Hall of Fame sportscaster and voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers Vin Scully passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 2. He was 94.
Scully spent 67 years calling games for Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers — beginning in 1950 when the franchise was located in Brooklyn, New York and ending in 2016 following his retirement at age 88.
On Wednesday, the Dodgers released a statement announcing Scully’s passing.
“He was the voice of the Dodgers, and so much more,” the statement read. “He was their conscience, their poet laureate, capturing their beauty and chronicling their glory from Jackie Robinson to Sandy Koufax, Kirk Gibson to Clayton Kershaw. Vin Scully was the heartbeat of the Dodgers — and in so many ways, the heartbeat of all of Los Angeles.”
Scully’s tenure with the Dodgers was the longest of any broadcaster with a single team in professional sports history. In 2015, the achievement was even recognized by Guinness World Records.
“We have lost an icon,” Dodgers President/CEO Stan Kasten said in the statement. “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. His voice will always be heard and etched in all of our minds forever.”
Over his decades-long career and through retirement, Scully received countless accolades, including being inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
“The broadcast industry lost one of its greats in the passing of Vin Scully, whose legendary play-by-plays and passion for the game of baseball touched the lives of generations,” said NAB President/CEO Curtis LeGeyt in a statement on Wednesday. “He is an American icon who elevated the art of sportscasting and whose legacy lives on in his many contributions to broadcasting and among his legions of fans.”
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 3, 2022
In addition to the NAB, the National Sports Media Association named Scully as National Sportscaster of the Year four times (1965, 1978, 1982, 2016), California Sportscaster of the Year 33 times and inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 1991.
Many honors were also bestowed upon Scully during his final year broadcasting in 2016. In January of that year, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to rename Elysian Park Avenue to 1000 Vin Scully Ave., officially changing the address of Dodger Stadium.
Also, during the pre-game ceremony on September 23, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti presented Scully with a key to the city, which Garcetti said was “one of the greatest honors of my life.”
“Vin Scully was bigger than baseball,” said Garcetti in a statement. “He was the soul of Los Angeles, the undisputed voice of America’s pastime, and the narrator of some of the most thrilling moments of our lives. Our hearts are broken by his passing, but he will forever be remembered as an indispensable teller of L.A.’s story – and the author of some of our most indelible memories.”
On November 22, 2016, Scully even received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama.
“The game of baseball has a handful of signature sounds. You hear the crack of the bat. You got the crowd singing in the seventh inning stretch, and you've got the voice of Vin Scully.”
From 2016, Vin Scully receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom. RIP pic.twitter.com/wmw9ZcWLOe
— CSPAN (@cspan) August 3, 2022
The final broadcast of Scully’s career was the Dodgers’ October 2 game against the San Francisco Giants. His commentary during his final game was simulcast in its entirety on radio, instead of only the first three innings. After the game, he offered a prayer and a final message:
You and I have been friends for a long time, but I know in my heart that I’ve always needed you more than you’ve ever needed me, and I’ll miss our time together more than I can say. But you know what? There will be a new day and eventually a new year. And when the upcoming winter gives way to spring, rest assured, once again it will be “time for Dodger baseball.” So this is Vin Scully wishing you a very pleasant good afternoon, wherever you may be.