Scully returns for 65th season

08/27/2013 12:44 pm1 commentViews: 26

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Vin Scully said today he’s looking forward to
returning to the Dodgers broadcast booth for a record 65th season in 2014,
again calling all home games and road games in California and Arizona.
Scully said the Dodgers’ rise from last to first in the National League
West Division and the continued support of his wife Sandi were among the
factors prompting his return.
“It became so exciting again,” Scully said at a Dodger Stadium news
conference before tonight’s interleague game against the Boston Red Sox.
“I don’t know how I would have felt had they stayed in last place. I
probably would have come back anyway because I love it so much, but it made it
pretty easy.”
Scully said he and his wife, who he called “ absolutely the strength of
my life,” talked before he made his decision to return.
“She said, `I know you love it and you’re happiest when you do it,’ so
why not do it again?”, Scully said, adding that he would not have returned if
“my enthusiasm was waning” or if his wife wanted him to retire.
Scully said the team’s announcement of his return could have been dealt
with in “one line in the notes” distributed to reporters before the game.
“I didn’t want to make a big deal about it. I certainly didn’t care for
a press conference. I have nothing to say except I’m hopefully healthy enough
to come back next year.”
When asked to name the unforgettable individuals he’s known in baseball,
Scully responded that his prayers were answered when the late Dodgers owner
Walter O’Malley, who moved the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, was elected
to the Hall of Fame. He added that he hopes Gil Hodges, the first baseman on
the Dodgers’ “Boys of Summer” teams of the 1950s, is next.
“I am frustrated to this day, and I will go to my grave frustrated, if
Gil Hodges is not elected to the Hall of Fame,” Scully said. “He was a
marvelous player. He was an incredible human being, a remarkable leader, a
great Marine. If I could just get Gil Hodges into the Hall of Fame, I’d really
be thrilled.”
Dodgers chairman Mark Walter said “the Dodgers are overjoyed to have
Vin back with the team in 2014. Vin is Dodger baseball. The Dodgers, the sport
of baseball and the city of Los Angeles are extremely fortunate to have him in
our midst.”
Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the Basketball Hall of Fame member who is a
partner of Guggenheim Baseball Management which owns the team, said “we’re so
grateful that Vin wants to continue to call Dodger games. Being able to listen
to Vin helps make every Dodger game something special.”
Scully has been announcing the team’s games since 1950, when it was
based in Brooklyn. In 2014, he will call all nine innings of the team’s
television broadcasts on the Time Warner SportsNet LA, with the first three
innings of each of his games simulcast on KLAC-AM (570).
“Vin brings a unique perspective to Dodger baseball,” team President
and CEO Stan Kasten said.
“Everyone in the Dodger family and within the sound of his voice
benefits each and every time we are afforded the opportunity to hear him call a
Dodger game. We are thrilled to know that experience will continue at least
through the 2014 season.”
Scully’s many honors include 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.
Either on the team or NBC broadcasts, Scully has 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.
Vin Scully is more than the voice of the Dodgers,” Mayor Eric
Garcetti said. “L.A. Little Leaguers hear his voice when swinging for the
fences and as adult, we hear his voice during those big moments in our lives.
Vin Scully transcends L.A.’s ever-changing `A List.’ In his seventh decade
here, he is an icon to grandparents, parents and our kids and earns new fans
with each new child who tunes in to their first Dodgers game.”
Fellow Dodger announcer Charley Steiner told City News Service last year
that Scully is an icon who will be venerated for decades to come.
“He is to sportscasting what The Beatles were to music,” Steiner said.
“You could argue who is the second greatest group of all time, you can argue
who’s the second greatest baseball broadcaster of all time, but case closed on
The Beatles and Vin.”

Vin Scully Photo by Gary McCarthy

Vin Scully
Photo by Gary McCarthy

Hall of Fame

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