Come to Think of It: Vin Scully's 'Voice Of Heaven' Still Going Strong

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer ISeptember 7, 2009

Long-time Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully said earlier this year that he would hang up the microphone after next season, but now says he has no definite plans to leave the booth, which is just as it should be.

Look, we all know that Scully is a legendary voice in the broadcast booth, but to baseball fans like me, he is much more than that: he is a link to the past, and a reminder of all that is wonderful in the greatest game in the world.

Living in the Midwest, I'm not fortunate enough to hear the dulcet tones of Mr. Scully on a daily basis, yet there is just something reassuring about knowing that he is there, sitting in his familiar chair in Dodger Stadium, doing what he loves.

"It's time for Dodger baseball”, goes the familiar refrain, but how much time does Scully have? The easy answer should be as long as he wants, so the next question is, how long does he want to do this?

Vincent Edward Scully will be 82 in November. Sure, he makes some misstatements occasionally. But just like Harry Carey in his final seasons with my beloved Cubbies, so what? It’s actually part of the charm.

“There’s a man running around the bases”, said Harry during one broadcast in his last season in the WGN booth. It was as if some unknown fan had jumped out of the stands. It was classic fodder for those insisting that Harry had overstayed his welcome, but it made me laugh hysterically. Now, we long for those moments.

Joni Mitchell once sang, “You don’t know what you got ‘till it’s gone,” and Dodgers fans will come to understand this all too well once Vin Scully does decide to retire for good.

Vin Scully, the “Voice of Heaven”, still broadcasts by himself during Dodgers games. "It's not an ego thing," Scully says in explaining why he still goes it alone. "Two people in the booth and they talk to each other. I get to talk directly to the fans."

Simply put, Vin Scully is Dodgers baseball. Only Tommy Lasorda, who started one year before Scully, has more tenure with the team. Heck, there's even a Vin Scully Press Box.

This may not be popular knowledge, but Scully, who was born and raised in the Bronx, was once offered the opportunity to succeed the famous Mel Allen as Yankees play-by-play man, but he chose to stay with the Dodgers.

Another fact about his personal life that some may not be aware of is the personal tragedy he has had to endure throughout the years.

In 1972, his 35-year-old wife, Joan Crawford, died of an accidental medical overdose, leaving Scully to raise three children by himself. In 1994, Scully's eldest son, Michael, died in a helicopter crash at the age of 33.

One of his most memorable calls occurred after the final out was made in the seventh and deciding game of the 1955 World Series, when Scully announced simply, "Ladies and gentlemen, the Brooklyn Dodgers are the champions of the world."

Well, Mr. Scully, you are the champion of the broadcast booth, come to think of it.