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Template:Infobox sports announcer Vincent Edward "Vin" Scully (born November 29, 1927, in The Bronx, New York) is an American sportscaster, known primarily as the play-by-play voice of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers baseball teams. His 57-year tenure with the Dodgers (1950-) is the longest of any broadcaster with a single club in professional sports history. Named California Sportscaster of the Year twenty-eight times, he received the Ford Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, was honored with a the Life Achievement Emmy Award for sportscasting and induction into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995, and was named Broadcaster of the Century by the American Sportscasters Association in 2000.

Early lifeEdit

Scully grew up in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan.[1] He made ends meet by delivering beer and mail, pushing garment racks, and cleaning silver in the basement of the Pennsylvania Hotel[2] in New York City. His father was a silk salesman; his mother a homemaker of Irish descent with red hair like her son. Vin attended high school at Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx. As a kid growing up in Washington Heights, Vin was a big Mel Ott fan, as his favorite team was actually the New York Giants. Vin knew he wanted to be a sports announcer the moment he became fascinated with football broadcasts on his radio.

Career in BrooklynEdit

Scully began his career as a student broadcaster at Fordham University. While at Fordham, he helped form its FM radio station WFUV, sang in a barbershop quartet, played center field, got a degree, and sent about 150 letters to stations along the Eastern seaboard. Scully ultimately got only one response, from CBS Radio affiliate WTOP in Washington, which made him a fill-in.

He was eventually recruited by Red Barber, sports director of the CBS Radio Network, for its college football coverage. Scully impressed his boss with his coverage of a football game from frigid Fenway Park in Boston, despite having to do so from the stadium roof (expecting an enclosed press box, Scully had left his coat and gloves at his hotel, but never mentioned his discomfort on the air). Barber mentored Scully and told him that if he wanted to be a successful sports announcer he should never be a "homer" (openly showing a rooting interest for the team that employs you, as many more modern sportscasters do), never listen to other announcers, and keep his opinions to himself.

In 1950, Scully joined Barber and Cornelius (Connie) Desmond in the Brooklyn Dodgers' radio and television booths. When Barber got into a salary dispute with World Series sponsor Gillette in 1953, Scully took Barber's spot for the Fall Classic. At the age of 25, Scully became the youngest person to ever broadcast a World Series (a record that stands to this day). Barber left the Dodgers after the 1953 season (to work for the New York Yankees). With Desmond often sidelined due to problems with alcoholism, Scully eventually became the team's principal announcer. Scully called the Dodgers' games in Brooklyn until 1957, after which the club moved west, along with the Giants.

CBSEdit

From 1979 to 1982, and again from 1990 to 1997, Scully was also the lead announcer for CBS Radio Sports' World Series coverage. Between television and radio, he has called all or part of 28 World Series — more than any other announcer.

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Like Barber and Mel Allen in the 1940s, Scully retained his credentials in football even as his baseball career blossomed. Scully called National Football League games from 1975 to 1982 for CBS television. One of his most famous calls is Dwight Clark's touchdown catch in the January 10, 1982, NFC Championship Game (which Scully called with Hank Stram), which put the San Francisco 49ers into Super Bowl XVI. Template:Cquote

Scully also anchored the network's tennis and PGA Tour golf coverage in the late 1970s and early 1980s, usually working the golf events with Pat Summerall, Ken Venturi, and Ben Wright. From 1979 to 1982, he was part of the team that covered the Masters for CBS. He has also done golf coverage for NBC and ABC television.

Departure from CBSEdit

Scully decided to leave CBS Sports in favor of a job calling baseball games for NBC (beginning in 1983) following a dispute over assignment prominence (according to CBS Sports producer Terry O'Neil in the book The Game Behind the Game). CBS decided going into the 1981 NFL season that John Madden was going to be the star of their NFL television coverage.Template:Fact But they had trouble figuring out who was going to be his play-by-play partner. So in September (for the first four games of the season), they paired Scully with Madden while Pat Summerall was busy covering the U.S. Open tennis tournament for CBS. For the next four games of the season in October, they paired Pat Summerall with Madden while Scully called Major League Baseball's National League Championship Series and World Series for CBS Radio.

