Thursday, November 29, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mr. Scully

Among the many great broadcasters in all walks of life, there is Vincent Edward Scully, and there is everybody else. Go ahead, build your Mount Rushmore of broadcasting for news and sports. Put Ed Murrow up there, of course. Walter Cronkite? I'd probably be OK with that. That leaves you two places. There's nobody else you can sell me on. Scully's the guy.

Beginning in 1950, at the age of just 22, Scully joined the Dodgers in Brooklyn, and stayed with them through their move to Los Angeles in 1958. When asked for the most popular Dodger in LA history, a resounding number of fans said it was Scully, as opposed to any player or manager. Scully's voice could be all throughout Dodger Stadium (and the LA Coliseum before) on transistor radios. Even today, his popularity is so strong that he is simulcast for the first three innings of any Dodger game he does on both radio and TV, before switching completely to TV.

I could rhapsodize all night about the great Scully, but you need to hear the work to appreciate it. He tends to get lost in the shuffle due to his desire to let the moment breathe. To him, there's nothing like the roar of the crowd. To me, there's no better play-by-play voice ever. His is the voice of Summer, but it was also a lot more at one time, as Scully called both college and pro football for many years (that was Vin on the classic Niners-Cowboys NFC Championship Game), tennis, and golf (including the Masters before leaving CBS).

Perhaps Scully's most masterful moment came in 1965, as Sandy Koufax finished his perfect game. It is everything that a broadcaster should be - dramatic, yet not over the top. Give a listen and you'll hear it for yourself.

I couldn't stop there. Here are some highlights, merely scratching the surface of a brilliant career.

Happy birthday, Mr. Scully.

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