LOS ANGELES – Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), in his capacity as Acting Governor, issued a proclamation today declaring July 8, 2016 as “Vin Scully Day” in the State of California to honor the legendary Los Angeles Dodgers announcer.
The text of the proclamation is below:
At the age of 88 and in his 67th season announcing Dodger baseball, the voice of Vin Scully has become the song of summer for generations of Los Angeles baseball fans and aficionados of excellence in sports broadcasting. For his devotees, and there are millions nationwide, his catchphrase “It’s time for Dodger’s baseball” is as beautifully simple as a ballpark dinner of a sack of peanuts, a Dodger Dog, and a cold drink.
In the Dodger’s broadcast booth since 1950, Vin Scully has achieved a list of accomplishments, awards, accolades, and recognitions longer than a tape-measure home run. His consecutive years with the Dodgers are the longest of any sports broadcaster with one team. He’s been inducted into the Broadcaster’s wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in New York City as well as California’s Sports Hall of Fame. The American Sportscasters Association has placed him atop the list of 50th greatest broadcasters and, in 2000, named him the top sportscaster of the 20th Century – out-polling legends like Howard Cosell and Mel Allen. The road leading to Dodger Stadium was recently named Vin Scully Avenue. The list goes on and on.
Vin Scully was 22 when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers broadcast team just a year after graduating from Fordham University where he played baseball for two seasons and broadcast university sporting events. Then-Dodgers announcer Red Barber, a legend in his own right, schooled the 22-year-old Scully in the importance of preparation and being yourself when calling a game and not letting your style be influenced by other announcers.
It is Vin Scully’s style that has made him one of the best – if not the best – sports broadcaster of all time. Chicago Tribune columnist Phil Rosenthal described the Scully story as about how “preparation, hard work, humility, unadorned precision – and knowing when it’s best not to speak at all – can make you better.”
Knowing when to let the roar of the crowd tell the story is a Scully trademark. When injured Kirk Gibson pinch-hit a walk-off home run against the Oakland A’s in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Scully paused for 68 seconds as the fans cheered while Gibson hobbled around the bases. Scully resumed his commentary with the memorable observation: “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.”
On the air, Vin Scully is the voice of optimism. He is humorous, lyrical, and even tender. His antidotes are perfectly fitted to what’s happening on the field. Even in defeat, his dulcet tones comfort the most sorrowful Dodger fan. In addition to calling over 9,000 Major League baseball games, Scully has broadcast 25 World Series and 12 All-Star Games.
As he nears his announced retirement at the end of this season, I urge all Californians to take time to appreciate the treasure that is Vin Scully as not just an announcer but, as former baseball Commission “Bud” Selig put it, “the embodiment of the goodwill that our game inspires” and a reminder of why baseball is “forever the national pastime.”