Baseball’s biggest loss — Vin Scully
Jack Buck. Bob Prince. Mel Allen. Harry Caray. Bon Uecker. Ernie Harwell. Red Barber. Harry Kalas.
They were all icons in their profession – calling Major League Baseball games on radio.
But there was one – and only one – who was the best.
And we lost him the other day.
Vin Scully, who called Dodgers’ baseball games – in Brooklyn and Los Angeles – for 67 years, passed at the age of 94, Tuesday.
The cause of death was not announced.
Marty Brennaman, who spent 46 years behind the microphone calling Cincinnati Reds games on radio penned a tribute to Scully, saying he was a special person.
Brennaman said he was a kind person who always was willing to help in any way he could.
“I, like hundreds of thousands of people, will miss him greatly,” Brennaman said. “All of us will have memories of his impeccable work; others, like me, will cherish the personal memories. RIP Vin.”
The graduate of Fordham Prep and later Fordham University joined the Dodgers’ broadcast crew in 1950 when the club still played in Brooklyn – and his perch was in Ebbets Field with famed play-by-play announcer Red Barber.
“Red Barber was a big influence in my life,” Scully told Yankee broadcaster Michael Kay in a 2013 interview.
“You’re the patron saint of all baseball announcers,” Kay told Scully in that interview.
He followed the team to Los Angeles in 1958, where he was the “soundtrack to summer,” for people living in Southern California.
In October 2016, when at age 88 he left the Dodgers booth, long since named in his honor, he completed the longest tenure with one team of any professional sports broadcaster.
After his retirement, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, at a White House ceremony.
Scully was on the air in 1955 when the team won its only World Series in Brooklyn after several agonizing Fall Classic losses to the Yankees.
The following season, 1956, Scully did the television play-by-play for the last half of what is still the only perfect game in World Series history, pitched by Yankee Don Larsen against the Dodgers.
The Dodgers were wildly popular in 1960 with their fans – and were among the best teams in baseball. They were led by Hall of Fame pitchers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale – and record-breaking base-stealer Maury Wills.
Yet, it was Scully – not the athletes – who was voted “the most memorable personality in Los Angeles Dodger history,” by the fans in 1976.
In his final years, Scully cut back his broadcast schedule with the team to announce only home games or those in Western states.
At his farewell ceremony, Scully credited the fans as his inspiration.
“When you roar, when you cheer, when you are thrilled, for a brief moment, I am eight-years-old again,” he said.
Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR
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