In the Sunday, October 11th New York Times Magazine Supplement there is a poignant article about Vin Scully, the Voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Team for over 6 decades.
Vin Scully is 87-years-old and for those of us who have been lifelong Dodger fans, for the last several years we’ve wondered if this was going to be his last. But as I write this brief article, thankfully, he has agreed to yet another year.
Voice is my life’s Work as describing baseball has been Vin Scully’s, and in the 1000s of lessons I have taught over 5 decades, I have often stated to virtually every broadcaster from the most renown to the least known that Vin Scully is not merely the gold standard—he is the platinum standard. Vin Scully has sustained the integrity of broadcasting, the integrity of what it is to be your best for a lifetime. And I, for one, am the better for it.
Vin Scully has taught me that it’s not always about winning or losing, it’s about the integrity of how you play the game.
Vin Scully does not simply broadcast a baseball game by supplying us with facts. Baseball is an opportunity for him to evoke parables and stories running the gamut from the beginnings of the game to today. He is humbly eloquent. It is never about him, it is only about what he sees taking place in front of him. And we listen in rapt attention, held spellbound in the moment by the sonorous web that he spins. He is our eyes, our ears, our heart, our soul. Baseball is his tapestry and he weaves myriad stories on every aspect of the game and the players who play it— anecdotal, historical, personal.
Every baseball data point is at his fingertips, not simply conveyed as statistical information but always in service to the tale he tells—his stories are about life. We see the success and failure of ballplayers as we hear stories from this renown broadcaster, for we rarely see Vin Scully, we only hear Vin Scully.
In this day of fast-paced ‘data delivery,’ of broadcasters generically spouting statistics, Vin Scully communicates. He expounds on poetry from E.L. Thayer’s “Casey at the Bat” to Dylan Thomas. He is both McGuffy’s Reader and the Oxford English Dictionary.
Baseball is Vin Scully’s version of ‘The Hero’s Journey’.
Baseball is a microcosm of life and Vin Scully, our guide.