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152 views • August 4, 2022

Legendary Dodgers Broadcaster Vin Scully Dies at 94

NTD News
NTD News
LOS ANGELES—Vin Scully, one of baseball's most revered broadcasters who called Dodgers' games for a record-breaking 67 years and narrated some of the sport's greatest moments, died on Tuesday at the age of 94, the team announced. "We have lost an icon," Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten said. Scully joined the Dodgers' broadcast crew in 1950 when the club still played in Brooklyn. He followed the team to Los Angeles in 1958, where for generations of Southern California fans he was "the soundtrack to summer," personifying "Dodger baseball" more than any player. He also attracted a national following as the voice of NBC's baseball "Game of the Week" and broadcast numerous World Series. 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. In his final games, he was celebrated by the Dodgers at an emotional farewell ceremony, hailed as a "national treasure" by the U.S. Congress and the national media, and saluted by fans and players alike with standing ovations. Shortly after his retirement, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, at a White House ceremony. Known for his "golden voice," articulate phrasing, and rich knowledge of the game, Scully announced some of the most historic games in baseball in language almost as memorable as the events he was describing. "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened," Scully declared in the moments after a limping Kirk Gibson homered to win Game One of the 1988 World Series for the Dodgers. "There's 29,000 people in the ballpark and a million butterflies," Scully said as he set the scene for the climax of Sandy Koufax's September 1965 perfect game against the Chicago Cubs. Many commentators view Scully's call of the game's final inning as worthy of the top ranks of baseball literature. "You're the patron saint of all baseball announcers," New York Yankees' announcer Michael Kay told Scully as he interviewed him in 2013. "All we do is want to be you." New York to LA The tall, red-haired Scully was born in New York City on Nov. 29, 1927, and attended Fordham University in the Bronx. He joined the Brooklyn Dodgers' broadcasting team at storied Ebbets Field in 1950, apprenticing with famed play-by-play announcer Red Barber. From Barber, he learned the power of precise, colorful language and the value of describing the action objectively rather than following the custom of many other announcers in openly rooting for the home team. "Brooklyn and the Dodgers meant more to Red Barber than to almost anyone," Scully said in his interview with Kay. "But on the mike, he was always objective, always fair. Barber has been the big influence in my life." Scully was not yet 26 when he took the helm in the booth for the Dodgers in the 1953 World Series after Barber bowed out because of a dispute over his fee. The next season, Scully became the team's lead play-by-play man as Barber moved to the New York Yankees. The Dodgers of that era, immortalized by writer Roger Kahn as "The Boys of Summer," featured such greats as Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball's color bar, Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese, and Roy Campanella. 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 year, 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. Although he later criticized his description of the game as being overly dry, Scully can be heard on the preserved television broadcast telling viewers: "Let’s all take a deep breath as we go to the most dramatic ninth inning in the history of baseball. I’m going to sit back, light up, and hope I don’t chew the cigarette to pieces." 'It's Time for Dodger Baseball' But it was the Dodgers' move west after the 1957 season that propelled Scully into the ranks of the game'
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