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Vincent Edward Scully (born November 29, 1927) is an American sportscaster, known primarily as the play-by-play voice of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. His 60-year tenure with the Dodgers (1950–present) is the longest of any broadcaster with a single club in professional sports history, and he is second only to Tommy Lasorda in terms of length of years with the Dodgers organization in any capacity (Lasorda joined the team a year before Scully). Named California Sportscaster of the Year twenty-eight times, he received the Ford Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Famemarker in 1982, and was honored with a Life Achievement Emmy Award for sportscasting and induction into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995. He was named Broadcaster of the Century by the American Sportscasters Association (ASA) in 2000. In 2009, the ASA named him the top sportscaster of all-time on its list of the Top 50.

Early life

Born in The Bronxmarker, Scully grew up in the Washington Heightsmarker section of Manhattanmarker. He made ends meet by delivering beer and mail, pushing garment racks, and cleaning silver in the basement of the Pennsylvania Hotel in New York Citymarker. His father was a silk salesman; his mother a homemaker of Irish descent with red hair like her son. Scully attended high school at Fordham Preparatory Schoolmarker in the Bronx. As a kid growing up in Washington Heights, he was a big Mel Ott fan. He knew he wanted to be a sports announcer the moment he became fascinated with football broadcasts on his radio.

Broadcasting career

Career in Brooklyn

Scully began his career as a student broadcaster and journalist at Fordham Universitymarker. While at Fordham, he helped form its FM radio station WFUVmarker, was assistant sports editor for Volume 28 of The Fordham Ram his senior year, sang in a barbershop quartet, played center field, got a degree, and sent about 150 letters to stations along the Eastern seaboard. Scully ultimately got only one response, from CBS Radio affiliate WTOP in Washingtonmarker, which made him a fill-in.

He was eventually recruited by Red Barber, sports director of the CBS Radio Network, for its college football coverage. Scully impressed his boss with his coverage of a football game from frigid Fenway Parkmarker in Bostonmarker, despite having to do so from the stadium roof (expecting an enclosed press box, Scully had left his coat and gloves at his hotel, but never mentioned his discomfort on the air). Barber mentored Scully and told him that if he wanted to be a successful sports announcer he should never be a "homer" (openly showing a rooting interest for the team that employs you, as many more modern sportscasters do), never listen to other announcers, and keep his opinions to himself.

In 1950, Scully joined Barber and Cornelius Desmond in the Brooklyn Dodgers' radio and television booths. When Barber got into a salary dispute with World Series sponsor Gillette in 1953, Scully took Barber's spot for the Fall Classic. At the age of 25, Scully became the youngest person ever to broadcast a World Series (a record that stands to this day). Barber left the Dodgers after the 1953 season (to work for the New York Yankees). With Desmond often sidelined due to problems with alcoholism, Scully eventually became the team's principal announcer. Scully called the Dodgers' games in Brooklyn until 1957, after which the club moved west to Los Angeles.

Career in Los Angeles

Scully accompanied the Dodgers in their new location beginning with the 1958 season, and quickly established himself as a popular and authoritative voice to the team's Southern California fans. Because fans had difficulty following the action during the team's four seasons in the cavernous Los Angeles Memorial Coliseummarker, it soon became customary for them to bring transistor radios to the games, the better to hear Scully and partner Jerry Doggett describe what was happening. This became an established practice that continued even after the team's move to Dodger Stadiummarker in 1962, and engineers for the Dodgers' radio and television stations (as well as those of other teams) often had difficulty adjusting to the sound of Scully's play-by-play amplified from the stands at Dodger home games.

In 1964, the New York Yankees offered Scully the opportunity to succeed Mel Allen as their lead play-by-play announcer. Scully chose to remain with the Dodgers, however, and his popularity in Los Angeles became such that in 1976 the team's fans voted him the "most memorable personality" in the history of the franchise.


Like Red Barber and Mel Allen in the 1940s, Scully retained his credentials in football even as his baseball career blossomed. From 1972 to 1982, Scully called National Football League games for CBS television. One of his most famous NFL calls is Dwight Clark's touchdown catch in the January 10, 1982, NFC Championship Game (which Scully called with Hank Stram), which put the San Francisco 49ers into Super Bowl XVI.

Scully also hosted the prime-time game show Challenge of the Sexes for CBS, and anchored the network's tennis and PGA Tour golf coverage in the late 1970s and early 1980s, usually working the golf events with Pat Summerall, Ken Venturi, and Ben Wright. From 1975 to 1982, he was part of the team that covered the Mastersmarker for CBS. He has also done golf coverage for NBC and ABC television.

In 1977, Scully began his first of two stints calling baseball for CBS Radio, broadcasting the All-Star Game through 1982 and the World Series from 1979-1982.

