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  • Blue Jays, Twins Broadcasters and Writers Remember Vin Scully


    Theo Tollefson

    Prior to the start of the Twins, Blue Jays game on Thursday, August 4, 2022, members of the Twins and Blue Jays broadcast teams and press corps shared their memories and lessons learned from the great Vin Scully, who passed away at the age of 94 on Tuesday, August 2. 

    Image courtesy of Kelvin Kuo, USA Today Sports

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    Late Tuesday night, America lost the greatest voice to ever sit behind a microphone and call a sporting event; Vin Scully. Mr. Scully died at the age of 94 and was the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1950-2016, totaling 67 years with the franchise. 

    Although he will be remembered best as the voice of the Dodgers, Mr. Scully was more than a voice for Dodger Baseball. From 1975-82, Mr. Scully called NFL games for CBS in addition to tennis and golf matches aired by the network. 

    In addition to all this, Mr. Scully was a mentor for many, whether directly or indirectly throughout their careers. Prior to the Twins, Blue Jays game at Target Field on August 4, members of both the Twins and Blue Jays broadcast crews and beat report reminisced about Mr. Scully's impact on their careers and lives. 

    Dick Bremer, Twins TV Play-by-play
    “Growing up I watched as much of the games as I could. But the weekday games are in the afternoon when I was in school, right? With that announcing team, I knew Ray Scott, because back then they would take an announcer from the Dodgers and an announcer from another team. Ray Scott was doing Twins games at the time. Back then as a kid, I had no concept of the fact that this guy had been with the Dodgers going back to the Brooklyn Dodgers. As I grew through adolescence, then adulthood, and developed a career in this business. I was just so incredibly impressed with who he was, what he meant to the game, and how he went about his craft. It was my pleasure to meet him in 2005, and get the chance to express to him as so many others did, how much he's meant to the game of baseball. And for those of us who are trying to do what he did.”

    “We tend to forget he was a really good NFL and golf announcer. He gave the impression, and I think it was genuine, that there was no place he'd rather be than at that sporting event. That's something that hopefully, now that he's gone, those of us who have been blessed to be able to do this. And especially the younger guys who are going to be doing it now for the next few decades. They appreciate how well he did his job, but also how he did his job. And it wasn't about him. It's never about Vin Scully. It's about the players, and what’s happening to them because that's what people want to know. The irony is people I'm sure tuned in to him just to listen to him. But he never gave you that impression. He was still about what's happening to the people.”

     

    Dan Schulman, Blue Jays TV Play-by-play
    “I don't remember the first time but it was when I would have been doing ESPN Dodger games in the late 90s. Once I got to Sunday Night Baseball [calling Dodger games], Vin wasn't there because only Sunday Night Baseball was there. So this was a long time ago in the 90s. And he was just the kindest, most considerate man. I'd go up and introduce myself to him, shake his hand and ‘oh, I know who you are.’ He just had time for everybody with such a good soul and a good heart. Indisputably the greatest baseball announcer who's ever been and you could listen to him talk about anything, and it was riveting. That's a skill and a gift very few people have, but he got a double dose of it.”

     

    Cory Provus, Twins Radio Play-by-play
    “I met Vin in 2007, my first year working the Cubs broadcast, and I remember we were out in LA and I asked Pat Hughes - he’s going to be in the hall of fame one day himself - and asked him, ‘Hey can you do me a favor? Can you introduce me to Vin?” He [Hughes] said, absolutely. And then Pat sees Vin and Vin in that beautiful voice says “Paaat”. 

    I was right there, Pat said hello, shook his hand. Then he said ‘I want to introduce you to the new member of our team. This is Cory Provus. ‘Cory, nice to meet you. Vin Scully.” And you never forget that that's all. And this was pre iPhone, I had flip phones I couldn't take a picture of it was never one of those kinds of things.

