’s greatest moments, passed away Tuesday at the age of 94, the team announced.

“We have lost an icon,” said Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten.

Scully joined the Dodgers’ broadcast team in 1950 when the club was still playing in Brooklyn. He followed the team to Los Angeles in 1958, where for generations of Southern California fans he was the “music of the summer,” personifying “baseball Dodger” more than any other player.

He also amassed a nationwide following as he voiced the NBC baseball series “Game of the Week” and aired numerous World series.

In October 2016, at the age of 88, he left the Dodgers stand, having since been named in his honor the longest tenure with a team of any professional sports broadcaster. any.

In his final games, he was greeted with an emotional farewell by the Dodgers, hailed by the US Congress and national media as a “national treasure”, and praised by fans as well as the players greeted with warm cheers.

Shortly after his retirement, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, at a White House ceremony.

When told of the honor, President Barack Obama said: “Vin asked with characteristic humility, ‘Are you sure? I’m just an old baseball announcer.’ And we had to inform him that, to Americans of all ages, you are an old friend.”

Known for his “golden vocals”, clear articulation, and extensive knowledge of the game, Scully has published some of the most historic games in baseball in language almost as memorable as the the event he describes.

Scully announced moments after Kirk Gibson hobbled to win Game One of the World Series 1988 for the Dodgers in an unexpected year.

“There were 29,000 people in the ballpark and a million butterflies,” Scully said as he set the scene for Sandy Koufax’s perfect September 1965 match against the Chicago Cubs.

Many commentators consider Scully’s call for the final inning of the game to be worthy of the forefront of baseball literature.

New York Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay told Scully when interviewing him in 2013. “You’re the patron saint of all baseball announcers,” “All we do is want to be.” friend.”

NEW TO LA

Tall, red-haired Scully was born in New York City on November 29, 1927, and attended Fordham University in the Bronx. He joined the Brooklyn Dodgers’ broadcast team at Ebbets Field in 1950, apprenticed to popular broadcaster Red Barber.

From Barber, he learns the power of accurate, colorful language and the value of objectively describing actions rather than following the practice of many other announcers in openly cheering for home team.

“Brooklyn and the Dodgers mean more to Red Barber than to most anyone,” Scully said in an interview with Kay. “But on mike, he was always objective, always fair. The barber was a big influence in my life.”

Scully was not yet 26 when he took the helm of the booth for the Dodgers at the 1953 World Series after Barber bowed his head over a dispute over his fee. The following season, Scully became the main player on the team when Barber moved to the New York Yankees.

The Dodgers of that era, dubbed “The Boys of Summer” by writer Roger Kahn, featured such greats as Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color bar, Duke Snider, Pee, and others. Wee Reese and Roy Campanella.

Scully aired in 1955 when the team won its only World Series in Brooklyn after several painful Classic Fall defeats to the Yankees.

The following year, Scully performed a televised follow-up in the second half of what remains the only perfect match in World Series history, delivered by Yankee Don Larsen against the Dodgers.

Although he later criticized his description of the match as being too dry, Scully can be heard on the preserved television airstrip telling viewers: “All take a deep breath as we head to the finish line. the most dramatic ninth inning in baseball history. I” I’ll sit back and light the fire and hope I don’t chew my cigarette to pieces. “

‘THIS IS TIME FOR DODGER FOOTBALL’

But it was the Dodgers’ move westward after the 1957 season that brought Scully into the ranks of the game’s biggest announcers.

“It’s time for the baseball Dodger” became Scully’s signature greeting to viewers and listeners before every game.

His voice has been indelibly linked to the team from its early days on the West Coast when the Dodgers played in the Los Angeles Arena in the cave while their park was under construction.

Fans, tensely watching the action in the vast expanses of the Colosseum, began bringing in transistor radios to listen to each of Scully’s plays, an exercise they brought to Dodger Stadium when it opened. in 1962.

The 1960s Dodgers were hugely popular with their fans and were one of baseball’s best teams, led by the Koufax Hall of Fame pitchers and Don Drysdale, and base stealers record Maury Wills, who Scully once said: “When he runs, it all goes downhill.”

But it was Scully – not an athlete who performed such feats – that was voted by the club’s fans as “the most memorable figure in the history of Los Angeles Dodger” in 1976.

During the 1970s, Scully also became a fixture on national sports television programs, calling National Rugby League games and the PGA golf tournament to CBS-TV from 1975 to 1982,” Baseball’s Game of the Week” on NBC from 1983 to 1989 and the CBS World Series radio shows from 1990 to 1997.

He’s shrunk his broadcast schedule in his final years with the team to only announce home games or those in the Western states. But his presence was deeply felt by Dodgers fans.

As waves of admiration engulfed him at the Dodgers’ farewell ceremony for him, Scully credited his fans as his inspiration.

“When you roar, when you cheer, when you thrill, for a brief moment, I am eight years old again.”

Scully, who passed away at his home in Hidden Hills, left behind 5 children – Kevin, Todd, Erin, Kelly and Catherine, 21 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

Sandra Scully, Vin’s 47-year-old wife, died in January 2021 at the age of 76.

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