Departure from CBS

Scully decided to leave CBS Sports in favor of a job calling baseball games for NBC (beginning in 1983) following a dispute over assignment prominence (according to CBS Sports producer Terry O'Neil in the book The Game Behind the Game). CBS decided going into the 1981 NFL season that John Madden was going to be the star color commentator of their NFL television coverage. But they had trouble figuring out who was going to be his play-by-play partner. So in September (for the first four games of the season), they paired Scully with Madden while Pat Summerall was busy covering the U.S.marker Open tennis tournamentmarker for CBS. For the next four games of the season in October, they paired Pat Summerall with Madden while Scully called Major League Baseball's National League Championship Series and World Series for CBS Radio.

After the eighth week of the NFL season, CBS Sports decided that Pat Summerall's style was more in tune with John Madden than was Scully's, and assigned him to call the NFC Championship Game on CBS Television with Hank Stram. Meanwhile, Pat Summerall called that game on CBS Radio with Jack Buck while John Madden prepared to do the Super Bowl with Summerall in Pontiac, Michiganmarker.


Outside of Southern California, Vin Scully is probably best remembered for being NBC television's lead baseball broadcaster from 1983 to 1989, earning approximately $2 million per year. Besides calling the Saturday Game of the Week for NBC, Scully called three World Series (1984, 1986, and 1988), four National League Championship Series (1983, 1985, 1987, and 1989), and four All-Star Games (1983, 1985, 1987, and 1989). Scully also reworked his Dodgers schedule during this period, as he would only broadcast home games on the radio, road games for television, and got Fridays and Saturdays off so he could work for NBC.

Teaming with Joe Garagiola for NBC telecasts (with the exception of 1989, when Scully teamed with Tom Seaver), Scully was on hand for several key moments in baseball history: Fred Lynn hitting the first grand slam in All-Star Game history (1983); the 1984 Detroit Tigers winning the World Championship; Ozzie Smith's game-winning home run in Game 5 of the 1985 National League Championship Series; the sixth game of the 1986 World Series; the 1987 All-Star Game in Oaklandmarker, which was deadlocked at 0-0 before Tim Raines broke up the scoreless tie with a triple in the top of the 13th inning; the first official night game in the history of Chicagomarker's Wrigley Fieldmarker (August 9, 1988); Kirk Gibson's game-winning home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series; and chatting with Ronald Reagan (who said to Scully, "I've been out of work for six months and maybe there's a future here.") in the booth during the 1989 All-Star Game in Anaheimmarker.

On Saturday, June 3, 1989, Scully was doing the play-by-play for the NBC Game of the Week in St. Louismarker, where the Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs in 10 innings. Meanwhile, Dodgers were playing a series in Houstonmarker and Scully flew to Houstonmarker to be on hand to call the Sunday game of the series. However, the Saturday night game between the teams was going into extra innings when Scully arrived at Houston, so he went to the Astrodome instead of his hotel. He picked up the play-by-play, helping to relieve the other Dodger announcers, who were doing both television and radio, and broadcast the final 13 innings (after already calling 10 innings in St. Louis), as the game went 22 innings. He broadcast 23 innings in one day in two different cities.

Laryngitis prevented Scully from calling Game 2 of the 1989 National League Championship Series between the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs. Bob Costas, who was working the American League Championship Series between Oakland and Toronto with Tony Kubek, was flown from Toronto to Chicago to fill in that evening (an off day for the ALCS).

After the 1989 season, NBC would lose the television rights to cover Major League Baseball to CBS. It was the first time that NBC would not be able to televise baseball since 1946. In the aftermath, Scully said of NBC losing baseball,


After leaving NBC, Scully returned to CBS Radio baseball in 1990, calling the network's World Series broadcasts through 1997. After ESPN Radio acquired Series radio rights from CBS in 1998, Scully decided to retire from national broadcasting.

In 1999, Scully was the master of ceremonies for MasterCard's Major League Baseball All-Century Team before the start of Game 2 of the World Series. Also in 1999, Scully appeared in the movie For Love of the Game.

In recent years, Scully cut back his work schedule to approximately 110 games a year (though he has no plans to retire in the foreseeable future according to a July 2005 interview with Bryant Gumbel on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel). Usually, he will call the first three innings of a Dodgers game via a radio-and-television simulcast, then the rest exclusively for television.

Scully will normally not call a non-playoff game that takes place east of the Rockies (a key exception was the 2007 season opening series, when the Dodgers opened their season up in Milwaukeemarker); in addition, Scully reportedly won't attend or watch a baseball game that he isn't announcing. It wasn't until the year 2004, when he and his boss, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, attended a game at Fenway Parkmarker, that Scully was at a baseball game simply as a spectator.

