Vin Scully, a Dodger from 1950-2016, is the best announcer in the history of baseball. Period.
In 1982, he won the Ford C. Frick Award for major contributions from a baseball broadcaster. He is a member of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame. In 1995 he earned a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award and was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. He owns a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. MLB Network’s Prime 9 named him the greatest baseball broadcaster ever. He received the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award in 2014, an award to recognize historic accomplishments to the game. He’s only the second non-player to win it after Rachel Robinson. American Sportscasters Online named him the best sportscaster ever.
Scully’s case for enshrinement in the HoME rests on an argument for art over science. And at the HoME, science has won every time. It doesn’t matter how beautiful Fernando’s windup was or how smoothly Maz turned two. What matters is the value they brought to their teams. Even in the Pioneer/Executive wing, we’ve worked to measure the value of owners, general managers, and coaches.
If you didn’t have particular value, you did something to change the game. David Neft, as Eric described on Monday, changed the game with his research leading to the first meaningful baseball encyclopedia.
Vin Scully didn’t change the game. His claim is that he was the personification of the art of baseball. And sometimes art should win.
After all, we love baseball because of the art. Nobody ever goes to a game to see Mike Trout put up WAR. They go to root for their favorite team, to sit out in the sun with family and friends, to have a beer and a dog. We listened to Vin Scully for nearly 2/3 of a century because he told the story of baseball better than anyone ever has. He helped us love the game.
“As long as you live, keep smiling because it brightens everybody’s day.”
“Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamppost, for support, not illumination.”
“It’s a wonderful feeling to be a bridge to the past and to unite generations. The sport of baseball does that, and I am just a part of it.”
“The roar of the crowd has always been the sweetest music. It’s intoxicating.”
“Losing feels worse than winning feels good.”
“Andre Dawson has a bruised knee and is listed as day-to-day. Aren’t we all?”
“To be honest, I’ve never been interested in how many games I’ve done and seen. It doesn’t mean anything to anybody. All I know is I’m eternally grateful for having been allowed to work so many games.”
I grew up with Vin Scully and Joe Garagiola on NBC in the mid to late 1980s. I’m grateful to him for helping make me the fan I am today. I was proud to wish him farewell in October. And I am proud to say Scully gets my vote as the 30th and final member of the Pioneer/Executive wing of the Hall of Miller and Eric.