Hollywood loves a good story, and now one of the greatest storytellers it has ever served as home to is hanging it up. As longtime broadcaster Vin Scully brings his 67-year career to an end, let’s look back at his most famous calls as well as some of his more humorous moments from recent years.
“In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!” Scully’s call of Kirk Gibson’s home run in the 1988 World Series has become one of the most famous soundbites in baseball history.
Sixteen years later, Scully called Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies, simply declaring “He’s done it!” upon the final strikeout.
“He is one strike away from the promised land!” Scully has the ability to come up with the best words for the most dramatic occasion. His call of Sandy Koufax’s perfect game is the gold standard for sports radio broadcasting.
That wasn’t the only masterpiece Scully called. In 1956, he was on the microphone when Yankees legend Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in the history of the World Series.
Scully was also there when Hank Aaron passed Babe Ruth to capture the most sacred of all baseball records: most career home runs. Scully, ever aware of the gravity of the moment, took the call beyond sports: “A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking the record of an all-time baseball idol.”
In the 1980s, Fernando Valenzuela was one of the hottest draws for the Dodgers. A decade after his debut, he pitched a no-hitter that prompted Scully to deliver one of his most famous lines: “If you have a sombrero, throw it to the sky.”
Now for the lighter side of Vin. Scully remained mostly professional when a foul swing into the dirt sent a ball into the umpire’s weak spot, but couldn’t resist doing a little squeaky voice as he recovered.
Baseball managers can be prone to expletive-laden meltdowns after bad calls, so Scully did his best to make one of them a little more family-friendly. That is blinkin’ impressive.
Scully’s experience has taught him that sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. That’s what he did when Yasiel Puig hit his first career grand slam and sent Dodger Stadium into a roaring frenzy.
Vin Scully’s stories aren’t limited to just baseball. When the Stanley Cup paid a visit to Scully’s booth in 2014, he immediately broke into stories about ice hockey back in the 1930s, including his favorite players on the New York Rangers.
Nothing fazes Vin Scully. Not even an earthquake. When Dodger Stadium started rattling and rolling during a game, Scully simply noted that it happened and broke into an anecdote about the 1989 San Francisco earthquake that shook Candlestick Park.
When a dugout-clearing brawl ensues, Scully is the coolest guy in the stadium. Here he is calling a particularly violent fight between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks.
Some baseball players have turned facial hair into an art form. Inspired by the popularity of beards, Scully launched into an oral history on the evolution of the beard going back to ancient times.
Scully loves telling stories about all baseball players, even those who play for the Dodgers’ most hated rival. Here’s a story he had on San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner.
Another incredible story from Scully was about how St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny chose to stay in college instead of going to the majors after getting pooped on by a pigeon. It turns out a pigeon can change your life.
In an attempt to keep up with the times, Scully had his broadcast team teach him about Twitter. When he suggested during a broadcast that Dodger fans get catcher A.J. Ellis trending on Twitter, Ellis became the top trending topic in the U.S.
When legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden passed away in 2010, Scully took a pause in the broadcast to inform viewers of his passing and honor him with a quote from Shakespeare.
Scully had the privilege of calling the at-bats of Jackie Robinson back during the Dodgers’ years in Brooklyn, and he has many tales about Robinson’s challenges when he got started in the majors.
Even with the breeze off of the ocean, day games at Dodger Stadium can be scorchers. Cue a desert joke from Vin.
If you want to listen to Scully at the dawn of his career, you can listen to this complete broadcast he did of a game between the Dodgers and Cubs way back in 1957.