Author’s Note: This post is a bit different than my usual variety. I wrote this in October of 2016, days after Vin Scully retired from 67 years of baseball broadcasting. Baseball fan or not, I hope you enjoy the following letter to Vin. – Brian
I don’t know much about you personally. About who you are in your private life or what you would have been had it not been broadcasting.
But what I do know is that you are baseball.
67 incredible years of baseball.
You are my childhood. You are the sound of summer. You are the voice of a generation of baseball fans around the world that quietly hang on every single word you speak.
Come March every year, there’s only one thing I want to hear:
“It’s time for Dodgers baseball.”
No one can call a game like you can and no one ever will. You weave words together flawlessly, with seemingly no effort at all.
Listening to your play-by-play is like witnessing a novelist piecing together their life’s finest work. Each game over the past 67 years is a compilation of your legacy, of something that will never be repeated.
If only we could have watched every game through your eyes. The incredible way we would all look at baseball today.
You’ve experienced some of the greatest moments in sports history and we’ve listened to you craft the story.
First on radio, then black and white, then in color.
You capture every moment perfectly with great poise and in just the right amount of words. Gripping our attention in key moments and then allowing us to soak in the sights and sounds of the game on our own.
You’ve painted masterpieces like Sandy Koufax’s perfect game and Kirk Gibson’s home run to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
“In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.” — Vin Scully
(Game 1, 1988 World Series, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Oakland Athletics)
Though, we won’t remember you for those big, career-defining moments. No. We’ll remember you for the in-between games. The ones that weren’t particularly memorable. The thousands that passed without a second thought in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.
And we’ll remember you for your stories.
Stories of players.
Stories of their families.
Stories we didn’t know could be told during a baseball game, yet somehow you were able to intertwine them as if they were natural part of the game itself.
Here in Los Angeles we’ve had the pleasure of witnessing some of the world’s greatest athletes and personalities come and go. Each leaving a long and lasting impact on their profession.
But you’ve done something that very few people or athletes can do. You have transcended a sport — a profession itself.
You’ve written a story over the course of the last 67 years that will be shared with sports fans for generations to come, regardless of their home team. I consider myself lucky and honored to have been born in this great city.
And so as the sun sets on Los Angeles one last time as you hang your hat for good, we’d love to return the favor by saying:
“A very pleasant good evening to you, Vin.”