As Vin Scully called his last three homes games for the Los Angeles Dodgers, fans have been understandably emotional and sentimental. After 67 years covering Dodgers action, 88-year-old Scully seems like part of the family. His easygoing show-opening, “Hi everybody and a very good afternoon/evening (depending on the time of the game) to you…” opened broadcasts guaranteed to entertain and engage both baseball novices and diehard aficionados.
Scully’s conversational style of broadcasting harkens back to a time before TV, tablets, cell phones and the internet, when radio was the number one entertainment and news source in America. Carrying on the tradition of the golden era of radio, his broadcasts (following a condensed version of the song “It’s a Beautiful Day for a Ballgame”) painted pictures for listeners. Scully was so skilled at this that many fans at Dodger Stadium insisted on bringing radios to the game for his play-by-plays even as they watched the competition unfold before their eyes. Scully delivered the action directly to listeners. Between plays, Scully added details that make sports interesting to fans- stats, inside stories, and entertaining anecdotes.
During broadcasts, Scully didn’t limit himself to discussing just the “Boys in Blue.” The Dodgers have been his team but, as Scully himself stated during September 23’s Vin Scully Night tribute, he greatly respects all Major League Baseball players. So, the backgrounds and history of players for the Dodgers’ rivals have been part of his repertoire, too.
Scully’s respect for the fans has also been apparent. He never talked down to his audience or adopted broadcasting fads. And, fortunately for fans, the various leaders of the Dodger organization wisely valued a classic when they heard one.
So, multiple generations of baseball fans were blessed to share the sport with a true friend and legend. It is with many thanks and the sincerest of good wishes that Scully is bid a happy and well-deserved retirement. He has earned his spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and in the hearts of fans, many times over.