After the eighth week of the NFL season, CBS Sports decided that Pat Summerall's style was more in tune with John Madden than with Scully, and assigned him to call the NFC Championship Game on CBS Television with Hank Stram. Meanwhile, Pat Summerall called that game on CBS Radio with Jack Buck while John Madden prepared to do the Super Bowl with Summerall in Pontiac, Michigan.

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NBCEdit

File:NBC SportsJoeandVin.jpg

Outside of Southern California, Vin Scully is probably best remembered for being NBC television's lead baseball announcer from 1983 to 1989, earning approximately $2 million per year. Besides calling the Saturday Game of the Week for NBC, Scully called three World Series (1984, 1986, and 1988), four National League Championship Series (1983, 1985, 1987, and 1989), and four All-Star Games (1983, 1985, 1987, and 1989). Scully also reworked his Dodgers schedule during this period, as he would only broadcast home games on the radio, road games for television, and got Fridays and Saturdays off so he could work for NBC.

Teaming with Joe Garagiola for NBC telecasts (with the exception of 1989 when Scully teamed with Tom Seaver), Scully was on hand for several key moments in baseball history: Fred Lynn hitting the first grand slam in All-Star Game history (1983); the 1984 Detroit Tigers winning the World Championship; Ozzie Smith's game-winning home run in Game 5 of the 1985 National League Championship Series; the sixth game of the 1986 World Series; the 1987 All-Star Game in Oakland, which was deadlocked at 0-0 before Tim Raines broke up the scoreless tie with a triple in the top of the 13th inning; the first official night game in the history of Chicago's Wrigley Field (August 9, 1988); Kirk Gibson's game-winning home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series; and chatting with Ronald Reagan (who said to Scully, "I've been out of work for six months and maybe there's a future here.") in the booth during the 1989 All-Star Game in Anaheim.

Laryngitis prevented Scully from calling Game 2 of the 1989 National League Championship Series between the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs. Bob Costas, who was working the American League Championship Series between Oakland and Toronto, was flown from Toronto to Chicago to fill in that evening (an off day for the ALCS).

After the 1989 season, NBC would lose the television rights to cover Major League Baseball to CBS. It was the first time that NBC would not be able to televise baseball since 1946. In the aftermath, Scully said of NBC losing baseball, Template:Cquote

1999 and beyondEdit

In 1999, Scully was the master of ceremonies for MasterCard's Major League Baseball All-Century Team before the start of Game 2 of the World Series. Also in 1999, Scully appeared in the movie For Love of the Game.

In recent years, Scully cut back his work schedule to approximately 110 games a year (though he has no plans to retire in the foreseeable future according to a July 2005 interview with Bryant Gumbel on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel). Usually, he will call the first three innings of a Dodgers game via a radio-and-television simulcast, then the rest exclusively for television.

Scully will normally not call a game that takes place east of the Rockies (two exceptions were Games 1 and 2 at Shea Stadium in New York for the 2006 National League Division Series, Games 1 and 2 in St. Louis during the 2004 National League Division Series, where he called the games for KFWB radio both times, and 2007 season opening series, when the Dodgers opened their season up in Milwaukee); in addition, Scully reportedly won't attend or watch a baseball game that he isn't announcing. It wasn't until the year 2004, when he and his boss, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, attended Fenway Park, that Scully was at a baseball game simply as a spectator.

During the 2007 season, Scully broadcasted televised Dodger home games, road games against National League West opponents (Arizona, Colorado, San Diego and San Francisco) and the interleague games at the Angel Stadium at Anaheim. As previously mentioned, he generally no longer goes on road trips east of the Rockies. The only exceptions will be the opening series in Milwaukee, the four game series against the Chicago Cubs. Scully also isn't normally scheduled to call a Dodgers game (for radio or television) if ESPN is televising it for Sunday Night Baseball. Instead, the task goes to the likes of Charley Steiner and Rick Monday.

SalaryEdit

The Dodgers announced on February 22, 2006, that Scully and the team had reached an agreement extending his contract through the 2008 season. Scully is expected to earn about $3 million each year.

Memorable callsEdit

1955 World SeriesEdit

Main article: 1955 World Series

After the final out was made in the seventh and deciding game, Scully simply but memorably said,

"Ladies and gentlemen, the Brooklyn Dodgers are the champions of the world."

