Vin Scully Says He'll Be Back for 65th Season With the Dodgers
Vin Scully, the only play-by-play man the Los Angeles Dodgers have ever known, will be back in the booth for a 65th season in 2014, the team announced Friday.
Scully, 85, who works on a one-year contract each season, did his first Dodgers game in 1950, when the team played in Brooklyn. No broadcaster has been with the same team as long.
Next year, the Dodgers -- now the hottest team in baseball and eyeing its first World Series appearance since 1988 -- will have their own network as part of an $8 billion, 25-year deal with Time Warner Cable. The club is owned by Guggenheim Partners, which also owns The Hollywood Reporter.
"It has been such an exciting, enjoyable, wonderful season — the big crowds in the ballpark, everybody is talking about the ballclub, and I really respect, admire and love the management — so everything just fell into place," Scully told the Los Angeles Times.
"I really still enjoy it immensely. My health is good, thank God. So why not? And my wife said, 'Why not?' as well.
The good-natured Scully, who has a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. He works all the games at Dodger Stadium and goes on the road for away games in California and Arizona.
"The Dodgers are overjoyed to have Vin back with the team in 2014," said Dodgers chairman and owner Mark Walter. "Vin is Dodgers baseball. The Dodgers, the sport of baseball and the city of Los Angeles are extremely fortunate to have him in our midst."
Scully called the only perfect game in World Series history (Don Larsen's of the Yankees against the Dodgers in 1956), and a rare appearance by the Bronx Bombers at Dodger Stadium in July prompted the broadcaster to spin one of those tales that makes him so enjoyable to listen to -- every game.
He reminisced about the memorable home runs he had witnessed during his career: Bobby Thomson's shocking game-winner that launched the New York Giants past the Dodgers and into the 1951 World Series; Hank Aaron's shot that moved him past Babe Ruth on the all-time list; and Kirk Gibson's dramatic blow in the 1988 World Series.
Scully added another less famous one -- from Game 4 of the 1963 World Series, with the Dodgers one win away from sweeping their bitter rivals -- that revealed the humility that marks the man and his career.
Scully talked about how the Yankees' Mel Allen, another legendary play-by-play man, had been suffering from severe laryngitis. Doctors told him to stay subdued, and Allen remained in control through three games of the Series, that year broadcast by NBC.
But when Yankees star Mickey Mantle homered off Sandy Koufax to tie the score 1-1 in the seventh, "everything went for broke," said Scully, who had worked the first half of Game 4 before stepping aside. "Forget about the caution with his voice. Allen gave a great call, but it was too long and too hard for his throat, and he just came apart.
"Mel tried to speak, but nothing would really come out. I was supposed to go down to the clubhouse if the Yankees lost to do the Dodgers celebration. However, [NBC Sports head Tom] Gallery tapped Mel on the shoulder as if to say, 'Give the microphone to Vin.' And I felt horrible; my heart was broken for Mel."
Scully finished the game, won by the Dodgers. Allen was fired the next season and never called another Series.
"Here was Mel on the world stage, this great moment … that was a valuable lesson for me," Scully said. "There but for the grace of God go I. It could happen to me anytime, anywhere."