    There was a sign outside the Dodgers TV booth. I don't know if it's still there. But it was when Vin was doing games. It said, 'Do Not Enter, On the Air.' It's kind of like, ah probably shouldn't go in. But inside that booth was the most welcoming warm man imaginable. So there’s this uninviting don't enter sign but that was anything but the case for the man inside. He was incredibly kind and welcoming. He was with the Dodgers TV booth, the first booth down this long hallway. I forgot what inning it was but he would do a daily nightly walk down the hallway. The radio booth for the visiting team was towards the other end of the hallway. So you would see then, I don't know if it was the fifth, sixth, or seventh inning, but he would walk down the hallway and you'd see Vin walk right by your booth and say ‘Just my nightly stroll, that's all.'

    He just a wonderful man and I was lucky enough to meet him just a few times. 

     

    Kris Attebery, Twins Radio Studio Host 
    “I was still doing the postgame show when the news broke. We had one segment left, Gina [producer for Twins radio] looked through the glass and kept saying what’s wrong, and I went, Vin died. And I'm like well, we gotta get through the same segment. So I was on the highlights and then I just said on air, Hey, if I don't sound enthusiastic, here's why that we just kind of off the top expository tribute for a couple of minutes. But yeah, that one hurts.”

    "Growing up in Montana, I didn’t have any teams but we had AM radio and signals traveled forever. So Vin was game of the week for me, so you would get Vin once a week. Later on, as I got older, you could at night in your car, you could pick up the Cardinals or the Giants and you could get the Dodgers on a good night and you could hear it on the radio. It was amazing."

    "He would reference a story or a book and I read that book, you know, that's what it was for me. You would come away from listening to Vin do a game and you'd want to do a deeper dive on what he was talking about. He told a story that alluded to x. I should read that when he tells someone about the Odyssey, let me get in on that. I want to read more. He always made you want to, to ask more, learn more, read more."

     

    Dan Hayes, Twins Beat Writer for the Athletic 
    "Whether it's Dodger Stadium or at Petco Park occasionally you’d run into Vin Scully in the elevator. Even if it was like 30 seconds, it was gonna be the greatest part of the day because he was always beyond cheerful. You could tell he'd never had a bad day in his life, or that day was the greatest day. It flowed out of just how much he loved life and baseball, and he made you, as little stature as you had next to him, feel like a king.  The personality was just so generous. It just was something he didn't have to do but he always did."

    Phil Miller, Twins Beat Writer for the Star Tribune
    "This is a year after he retired from broadcasting, so I'm kind of surprised to see him there. He was standing outside the clubhouse, hard to miss. It was early in the day, and I don't know where Molitor was, but he said he was just gonna say hi to Molitor. But I guess it's still hard. He asked if I liked working with Paul. I said, great baseball mind. I've learned more from him than anyone I've ever known. And Vin said, ‘Yes, he's got a reputation there for being a good teacher.’

    "I said the best coach I ever saw was Jerry Sloan. I covered the Utah Jazz for six years and he was the coach. We stood there for 10 minutes talking about Jazz basketball and Jerry Sloan. Vin’s a great storyteller. but I got some stories about Jerry. He's [Sloan] a singular personality. very driven, very high standards. I just told Vin about all that. How simple Sloan's rules were but how people followed them and what a great teacher he was. That was it but the thing that I remember about it was that he knew Sloan, he knew something about the Jazz, and he seemed really interested about it all and asked 10 minutes of questions. I felt like I was being interviewed a little bit. And I always thought it was too bad that he was retired then because I always thought I'd turn on a Dodger game someday and hear Vin say, ‘And that reminds me about a story about Jerry Sloan.’ But I was just really impressed with how he drew information out. You know, that was the thing he did on the broadcast and shared this stuff that you never thought of, that you have never heard before."


    These voices from the broadcast booth and press box are only a small sample size of the larger impact Mr. Scully had on those who cover the game of baseball. Rarely are there people like Mr. Scully where their actions and impact of his hard work and kindness can be found in even the smallest of people that work to make sure baseball is played every day. 

    Even if everyone cannot tell a story like Mr. Scully could, everyone still has a Mr. Scully story of their own to keep the legacy of America’s greatest broadcaster alive for generations to come. 

     

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