Scully was later asked why he didn't provide a more dramatic, emotional or extended description of the Dodgers' long-sought breakthrough against their rival and longtime nemesis, the New York Yankees. Scully answered that he would have broken down in tears if he tried to say anything more.

Sandy Koufax's 1965 perfect gameEdit

One of Scully's most memorable moments from his early years in Los Angeles is his commentary on the perfect game pitched by Sandy Koufax in 1965.[3] "Two and two to Harvey Kuenn, one strike away. Sandy into his windup, here's the pitch: swung on and missed, a perfect game! On the scoreboard in right field it is 9:46 p.m. in the City of the Angels, Los Angeles, California, and a crowd of twenty-nine thousand one-hundred thirty nine just sitting in to see the only pitcher in baseball history to hurl four no-hit, no-run games. He has done it four straight years, and now he caps it: on his fourth no-hitter he made it a perfect game. And Sandy Koufax, whose name will always remind you of strikeouts, did it with a flourish: he struck out the last six consecutive batters—so when he wrote his name in capital letters in the record books, that K stands out even more than the O-U-F-A-X."

Henry Aaron's 715th career home runEdit

On April 8, 1974, Henry Aaron of the Atlanta Braves broke Babe Ruth's record of 714 career home runs with a homer off Al Downing of the Dodgers in Atlanta. Scully first called "It's a long drive to deep left, Buckner to the fence... It is gone!" and then was silent for 25 seconds, letting the roar of the crowd tell the story. Then he said,[4] "What a marvelous moment for baseball. What a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia. What a marvelous moment for the country and the world. A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol. And it is a great moment for all of us, and particularly Henry Aaron." Also well known is the call of this play by Braves announcer Milo Hamilton.

Jack Morris' 1984 no-hitterEdit

On April 7, 1984 at Chicago's Comiskey Park, Scully alongside his NBC colleague, Joe Garagiola called a game in which Detroit Tigers ace Jack Morris hurled a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox. "Got him swinging, and he has his no-hitter!!!"

1986 World SeriesEdit

Concluding the sixth game of the 1986 World Series, Scully, who rarely raises his distinctive dulcet voice, uttered what arguably became the most famous call of his career at the time (if not overall). "Little roller up along first . . . behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!" Scully then remained silent for more than three minutes, letting the pictures and the crowd noise tell the story. Scully resumed with "If one picture is worth a thousand words, you have seen about a million words, but more than that, you have seen an absolutely bizarre finish to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The Mets are not only alive, they are well, and they will play the Red Sox in Game 7 tomorrow!"

1988 World SeriesEdit

Two years later, on October 15, 1988, in Game 1 of the World Series, Scully made a call that no Los Angeles baseball fan will ever forget, when Kirk Gibson of the Dodgers hit a dramatic, walk-off, two-run home run to beat the Oakland Athletics 5-4. Over the course of the season, Gibson had injured both legs (to swing a bat, Scully announced, Gibson would only be able to use his upper-body strength, because "he can't push off [with the back leg], and he can't land [on the front leg].") and was being treated in the trainer's room, out of sight, during the entire game. Earlier, the TV camera had scanned the dugout and Scully observed that Gibson was nowhere to be found. According to legend, as Gibson was in the clubhouse undergoing physical therapy, he saw this on the television, spurring him to get back in the dugout and telling Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda he was ready if needed. In the ninth (and final) inning, pinch-hitter Mike Davis was awarded first base on a two-out walk, "and look who's coming up... you talk about a roll of the dice...this is it." Scully said. After two strikes, Gibson hit a ball on the ground, limped about 50 feet toward first base before the ball bounced foul, "...and it had to be an effort to run that far." Finally, on a 3-balls, 2-strikes pitch to Gibson from relief pitcher Dennis Eckersley, Scully was as stunned as anyone when he nearly screamed, "High fly ball into right field, she i-i-i-is... gone!!!" Holding to his long-standing belief that the noise of the fans best tells the story, Scully did not speak for 67 seconds before announcing, incredulously, "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!" Later, Scully said to his broadcast partner (Garagiola) and to the viewers, "What an opening act, huh? I think we've got a leading man, and many of them, between now and the end of this great 1988 World Series."}}

Kirk Gibson would not make another appearance in the series, which the Dodgers won, 4 games to 1. Scully would later say that he was still in such disbelief several hours later, he couldn't sit down.

