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America’s Storyteller Vin Scully Passes Away at Age 94

Posted on August 03, 2022 by Dean Hybl
Vin Scully has been an icon since announcing his first major league game in 1950.
Vin Scully was one of America’s great storytellers of the 20th Century.

Legendary sports announcer Vin Scully has passed away at the age of 94. Scully began his broadcast career as the third announcer along with Red Barber and Connie Desmond for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950 and spent 67 years broadcasting baseball for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers before retiring in 2016.

Listening to a Vin Scully broadcast was not just an afternoon enjoying live baseball. It was an afternoon remembering both legendary and relatively obscure players from baseball’s past while also likely having American culture and history woven into the conversation.

Scully was not just a walking baseball encyclopedia, he was a walking American history book.

Having grown up in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, Scully spent two years in the U.S. Navy before attending Fordham University. During his college career, Scully played on the baseball team while writing for the school newspaper and broadcasting football and basketball games on the radio.

Following his graduation, Scully was a fill-in announcer for CBS Radio station WTOP in Washington, DC. It was during this time that Red Barber, the Sports Director for the CBS Radio Network, recruited him to broadcast college football games.

After joining the Dodgers broadcast team in 1950, Scully continued to learn his craft from the legendary Barber. In 1953, Barber got into a salary dispute with World Series broadcast sponsor Gillette, propelling the 25-year-old Scully into the broadcast booth for his first World Series. He still holds the record as the youngest broadcaster to announce a World Series game.

He eventually became the lead announcer for the Dodgers and stayed with the team when they moved to Los Angeles following the 1957 season.

Though he was originally a New Yorker, it was in California where Scully truly became a broadcasting legend. Announcing Dodger games during the era of Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Maury Wills, Scully became a fan favorite as many would bring transistor radios to the stadium just to hear Scully call the action.

In addition to baseball, Scully was also often seen on television broadcasting the NFL for CBS from 1975-1982. He was the play-by-play announcer for several playoff games, including the 1981 NFC Championship Game where he called Dwight Clark’s famous Catch to propel the San Francisco 49ers to their first Super Bowl.

He moved from CBS to NBC in 1983 and from 1983-1989 was the lead announcer the NBC’s Saturday Game of the Week. He also broadcast the 1984, 1986 and 1988 World Series.

Throughout his career, Scully kept fans captivated and entertained, while making sure that the action on the field was always the primary focus. He learned early from Barber to never be a “homer” and to never draw attention away from the game by providing his opinion, instead of calling what he saw.

Though he is no longer with us, Scully’s professionalism and storytelling will forever be a part of sports history.

Below are some vintage videos of some of Scully’s greatest broadcasts.

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