Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, the radio voice of the Dodgers for nearly seven decades, has died. He was 94.
Scully’s velvety voice and smooth story-telling style made him one of the most beloved figures in the history of the Dodgers’ franchise. After earning a degree from Fordham University, where he also helped found student radio station WFUV, he began work on the Brooklyn Dodgers’ broadcasts in 1950. He accompanied the team west when it moved to Los Angeles following the 1957 season.
“He was the voice of the Dodgers, and so much more. He was their conscience, their laureate, capturing their beauty and chronicling their glory from Jackie Robinson to Sandy Koufax, Kirk Gibson to Clayton Kershaw,” the Dodgers said in a statement. “Vin Scully was the heartbeat of the Dodgers – and in so many ways, the heartbeat of all of Los Angeles.”
His many notable moments behind the microphone included Sandy Koufax’s perfect game against the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 9, 1965. His ninth-inning call of that game has been described as pure baseball literature. “There are 29,000 people in the ballpark and a million butterflies,” Scully said.
His voice became more nationally known as he worked for CBS from 1975-82 calling baseball, as well as NFL football and golf. He then moved to NBC, where he was the network’s lead baseball play-by-play announcer from 1983-89.
It was during this stint that he made some of his most memorable calls. The one most fans likely think of first followed Kirk Gibson’s famous pinch-hit homer for the Dodgers in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series against the Oakland A’s.
“In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!” Scully exclaimed after letting the pictures speak for themselves for more than a minute.
Though he didn’t travel as much in the latter stages of his career, Scully continued to call most Dodgers home games until his retirement following the 2016 season.
His countless awards and honors include the Ford Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982; a lifetime achievement Emmy presented in 1995; a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame dedicated in 2001, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. The Dodger Stadium press box is also named in Scully’s honor.
“We have lost an icon,” said Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten. “The Dodgers’ Vin Scully was one of the greatest voices in all of sports. He was a giant of a man, not only as a broadcaster, but as a humanitarian. He loved people. He loved life. He loved baseball and the Dodgers. And he loved his family about him. His voice of him will always be heard and etched in all of our minds forever.
“I know he was looking forward to joining the love of his life, Sandi. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this very difficult time. Vin will be truly missed.”