An edited audio of Scully's 1988 call has been used in 2005 post-season action, in a Wheaties ad featuring a recreational softball game, with a portly player essentially re-enacting that entire moment as he hits the softball over the right field fence to win the game.

1989 Major League Baseball All-Star GameEdit

While at the 1989 All-Star Game, Scully watched the gifted and versatile Bo Jackson, who was leading off for the American League, hit a towering home run off of Rick Reuschel. The ball that Jackson hit sailed high and far, soared over the center-field fence, and landed an estimated 448 feet from home plate. Scully reacted to the homer by saying on the NBC telecast "And look at that one! Bo Jackson says hello!"

1989 National League Championship SeriesEdit

The final Major League Baseball game that Vin Scully called for NBC was on October 9, 1989. Scully was at San Francisco's Candlestick Park to broadcast Game 5 of the National League Championship Series between the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs. The Giants were on the brink of winning their first National League pennant in 27 years. In a moment that no San Francisco baseball fan will ever forget, Giants first baseman (and eventual NLCS MVP) Will Clark broke up a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning after getting a base hit (with the bases loaded) off of the Cubs' relief ace, Mitch Williams. Prior to the showdown between Clark and Williams, Scully summarized it by simply saying Template:Cquote Clark took the first fastball for a strike, then fouled one away. Williams' next pitch missed the outside corner to bring the count to 1-and-2. After Clark fouled off two more pitches, he hit a screaming line drive up the middle to bring in two runs. Template:Cquote Just prior to Clark's dramatic base hit, Scully said "In every big series there comes a time when it becomes difficult to breathe, difficult to swallow. This is that moment." After Giants pitcher Steve Bedrosian gave up a run in the top of the ninth, he was able to get Ryne Sandberg to ground out and end the game. "Breaking ball hit to Robby Thompson...and that's it!"

1991 World SeriesEdit

On October 27, 1991, Scully (calling the game for CBS Radio) was on hand for a game considered by fans to be one of the most intense in the sport's history. Game 7 of the already exciting World Series (between the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves) was scoreless going into the ninth inning, and an emotionally drained Scully said, "after eight full innings of play, Atlanta nothing, Minnesota nothing... I think we'll be back in just a moment." In the bottom of the tenth inning, Gene Larkin won the game for the Twins with a high fly-ball into left field (which allowed Dan Gladden to score) off of Alejandro Peña.

1996 World SeriesEdit

During his CBS Radio broadcast in 1996, Scully made another memorable call in the third inning of Game 1, when 19-year-old rookie outfielder Andruw Jones became the first National League player to hit two home runs in his first two at-bats in a World Series.[5]

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October 2, 2004Edit

On October 2, 2004, the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the NL West Division title with a seven-run 9th inning rally capped by Steve Finley's walk-off grand slam home run. Tied 3-3 and needing only a sacrifice fly to force across the winning run, all expectations were for a long fly. Scully, doing the radio broadcast for KFWB AM 980, exclaimed "High fly ball into deep right field! Wherever it goes, the Dodgers have won... and it's a grand slam home run!"

September 18, 2006Edit

The San Diego Padres were up two games to one in a four-game series, had taken a one-half game lead in the National League West, and had taken their second four-run lead of the game on September 18, 2006, when the Dodgers came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth and did what only four teams in MLB history had done before (all in the 1960s): hit four straight home runs—the last two on the first pitch—to tie the game. Jeff Kent and J. D. Drew homered against Jon Adkins; then, closer Trevor Hoffman was taken deep on his first pitch to Russell Martin. With the score suddenly 9-8, Marlon Anderson swung at the first pitch he saw. "And another drive into high right-center, at the wall, running, and watching it go out! Believe it or not, four consecutive home runs, and the Dodgers have tied it up again!" After giving up the go-ahead run in the top of the tenth inning, the Dodgers led off the bottom half with a walk to Kenny Lofton; Rudy Seanez then worked the count to 3-1 against Nomar Garciaparra. "And a high fly ball to left field, it is a-way out and gone! The Dodgers win it 11-10! (chuckles) Unbelievable!" As the crowd cheered, Scully closed 84 seconds later with a simple, "I forgot to tell you—the Dodgers are in first place."

