Legendary broadcaster Vin Scully, the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers for more than six decades, has died at the age of 94, the team announced Tuesday.
“We have lost an icon,” said Stan Kasten, the President and CEO of the Dodgers in a statement.
“The Dodgers Vin Scully was one of the greatest voices in all of sports. He was a giant of a man, not only as a broadcaster, but as a humanitarian,” Kasten said.
“He loved people. He loved life. He loved baseball and the Dodgers. And he loved his family. His voice will always be heard and etched in all of our minds forever.”
The beloved radio and TV broadcaster, who was born Vincent Edward Scully in New York on November 29, 1927, died at his home in Hidden Hills, Los Angeles County, according to the team. He is survived by his five children, 21 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
A graduate of Fordham University, Scully began his career with the Dodgers in their original home in Brooklyn, New York, when he was recruited by Hall of Fame broadcaster Red Barber to be the third man on the broadcast crew.
By 25, he became the youngest person to broadcast a World Series game in 1953 and when, two years later, Barber left to join the New York Yankees, Scully was the voice for the Dodgers.
Barber was an early influence on the young broadcaster as he told the Baseball Hall of Fame: “Red was my teacher … and my father. I don’t know – I might have been the son he never had. It wasn’t so much that he taught me how to broadcast. It was an attitude. Get to the park early. Do your homework. Be prepared. Be accurate.”
From the broadcast booth perch, Scully became the narrator for the story of baseball’s greatest franchises. He was there when the “Boys of Summer” won their first World Series in 1955 and called the final innings of Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. It was one of more than 20 no-hitters that Scully covered in his career, the team noted.
When the franchise abruptly left Brooklyn for Los Angeles in 1958, Scully also departed his native city to extend a career that lasted 67 years with the Dodgers, the longest tenure of any broadcaster with a single team, the team said.
In addition to covering the Dodgers, he also was heard on national TV as an announcer for golf and football as well as baseball.
His most famous calls included when the Braves’ Hank Aaron’s hit his 715th home run in Atlanta, moving ahead of Babe Ruth, and the injured Kirk Gibson’s bottom-of-the-9th walk-off home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
Friends and fans pay their respects
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, speaking after the team beat the Giants in San Francisco Tuesday night, said the broadcaster inspired him to be better.
“There’s not a better storyteller. I think everyone considers him family. He was in our living rooms for so many generations. Dodger fans consider him part of their family. He lived a fantastic life, a legacy that will live on forever.”
Fellow Southern California sports icon, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, said that “Dodger Nation” had lost a legend. “I’ll always remember his smooth broadcasting style. He had a voice & a way of storytelling that made you think he was only talking to you.”
Los Angeles Lakers’ star LeBron James described Scully as “Another great one who made sports so damn special.”
Tennis great Billy Jean King said Scully would be missed: “He was a true sports storyteller,” she said on Twitter
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said his passing marked the end of a chapter in the city’s history. “He united us, inspired us, and showed us all what it means to serve. Our City Hall will be lit up for you tomorrow Vin, our dear friend, the Voice of LA. Thank you from a grateful and loving city.
Scully broadcast his final home game for the Dodgers on September 25, 2016.
In a 2020 interview with CNN, Scully described what it felt like: “When I was leaving Dodger Stadium, my last day at the stadium, I hung a big sign out of the door of the window of the booth and it said, ‘I’ll miss you.’ That’s how I felt about the fans.”
CNN’s Jillian Martin contributed to this report.