“The Voice of Summer-Silenced”
There was joy for so many years when you mentioned his name.
There is sadness this week when you think of his name
Vin Scully, the Voice of the Dodgers, passed away this week after a life-well-lived, at age 94.
He began his broadcast career at age 23-coming out of Fordham University, working Dodgers radio on the old WMGM-1050 in New York.
He sat alongside the legendary Red Barber. When the old Redhead jumped to the Yankees in 1953, Scully became the lead voice, teaming with longtime analyst Connie Desmond.
His home was Ebbets Field, his influence was in every borough as the Dodgers became a legendary team in the 1950s. D’em Bums belonged to everyone.
When the team moved West, he became the face and voice of the team in Chavez Ravine, working with Jerry Doggett, Ross Porter, and Rick Monday.
Dodgers baseball on radio, then on TV, became part of your life in Southern California.
It was a 67-year run of vibrant broadcasts, color, commentary, stories and personna of excellence.
His era spanned Jackie Robinson to Fernando Valenzuala, Leo Durocher to Tommy LaSorda, the O’Malley family thru the Andrew Friedman era.
A man for the big game, that included 25-World Series, 18-no hitters, and the Don Larsen perfect game. He broadcast the Dodgers 1955 World Series win over the Yankees, and the great Fall Classic win on Kirk Gibson’s home run.
He was there in Atlanta for Henry Aaron’s 715th and his commentary about a standing ovation in the south for a black man in the south.
There was something special in his style. He was a 1-man broadcast team during the great years in LA. His broadcasts were for the fans. And in the big moments of games, when the play was made, the game won, he led the crowds roaring, take over his broadcast.
I was so overjoyed having known him, having interviewed him, and finding out he knew me and all the things I had done at XTRA 690-because he listened.
I was thrilled the first time my station sent me to Vero Beach to do my talkshow from historic Dodgertown. And there I sat in historic Holman Stadium, beneath the Palm Trees, interviewing Vin Scully about his life and times and history.
I grew up in baseball, and I grew up in radio, listening late at night in my bedroom on Long Island to out of town baseball broadcasts from eveywhere..
I grew up in the era of not just Scully, but Mel Allen, Phil Rizzuto, Red Barber, Les Keiter, who broadcast the Yankees-Dodgers and Giants back in my youth. Think about how cool it was to wind up being in the industry of your radio heroes.
I think back now and recall not only those talkshow interviews, but the same with Bob Prince, (Pirates), Harry Caray (Cubs), Jack Buck (Cardinals), Herb Carneal (Orioles) and Joe Nuxhall-Marty Brennaman (Reds), Marty Glickman and Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford.
When I visited Cooperstown, I counted up the plaques in the Hall of Fame of media members enshrined, and found I had interviewed 21-of-the 36 enshrined there.
But Scully stood out the most in my memory bank. He was gracisous, kind, intelligent, respectful and full of information. I always thought to myself, ‘if only Dodgertown could talk-could it tell you stories’. Vin told many.
Scully was an artist, a poet, a fountain of knowledge. He was a gem of a person too.
You could walk along the beaches where I grew up on Long Island and hear baseball every Sunday, either Vin or Mel or Red on radio. Everyone listened.
The same in LA, on freeways, in neighborhoods and even at Dodger Stadium..
The style, the flair, the voice….’It’s time for Dodgers Baseball’…..’She’s gone’….’Remember the name Farmer’s John’…..’Pull up a Chair’…the phrases come rushing back.
This day, a day of joy and a day of sadness, with Vin Scully’s passing.
The Voice of the Boys of Summer has left us.
So joyed to have crossed paths with such a special man.
Close your eyes and hear his voice. I do.