CriticismEdit

Scully has sometimes been criticized for his decisions to not mention certain distasteful off-field, and practice, circumstances involving the Dodgers during baseball broadcastsTemplate:Fact. In 1978, Scully chose to avoid any mention of a much publicized fight between Dodgers Steve Garvey and Don Sutton, even though it was the lead story the next day in the Los Angeles Times Template:Fact. The night before the 1981 Major League Baseball strike began, while the impending strike was the talk of the sports world, Scully never mentioned it. But, as he always had done, he did promote tickets for upcoming games—games that were never playedTemplate:Fact.

TragedyEdit

Scully has endured a pair of personal tragedies in his life. In 1972, his 35-year-old wife, Joan Crawford (no relation to the actress), died of an accidental medical overdose, although many have blamed her death on her fragile emotional state at the time. Scully was suddenly a widowed father of three after 15 years of marriage. (In late 1973, he married Sandra Schaefer, who had two children of her own, and they soon would bear another child together.) In 1994, Scully's eldest son, Michael, died in a helicopter crash at the age of 33 while working for the ARCO Transportation Company. Although Michael's death still haunts him, Vin credits his faith and being able to delve back into his career with helping him ease the burden and grief.

Other appearancesEdit

Besides his sportscasting work, Scully was the uncredited narrator for the short-lived NBC sitcom Occasional Wife. Scully also served as the host for the game show It Takes Two, and in early 1973, hosted The Vin Scully Show, a weekday afternoon talk-variety show on CBS.

Scully appeared as himself in the 1999 film For Love of the Game, and his voice can be heard calling baseball games in the films Bachelor in Paradise (1961), Experiment in Terror (1962), and The Party (1968), as well as on episodes of the TV series Mister Ed and Brooklyn Bridge.

In 1970, ABC Sports producer Roone Arledge tried to lure Scully to his network to call play-by-play for the then-new Monday Night Football series, but the latter's Dodgers commitment precluded his involvement.

Scully impersonatorsEdit

Los Angeles-area sportscaster Jim Healey had a sports commentary show on radio station KMPC-AM, in the 1980s. One of the sound bites he used was a voice mimicking Scully, saying, "I caaan't believe it!"

Harry Shearer does an impersonation of Scully on The Simpsons, and uses it when the storyline includes the fictional team of the Springfield Isotopes.

San Francisco Giants and ESPN broadcaster Jon Miller is noted in baseball circles for his dead-on impersonation Vin Scully. Miller is also known to do imitations of Harry Caray, Chuck Thompson, Jack Buck, and Harry Kalas among others.

TriviaEdit

  • On Saturday, June 3, 1989, Scully was doing the play by play for the NBC "Game of the Week" in St Louis, where the Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs in 10 innings. The Dodgers were playing a series in Houston and he flew to Houston to be on hand to call the Sunday game of the series. However, the Saturday night game between the teams was going into extra innings when Scully arrived at Houston so he went to the Astrodome instead of his hotel. He picked up the play by play, helping to relieve the other Dodger announcers who were doing television and radio (after calling 10 innings in St. Louis) and broadcast the final 13 innings, as the game went 22 innings. He broadcast 23 innings in one day in two different cities.

See also Edit

ReferencesEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. Sandomir, Richard. "Daffy Days of Brooklyn Return for Vin Scully", The New York Times, October 5, 2006. Accessed May 21, 2007. "Scully’s lyrical voice has belonged to Los Angeles for so long that only older fans can recall Scully’s time with the Dodgers in Brooklyn from 1950 to 1957 after growing up in the Bronx and in Washington Heights. His last known address in New York was 869 West 180th Street; he took the subway to Ebbets Field during his first Dodgers season. He called three Subway Series in his Brooklyn years, in 1953, 1955 and 1956. By then, he was living in Bogota, N.J., and his red-haired mother, Bridget, was listening to her son call Game 7 of the 1955 Series, the one in which the Dodgers, behind Johnny Podres, finally beat the Yankees."
  2. Pennsylvania Hotel
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External linksEdit

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