The Washington Post’s Chuck Culpepper, one of the best in the business, talks to the all-time best, Vin Scully.
Culpepper writes on Scully’s staggering longevity:
This is Vin Scully’s 66th season broadcasting Dodgers games. Sometimes, if you repeat the truth enough, it can become almost believable.
Yet long past 1950 when he started mid-century, on past the end of one century and well into another, deep into the spring of 2015, here he studies his game notes with his highlighters. Here he walks through the Vin Scully Press Box at Dodger Stadium with a sturdy gait that makes age 87 seem a swell place to be. Here he sits in the dining room, receives a coffee from a Dodgers employee, says to her, “Thank you, Maria; how are you, dear?” and says, “She’s one of the pillars of the community here.”
Here he speaks still, to a listener at a table, later to a million listeners on the Dodgers home (and selected road) broadcasts, with that voice that, by now, according to so many ears, would have to qualify as medicinal.
There have been 87 Novembers since his birth in the Bronx barely made the November (29th) of 1927, and 66 summers since he started at WTOP radio in Washington as a “summer replacement announcer” fresh out of Fordham in 1949, and 65 November 12s since a fateful one at Fenway Park in 1949. On any list of adjectives about Vin Scully, No. 1 is “grateful,” his gratefulness sustained even through the deaths of his first wife at 35 from an accidental medical overdose in 1972 and his first son at 33 in a helicopter crash in 1994. His birthdays include 16 grandchildren and zero self-congratulation: “I don’t want to say, ‘Hey, hooray, I’ve made 80,’” he said. “I don’t want to do that. I just will take it, thank you very much. I accept it.” Hours before a first pitch in late May, he says, “I’ve always felt, it’s a gift of God, whatever I have, whatever has made me do what I do for as long as I do it. But I know I can lose that in one second. A stroke. Whatever. One second. Blow the whole thing. So, when you do think about that, you realize how fortunate and how blessed you’ve been, and that’s really how I feel.”