With the 2016 MLB season in full swing, L.A. Dodgers fans and baseball enthusiasts everywhere are saying goodbye to legendary announcer Vin Scully, who will be retiring at the end of this season after 67 years in broadcasting. Now Scully’s avuncular grin is being immortalized on this week’s edition of Sports Illustrated, along with an in-depth profile by Tom Verducci.
The Dodgers are going all-out with their tribute to the voice of their team. With the approval of City Hall, they changed the name of the street listed on Dodger Stadium’s address to Vin Scully Avenue. A Vin Scully Appreciation Day has been planned during the team’s final homestand of the season, and the team has given away shirts and bobbleheads honoring Scully in recent years. It all seems to be a bit overwhelming for Scully, who told Verducci that all the adulation he’s getting goes against his philosophy as a broadcaster.
“I guess my biggest fear ever since I started,” he said, “besides the fear of making some big mistake, is I never wanted to get out ahead of the game. I always wanted to make sure I could push the game and the players rather than me… This year being my last year, the media, the ball club, they have a tendency to push me out before the game, and I’m uncomfortable with that.”
That’s something Scully is probably going to have to grin and bear, though. As Verducci writes, listening to Scully tell stories as he calls a baseball game is like “Vin inviting you to ride with him in a mid-century convertible, sun on your arms, breeze on your face, worries left at the curb. Destination? We’re good with wherever Vin wants to take us.”
In the feature piece, Verducci gets Scully to turn his storyteller voice back on himself and take readers back in time to the most important moments in his broadcasting career, including his start at Fordham University and the first time he saw legendary Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax try out for the team.
“I’m not only getting this job to do a sport that I love, but then God’s charity allowing me to do it for 67 years…. It’s overwhelming,” he said. “I mean, I have a big debt to pay in heaven — I hope when I get there — because the Lord has been so gracious to me all my life.”
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 10, 2016