Vin Scully, one of baseball’s most beloved broadcasters, is sticking around for another year with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 84-year-old Hall of Famer will return for a record 64th season in 2013. He began his professional baseball broadcasting career in 1950 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and has called three perfect games, 25 no-hitters, 25 World Series and 12 All-Star games.
Scully said he is feeling energized after the Guggenheim Baseball Management group bought the team from Frank McCourt this spring for $2 billion.
”I was so impressed by the new ownership,” Scully said Sunday morning in the Dodger Stadium press box. ”I was here for the press conference, and I heard some big talk. I wondered whether they would actually do what they said they would do. How fast will they move? How high will they try to take the team? Well, they have done it 10 times over. And what they’ve done is revitalized the city, revitalized the team, the fans – and myself.”
General manager Ned Colletti has acquired nine new players since the week before the July 31 trading deadline. The biggest trade was completed on Saturday, with Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto coming over from the Boston Red Sox in a nine-player megadeal in which the club inherited $275 million in contracts.
”They want to win, and they want to win now. So I’d like to hold on with both hands and see just how far they’ll take this ballclub – because I really think they’re going to take it as high as it can possible go,” Scully said. ”And with all the optimism, it would be pretty hard to walk away from that.”
The Dodgers haven’t won a World Series title since 1988, but that isn’t the primary reason Scully’s coming back.
”I don’t really measure how long I want to stay by the success of the team. I really think it’s inside,” Scully said. ”It has nothing to do with the team. It’s the love affair. That’s part of the way I feel about baseball.”
It might be hard to imagine, considering how long Scully has been the voice of the Dodgers’ franchise, but there was a time when he nearly left the team’s broadcast booth.
”Personally, there were a couple of times that I really don’t care to think about,” he said. ”But one time, we had been out here only about four years, and I got a call from a friend of mine in the advertising business who said: `Did you ever think about coming back and doing the Yankee games?’
”The great Mel Allen was having some troubles, and they were wondering what would happen if Mel couldn’t continue, and they thought about bringing `the kid’ back to New York. I thought about it for maybe 72 hours, but I realized that I was so in love with the O’Malley family that there was no way I was going to walk away. That was probably the closest I came to even giving it a thought.”
Scully will continue to call all Dodgers home and road games in California and Arizona. But there is one other scheduled road series next season that he doesn’t want to miss.
”There is a temptation – and if my wife Sandy promises to go with me – I really would like to see Yankee Stadium and the Dodgers play the Yankees,” Scully said. ”That’s scheduled for two games next year, so that really gets my imagination stirring. First of all, I’ve never seen the new Yankee Stadium. I can remember my first World Series there in 1953, so a lot of things will come back when and if I go to New York.”
The Dodgers say Scully’s tenure is the longest of any broadcaster with any team. He calls all nine innings of the team’s TV broadcasts, while the first three innings of each of his games are simulcast on radio. Dodgers chairman and owner Mark Walter says Scully’s return for another season ”means a great deal to all of us.”