Vin Scully and the End of a Golden Era
Next week, Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers legendary broadcaster, Vin Scully will sign off for the last time. Doing so, he will not only conclude a Hall of Fame career that started in 1953, it will also bring to a close what is commonly known as baseball’s Golden Era.
The Golden Era is defined within baseball circles of occurring during the 1950’s. This was not only due to the players, but the broadcasters. Those who spun whimsical tales about great players, the sights and sounds of baseball. Their words put you right next to them up in the booth. One of the best at this was Scully. Scully began his career with the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, broadcasting alongside another legendary figure, Red Barber. In 1957, he moved west with the team to Los Angeles as the team set up shop at the cavernous, Memorial Coliseum. Unable to keep up with the action on the field being over (in some cases) five hundred feet away, fans began bringing transistor radios with them to hear Scully describe the game. In a little known fact, in 1964, the Yankees presented the chance for Scully to replace the fired Mel Allen as lead play-by-play man. Scully declined, choosing to remain with the franchise that gave him his start.
As time went on, Scully teamed with the likes of Jerry Doggett, Ross Porter, Don Drysdale, Rick Monday and Charley Steiner to call games from what would become the “Vin Scully Broadcasting Booth” at Chavez Ravine. In 1983, his national following grew as he teamed with former ballplayers Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek as the main broadcasting team on the NBC Saturday Game of the Week.
This past January, the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution changing the name of the street that the Dodger Stadium site sits on, from Elysian Park Avenue to “Vin Scully Avenue.” The stadium’s official address is now 1000 Vin Scully Avenue.
Nothing lasts forever. Vin Scully is the last link to the golden age of our national pastime. As long as he sits in the booth, the Golden Era – of both baseball and of our lives – will flicker a little longer. When the flicker is extinguished, we will not only grieve the loss, but also say thanks.
The National Ballpark History Museum salutes Vin Scully, not only for his years of service to baseball but also for the significant impact his words have had in the lives of countless fans everywhere.
Written by: Rob Fugelseth