During the 2007 season, Scully broadcast televised Dodger home games, road games against National League West opponents (Arizona, Colorado, San Diego and San Francisco) and the interleague games at the Angel Stadiummarker in Anaheimmarker. As previously mentioned, he generally no longer goes on road trips east of the Rockies. The only exceptions were the opening series in Milwaukee, and a four game series against the Chicago Cubs. He also broadcasted a three-game interleague series in Oakland in 2006, but was absent when the Dodgers played a three-game series against the Texas Rangers in Arlington in 2009.

Scully also isn't normally scheduled to call a Dodgers game (for radio or television) if ESPN is televising it for Sunday Night Baseball or Fox is televising it on Saturday afternoons. Instead, the task goes to the likes of Charley Steiner and Rick Monday.

The Dodgers announced on February 22, 2006, that Scully and the team had reached an agreement extending his contract through the 2008 season. Scully was expected to earn about $3 million each year.

On September 5, 2008, Scully announced that he intended to continue calling games through the 2009 season. The season would be his sixtieth with the Dodgers.

In the July 28, 2009 edition of the Los Angeles Times, Scully revealed that 2010 could be his final season with the Dodgers, though he has clarified the statement to make it clear that he is not sure of his plans beyond 2010.

Memorable calls

1955 World Series

After the final out was made in the seventh and deciding game, Scully announced simply, "Ladies and gentlemen, the Brooklyn Dodgers are the champions of the world."

Scully was later asked why he didn't provide a more dramatic, emotional or extended description of the Dodgers' long-sought breakthrough against their rival and longtime nemesis, the New York Yankees. Scully answered that he would have broken down in tears if he tried to say anything more.

Don Larsen's 1956 perfect game

For the 1956 World Series between the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers, Scully (who announced the NBC telecasts with the Yankees' longtime voice, Mel Allen) was on hand for Yankee pitcher Don Larsen's perfect game in Game 5—to date, the only no-hitter, let alone a perfect game in a World Series game. Allen called the first half of the game, and Scully announced the second half.

Some moments in Scully's call of the top of the ninth inning:

Sandy Koufax's 1965 perfect game

One of Scully's most memorable moments from his early years in Los Angeles is his commentary on the perfect game pitched by Sandy Koufax in 1965.

Hank Aaron's 715th career home run

On April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves broke Babe Ruth's record of 714 career home runs with a homer off Al Downing of the Dodgers in Atlanta. Scully first called "It's a long drive to deep left, Buckner to the fence... It is gone!" and then was silent for 25 seconds, letting the roar of the crowd tell the story. Then he said,

1986 World Series

Concluding the sixth game of the 1986 World Series, Scully, who rarely raises his distinctive dulcet voice, uttered what arguably became the most famous call of his career at the time (if not overall). Scully then remained silent for more than three minutes, letting the pictures and the crowd noise tell the story. Scully resumed with

1988 World Series

Vin Scully in 2006
Two years later, on October 15, 1988, in Game 1 of the World Series, Kirk Gibson of the Dodgers hit a dramatic, walk-off, two-run home run to beat the Oakland Athletics 5–4. Over the course of the season, Gibson had injured both legs (to swing a bat, Scully announced, Gibson would only be able to use his upper-body strength, because "he can't push off [with the back leg], and he can't land [on the front leg].") and was being treated in the trainer's room, out of sight, during the entire game. Earlier, the TV camera had scanned the dugout and Scully observed that Gibson was nowhere to be found. According to legend, as Gibson was in the clubhouse undergoing physical therapy, he saw this on the television, spurring him to get back in the dugout and telling Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda he was ready if needed. In the ninth (and final) inning, pinch-hitter Mike Davis was awarded first base on a two-out walk, Scully said. After two strikes, Gibson hit a ball on the ground, limped about 50 feet toward first base before the ball bounced foul, Finally, on a 3-balls, 2-strikes pitch from relief pitcher Dennis Eckersley, Gibson hit a dramatic walk-off home run. Scully nearly screamed, Holding to his long-standing belief that the noise of the fans best tells the story, Scully did not speak for 67 seconds before announcing, incredulously, Later, Scully said to his broadcast partner (Garagiola) and to the viewers,

Kirk Gibson would not make another appearance in the series, which the Dodgers won, 4 games to 1. Scully would later say that he was still in such disbelief several hours later, he couldn't sit down.

An edited audio of Scully's 1988 call has been used in 2005 post-season action, in a Wheaties ad featuring a recreational softball game, with a portly player essentially re-enacting that entire moment as he hits the softball over the right field fence to win the game.

