Legendary Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully died Tuesday at the age of 94 at his home in Hidden Hills, the team announced.
“We have lost an icon,” said Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten. “Vin Scully was one of the greatest voices in all of sports. He was a giant of a man, not only as a broadcaster, but as a humanitarian. He loved people. He loved life. He loved baseball and the Dodgers. And he loved his family.
“His voice will always be heard and etched in all of our minds forever. I know he was looking forward to joining the love of his life, Sandi. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this very difficult time. Vin will be truly missed.”
Scully broadcast Dodger games from 1950 — when the team was based in Brooklyn — through his retirement in 2016 at age 88. His 67-year tenure as a Dodger broadcaster is the longest for a broadcaster with a team.
Scully was born in New York City on Nov. 29, 1927. When he was 8 years old, he was assigned to write a composition on what he wanted to be when he grew up.
“Where the boys in grammar school wanted to be policemen and firemen and the girls wanted to be ballet dancers and nurses, here’s this kid saying, `I want to be a sports announcer,”’ Scully once said. “I mean it was really out of the blue.”
Scully attended Fordham University in the New York City borough of the Bronx, where he announced football, basketball, and baseball games on the university’s radio station, WFUV, wrote a sports column for The Ram student newspaper, was a stringer for The New York Times, and was a member of the Shaving Mugs, a campus barbershop quartet.
Scully was also an outfielder on the school’s baseball team, including in a 1947 game against Yale, whose first baseman was future President George Bush. Both were hitless in three at-bats in Yale’s 3-1 victory.
Scully graduated from Fordham in 1949 and spent that summer working for CBS in Washington, D.C. That fall, he was asked by Red Barber, the broadcaster and sports director of the CBS Radio Network to fill in for an ill broadcaster to call the Boston University-University of Maryland college football game, where he was relegated to an outdoor press box at Fenway Park in the freezing cold.
Scully performed his duties without complaint, which impressed Barber, who was also the Dodgers’ lead announcer. Months later, when the Dodgers were looking for a third broadcaster to join Barber and Connie Desmond, Scully was hired at the age of 22.
Scully’s first regular-season game with the Dodgers was on April 18, 1950, when they faced the Phillies at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park.
“Don Newcombe was going to be our pitcher,” Scully said at a 2016 news conference the day before he broadcast his final game at Dodger Stadium. “Red Barber assigned me to do the fourth inning. They didn’t trust me more than one inning. I understand that.
“My first game, Newcombe didn’t make it to the fourth inning. That’s all I really remember, plus the fact I was terrified.”
In 1953, when he was 25 years old, Scully became the youngest person to broadcast a World Series. He became the Dodgers’ No. 1 broadcaster in 1954 after Barber left to become a New York Yankees’ broadcaster.
Either on the team or NBC broadcasts, Scully called such memorable moments by the Dodgers (or their opponents) as Kirk Gibson’s pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Sandy Koufax’s perfect game in 1965, New York Yankee pitcher Don Larsen’s perfect game against the Dodgers in the 1956 World Series and Hank Aaron’s record-setting 715th home run.
Scully’s many honors include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually by the Baseball Hall of Fame to a broadcaster for “major contributions to baseball” and being named the greatest sportscaster by the American Sportscasters Association.
A ranking system devised by author Curt Smith for his 2005 book “Voices of the Game” determined that Scully was baseball’s greatest announcer, giving him a perfect score of 100, based on such factors as longevity, language, popularity and persona.
At his farewell news conference, Scully said he would like to be remembered as “a good, honest man, a good husband, a good father, a good grandfather. I’m not even thinking about sports announcing.”
Scully is survived by five children, Kevin, Todd, Erin, Kelly and Catherine, 21 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. His second wife Sandi died in 2021. His first wife Joan died in 1972.
A cause of death was not disclosed. Funeral services are pending.