Jun 04, 2020
Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully is honored at home plate in a pregame ceremony on his last Opening Day, on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley, left, and Magic Johnson, top, are also on hand. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Vin Scully: A humble ending of an iconic career

Vin Scully, 88, is not worried about the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball franchise suffering without him.

“A year or so, however long it takes, you’ll be history, and I know that,” Scully said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “Someone else will hopefully rise and have a great career in your place.”

Scully has been with the Dodgers since 1950, when they were in Brooklyn, and continued his career with them once the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958.

He was born in The Bronx and was raised in Washington Heights. Naturally, Scully grew up as a New York Giants fan before the team moved to San Francisco in 1958.

Scully said of working a seasonal job at the post office, “We would spend all the time slotting and arguing about who was better, Duke Snider or Willie Mays.”

That did not stop Scully from having a 67-year career calling play-by-plays for the Dodgers.

In 1958, the Los Angeles Dodgers became Southern California’s first Major League Baseball team. Many locals were inexperienced when it came to plays and how to interpret what was going on on the field, especially when the Dodgers initially played at the the Los Angeles Coliseum, holding exactly 37,607 more people than Dodger Stadium, which opened in 1962.

Transistor radios were common among fans attending a Dodgers game at the Coliseum, making Scully and partner Jerry Doggett the regular voices of the Dodgers.

What happened once the Dodgers were able to play in their own stadium?

The transistor radios remained a tradition among fans even at Dodger Stadium because watching a Dodger game is not the same without Scully’s play-by-plays, according to the eldest of fans.

A couple of Scully’s most famous calls noted on the Baseball Almanac are:

“All year long they looked to him [Kirk Gibson] to light the fire, and all year long he answered the demands. High fly ball into right field. She is gone! [pause] In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.”

“Forget it,” Scully said referring to a home run.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Brooklyn Dodgers are the champions of the world,” he said of the 1955 World Series.

“Let’s all take a deep breath as we go to the most dramatic ninth inning in the history of baseball. I’m going to sit back, light up and hope I don’t chew the cigarette to pieces,” Scully said of the 1956 World Series, during Don Larsen’s perfect game.

In 2015, Scully announced his plans for the 2016 season. He said, “I would say, realistically — I don’t want any headlines — but next year would be the last one.”

“How much longer can you go fooling people? Dear God, if you give me next year, I’ll hang it up. I do feel in my bones that will be enough. I’m sure the people will feel that will be enough, too. Enough is enough. Without a doubt, next year, my gosh, what’s that saying, talk about next year and make the devil laugh? I’m very wary of that.”

In April 2016, the Los Angeles City Council voted to rename Elysian Park Avenue, Vin Scully Avenue.

At the unveiling of the newly named avenue, emcee Charlie Steiner said, “In a city of stars, we can make a pretty compelling case that Vin is the biggest and most popular of them all.”

Scully said to the fans in attendance, “I don’t know you, but I miss you. You have been so kind… just to hear you, your enthusiasm, the voices that come roaring out of the stands, there’s nothing like it.”

Sept. 19 marked the beginning of Scully’s last Dodgers-Giants broadcast at Dodger Stadium.

He will bid farewell to his iconic career in San Francisco on Oct. 2, during his last Dodgers-Giants broadcast at AT&T Park.

“I don’t want people to think this is Vin’s last whatever,” he said. “I just want them to enjoy the Giants and the Dodgers.”

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