The baseball playoffs are in full swing, but lacking what L.A. fans consider an essential component – the announcing of Vin Scully.
The Dodgers assure us Vin is resting comfortably after a medical procedure. He has said he will return in 2016 for his 67th – and presumably final – season with the team at the age of 88.
A legend, sure. But that’s only part of the story.
He was Red Barber’s understudy with the Brooklyn Dodgers in the early 1950s, when it was possible to walk down Flatbush Avenue and hear their dulcet voices coming from almost every shop and residence.
When Red wanted more money than Gillette was willing to pay, Vin got to broadcast the 1953 World Series at age 25 (a record that will never be broken).
When the Dodgers moved to L.A. in 1958, the fans developed the peculiar habit of bringing transistor radios to the ballpark, apparently not believing what they’d seen unless Vin confirmed it.
Those of a certain age will remember his time on the national stage for CBS and later NBC, covering pro football and golf.
But he made his biggest mark with the Dodgers, where now he makes only easy road trips and continues to work alone. That’s unique, but there’s more: He calls the first three innings of each game as a simulcast on radio and TV, then finishes the game on TV.
Is Vin the greatest baseball broadcaster ever? Has he lost a step through the long years? Go ahead. Argue.
One thing is certain: His overall body of broadcasting work will never be surpassed.