Fernando Valenzuela's 1990 no-hitter

When Fernando Valenzuela, the beloved Mexicanmarker-born Dodgers pitcher near the end of his career with the team, pitched a no-hitter on 29 June 1990, Scully memorably exclaimed,

Dennis Martinez Perfect Game

He called the Dennis Martinez perfect game at Dodger's Stadium on July 28th 1991.

September 18, 2006

The San Diego Padres had taken a one-half game lead in the National League West, and had taken their second four-run lead of the game on September 18, 2006, when the Dodgers came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth and did what only four teams in MLB history had done before (all in the 1960s): hit four straight home runs—the last two on the first pitch—to tie the game. The score was 9-5 before Jeff Kent and J. D. Drew homered against Jon Adkins; then, closer Trevor Hoffman was taken deep on his first pitch to Russell Martin. With the score suddenly 9-8, Marlon Anderson swung at the first pitch he saw.

After giving up the go-ahead run in the top of the tenth inning, the Dodgers led off the bottom half with a walk to Kenny Lofton; Nomar Garciaparra then worked the count to 3-1 against Rudy Seanez.

As the crowd cheered, Scully closed 84 seconds later with a simple,The Dodgers finished the season tied for first place, but the Padres won the division by virtue of winning the most head-to-head matchups between them. The Dodgers would instead win the NL Wild Card.

Generally, when a batter hits a fly ball into the outfield, with a runner scoring, Scully refers to the play as a "scoring fly ball" rather than a "sacrifice fly".


Scully has endured a pair of personal tragedies in his life. In 1972, his 35-year-old wife, Joan Crawford (no relation to the actress), died of an accidental medical overdose, although many have blamed her death on her fragile emotional state at the time. Scully was suddenly a widowed father of three after 15 years of marriage. (In late 1973, he married Sandra Schaefer, who had two children of her own, and they soon would have another child together.)

In 1994, Scully's eldest son, Michael, died in a helicopter crash at the age of 33 while working for the ARCO Transportation Company. Although Michael's death still haunts him, Scully credits his faith and being able to dive back into his work with helping him ease the burden and grief.

Other appearances

Besides his sportscasting work, Scully was the uncredited narrator for the short-lived NBC sitcom Occasional Wife. Scully also served as the host for the game show It Takes Two, and in early 1973, hosted The Vin Scully Show, a weekday afternoon talk-variety show on CBS.

Scully was the announcer in the popular MLB video game series by 989 Sports for a number of years. Scully has since retired announcing for video games, with his final year announcing on the video game MLB 2005. Dave Campbell and Matt Vasgersian have since taken over as the lead announcers in the video game series.

Scully appeared as himself in the 1999 film For Love of the Game, and his voice can be heard calling baseball games in the films Bachelor in Paradise (1961), Experiment in Terror (1962), and The Party (1968), as well as on episodes of the TV series Mister Ed and Brooklyn Bridge.

In 1970, ABC Sports producer Roone Arledge tried to lure Scully to his network to call play-by-play for the then-new Monday Night Football series, but the latter's Dodgers commitment precluded his involvement.

Gillian Anderson's character "Dana Scully" on the television show The X-Files had her name taken from Vin Scully. X-Files creator Chris Carter is a Los Angeles Dodgers fan.

Vin Scully has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Famemarker at 6675 Hollywood Blvd.

Scully impersonators

Harry Shearer does an impersonation of Scully on The Simpsons as the Gabbo character/puppet, and also uses it when the storyline includes the fictional team of the Springfield Isotopes.

San Francisco Giants and ESPN broadcaster Jon Miller is noted in baseball circles for his dead-on impersonation of Vin Scully (as well as those of Harry Caray, Jerry Howarth, Chuck Thompson, Jack Buck, and Harry Kalas).

Dan Bernstein, co-host of the Boers & Bernstein Show on Chicago's 670 The Score, does a rather humorous impression of Scully nearly every time the word "Dodgers" is said on the air.

See also



  2. "Chris Schenkel named 25th greatest sportscaster of all-time." Article at, January 15, 2009.
  3. Sandomir, Richard. "Daffy Days of Brooklyn Return for Vin Scully", The New York Times, October 5, 2006. Accessed May 21, 2007. "Scully’s lyrical voice has belonged to Los Angeles for so long that only older fans can recall Scully’s time with the Dodgers in Brooklyn from 1950 to 1957 after growing up in the Bronx and in Washington Heights. His last known address in New York was 869 West 180th Street; he took the subway to Ebbets Field during his first Dodgers season. He called three Subway Series in his Brooklyn years, in 1953, 1955 and 1956. By then, he was living in Bogota, N.J., and his red-haired mother, Bridget, was listening to her son call Game 7 of the 1955 Series, the one in which the Dodgers, behind Johnny Podres, finally beat the Yankees."
  4. Pennsylvania Hotel

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