Michael Rock’s Favorite Moments From Broadcasting Legend Vin Scully
As a 12-year-old, I dreamed of becoming two things when I grew up: a major league baseball player and a radio announcer.
When I watched baseball, not only did I marvel at the physical abilities of some of my favorite ball players, I studied the storytelling talent of the play-by-play announcers.
Michael Talks About Vin Scully on Michael and Maddie
In fact, one of my favorite books that I read as I was breaking into the business was called The Storytellers, and it shared some of baseball's best stories from the broadcast booth, highlighting people such as Ronald Reagan, Bob Costas and Mel Allen.
My all-time favorite, however, was a man named Vin Scully.
Scully spent 67 summers calling Dodgers games starting in Brooklyn and following the team to Los Angeles. His voice sounded like everybody's grandfather. Kind and all-knowing, Scully's iconic voice drew you right in like he was going to read The Night Before Christmas to a group of children just before bedtime on Christmas Eve.
His mind still sharp as a whip, Scully was an astounding 88 years old when he retired from the Dodgers broadcast booth in 2016. Hard to imagine how his brain could retain all of those stats and stories after all of those years, but he sounded as smooth as he was during his entire career.
To put it into perspective, Maddie was 28 when she started here at Fun 107. To match Vin Scully, she'd have to work here on the morning show until the age of 95, and still be up on the latest music, celebrity gossip and trends.
When I think of Vin Scully, three scenes come to mind.
3. Bill Buckner
Without a doubt, the most memorable moment I ever heard Vin Scully call was during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. I was young enough to believe the cursed 1986 Red Sox could really win. The Sox were one strike away from winning it all, and then this. It was the first time a sports team made me cry.
2. Kirk Gibson
If you're looking for the best example of Vin Scully's God-given talent, here it is. Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. Dodgers and A's. Bottom of the 9th. Two outs. Dodgers trail by 2.
"And look who's comin' up," Scully says in disbelief as Kirk Gibson pops out of the Dodgers dugout, hobbling on two bad legs.
It hurt to just watch the injured Gibson walk, and he was being asked to face off against the nearly unhittable Dennis Eckersley, a future Hall of Famer and Red Sox announcer. It was baseball's biggest stage, and, like Gibson, this is where Scully shined. He'd let the big moment speak for itself, and punctuate it with just the right poetic commentary. "In a year that has been so im-PROBABLE," Scully yelled into the mic, "the im-POSSIBLE has happened!"
To get the full effect, spend a few minutes and watch this incredible at bat.
1. Hank Aaron
Scully was undeniably a part of Americana. Here he is bearing witness to not only a historic baseball moment but an important moment in the civil rights movement. What I like best about this clip is that he was fully aware of just how important this moment was in American history. Interestingly enough, Bill Buckner is involved in this play-by-play as well, as the ball sails over his head and into the stands.
RIP to the GOAT, Vin Scully.