In possibly the best news that will come out all day, legendary Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully announced that he will return for his 66th season behind the mic.
“God willing,” the 86-year-old said in a statement released by the Dodgers, “I will be back next year. Naturally, there will come a time when I have to say goodbye, but I’ve soul-searched and this is not the time.”
The news was delivered in the form of a SportsNet LA video bulletin on the big screen at Dodger Stadium in the middle of the second inning, with Hyun-Jin Ryu leading off with the information in Korean, followed by Yasiel Puig in Spanish and Justin Turner in English. “It was pretty cool, actually,” Manager Don Mattingly said.
That it was. Scully received a prolonged standing ovation and then, typically, had a smooth segue back into the game.
“Bottom of the second inning. Boy, it’s tough to get over that,” he chuckled. “Atlanta leading the Dodgers 1-0. We’d like to thank Hyun-Jin Ryu, Yasiel Puit and all the boys who put on the show on the screen. All I can say is thank God and please God for another year, but let’s get back to work now.”
Scully began his career in 1950 with the Dodgers, then based in Brooklyn and has the longest tenure with one team of any broadcaster in sports history. Along the way, he has called three perfect games, 25 World Series and 12 All-Star games. Now, he broadcasts the team’s home games and road games in-state and in Arizona for SportsNetLA, the Dodgers’ TV station, and the first three innings are carried on radio. Even though about 70 percent of L.A. TV viewers have been unable to see him because of a squabble between Time Warner and other providers, he remains a beloved fixture for fans.
He cracked that he wanted to come back for Season 66 because he “wanted to wear Yasiel Puig’s jersey,” but these are days to be savored.
“No, the big reason I think is that I’ve had such a long, enduring love affair with the game, but more than that, I just could not say goodbye. I talked to so many people, most of whom — the majority — have said, ‘Whatever you do, don’t retire.’ And so … I talked to [wife] Sandi, being the sweetheart that she is. She said, ‘If that’s what you want, go to it. And so as I said at the outset, I’m gonna be back, please God, and we’ll see about the fun and joy of next year.”
He isn’t the only one who doesn’t want to say goodbye.