Vin Scully, the legendary broadcaster of the “voice of the Dodgers” for more than six decades, died Tuesday, the team said. He was 94 years old.
“Vin Scully was the heartbeat of the Dodgers — and in many ways, the heartbeat of the whole of Los Angeles,” the team said in a statement announcing his death on Twitter.
The team’s statement said Scully was more than a broadcaster calling the action on the diamond – he was the Dodgers’ “conscience, their Poet Laureate, capturing their beauty and from Jackie Robinson to Sandy Cofax, Kirk Gibson”. Clayton was describing his glory to Kershaw.” ,
In 2016, after 67 years, Scully retired and the Dodgers went back to a career playing at Brooklyn before moving to Los Angeles in the late 1950s.
His play-by-play Dodgers reached generations of fans as he cemented his place in fans’ hearts and etched his place in the history books as the longest-lived broadcaster with a singles team in pro sports history.
He opened the broadcast with the familiar greeting, “Hello, everyone, and wish you a very happy good evening wherever you are.”
Scully was known for devolving into stories that were at least as interesting – and sometimes more – as the action on the field.
He discussed the history of beards between balls and strikes during a game against the San Diego Padres after watching players accompany them (Alexander the Great thought himself too handsome to cover his face, he said). He even once gave a history lesson about baseball and dirt.
Team president and CEO Stan Castane said in a Dodgers Twitter post that Scully was an icon who broadcast expansive and human.
“He loved people. He loved life. He loved baseball and the Dodgers. And he loved his family,” Custain said. “His voice will always be heard and will be etched in the minds of all of us forever.”
The team did not provide any information about his death.
Scully was honored by everyone from the National Baseball Hall of Fame to the White House. He received the Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award for Broadcast Excellence in 1982 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.
Then-President Barack Obama said that Scully’s voice was a typical baseball sound, like the crowd singing during the 7th inning.
“When he heard of this honor, Vin asked with distinctive politeness, ‘Are you sure? I’m just an old baseball announcer,'” Obama said then. To Americans, you are an old friend.”
Scully was recognized with the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award in 2014, congratulating him for his decades of service to baseball.
And earlier this year, he earned the second Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Baseball Digest. A 17-member panel chose from a list of candidates that included Kofax, Bobby Cox, Rachel Robinson, Bud Selig and Joe Torrey.
David Fagle, publisher of Baseball Digest, then said, “Vin Scully was not only the voice of the Dodgers, but also the soundtrack of our national game for an incredible seven decades.”
Vincent Edward Scully was born on November 29, 1927 in the Bronx.
Scully, who played outfield for two years on the Fordham University baseball team, began his career working in baseball, football, and basketball games for the university’s radio station.
At the age of 22, he was moved to Washington, D.C. was hired by a CBS Radio affiliate.
He was soon joined by Hall of Famer Red Barber and Connie Desmond in the radio and television booths of the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1953, at age 25, Scully became the youngest person to broadcast a World Series game, a mark that still stands.
He moved west with the Dodgers in 1958. Scully called three perfect games – Don Larson in the 1956 World Series, Cofax in 1965 and Dennis Martinez in 1991 – and 18 no-hitters.
That too was in the air when Don Drysdale set his scoreless innings streak of 58 2/3 innings in 1968, and then 20 years later, Herschiser broke the record with 59 consecutive scoreless innings.
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.
“A black man is getting a standing ovation for breaking the record for an all-time baseball idol in the Deep South,” Scully told the audience. “What a great moment for baseball.”
After he retired, Scully made only a few appearances at Dodger Stadium and his melodious voice was heard describing an occasional video played during the games. Mostly, he was content to be close to home.
“I just want to be remembered as a good person, an honest person and a man who lived up to my beliefs,” he said in 2016.
His death was preceded by his second wife, Sandra, who died last year at the age of 76 from complications of ALS. The couple was married for 47 years, together they had a daughter, Catherine. Scully’s other children are Kelly, Erin, Todd, and Kevin. A son Michael died in a helicopter crash in 1994