The start to today’s Dodgers game against the Giants was just like any other for broadcaster Vin Scully. In fact, when someone went into his booth to congratulate the 82 year-old Scully on the 60th anniversary of calling his first game, he wasn’t aware that he had reached the significant milestone. And in typical Scully fashion, he brushed it off and continued about his business, preferring that all attention be focused on the players on the field, rather than himself.
And, Dodger fans, if you think we have it great now with Scully, imagine back to April 18, 1950 when the rookie Scully switched innings on the radio with Red Barber and Connie Desmond.
Evan Drellich of MLB.com caught up with Joe Torre to get his thoughts on Scully’s career:
“What does that take us to, 1950?” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said of Scully’s first year. “1950, I’m 10 years old. I didn’t think I was ever 10 years old. I think it’s just the steadiness of what he did — I think you appreciate it as a manager when a player goes out there, he doesn’t do spectacular things, but he’s there for you all the time at a high level. And that’s Vin Scully for me.”
And that is really the crux of what makes Vin Scully truly great: he has a fantastic rhythm with his words and, like a patient grandfather, guides the listener through each game, sprinkling in anecdotes and stories from years pasty or the player’s own background. It’s remarkable that he can continue that conversation with his listeners inning after inning, never stumbling and only rarely making a small mistake.
When Scully physically stumbled and banged his head during Spring Training earlier this year, the Dodger Nation held it’s collective breath. But Scully was fine, apologized for all the fuss he had caused and went about his business, calling that evening’s game. I imagine today was much like that Sunday for Vin, quietly acknowledging the event, and then getting back to the business at hand. But it’s moments like this that remind the fans what a true national treasure we have in hearing Vin Scully’s eloquent voice so often during each baseball season.