MLB TV deserves thanks for returning Vin Scully to a national audience whenever Dodgers home games are picked up by the network. On Saturday night, I was again captivated by Scully's honeyed voice, whimsical musings and encyclopedic baseball knowledge when I happened to catch the 87-year-old doing a Dodgers-Cubs game from Dodgers Stadium in L.A. Before the game, Scully had announced that next year probably will be his last, closing out a career that began in 1950 when the Dodgers played at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.
Scully does his broadcasts by himself, providing the play by play and the color. He still excels at both, sharp in his reporting about the game, witty and poetically evocative in his observations and knowledgeable in his stories about baseball history. He displays impressive research in the personal information he gives about today's generation of players. Unlike many of today's baseball voices who seek to overly dramatize the action, Scully remains calm in calling big plays, which somehow makes them more exciting. He's scrupulously objective, giving each team the same attention.
I saw Scully call a Dodgers victory the day before the Cubs' Jake Arrieta threw a no-hitter against the Western Division-leading Dodgers Sunday night. I would have loved to have heard Scully call Arrieta's gem. I'm sure Scully during his broadcast shared insights into the many no-hitters he's seen, including Don Larsen's perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1956 World Series. He also called Sandy Koufax's perfect game against the Cubs, in which Cubs pitcher Bob Hendley gave up only one hit. Along with the perfect game, Koufax pitched three other no-hitters, all of them called by Scully.
Scully, who had a lengthy national TV career that included pro football and golf as well as baseball, will always be associated with the Dodgers. He worked with the legendary Red Barber in the Boys-of-Summer era in Brooklyn, then played a major role in building the Dodgers' Los Angeles image.
When the Dodgers first moved to Los Angeles, they played in the cavernous Coliseum. Because many fans couldn't see a lot of the action there, they began bringing their portable radios to games to listen to Scully tell them what was happening. The custom continued when the Dodgers moved to classic Dodgers Stadium.
For many who grew up in Los Angeles, Scully's voice is synonymous with summertime. He's received many honors in his long career. On the broadcast I saw, Scully was moved by the California sunset to give a spontaneous ode to the sun, which only he could pull off.
"Thank you, Mr Sun, for your warmth, look forward to seeing you in the morning. You have certainly done your job."
Thank you, Mr. Scully.