As he winds down his legendary broadcasting career, Vin Scully is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated with a wonderful profile by Tom Verducci.
In 67 seasons behind the microphone for the Dodgers, Scully has become known as much for the bits he shares during lulls in the action as he has for anything else.
So it should come as no surprise that the piece is packed with the sort of quotes that made Scully the nation’s most beloved announcer. Let’s take a look at five of the best.
On watching Sandy Koufax’s tryout with the Dodgers
“Ebbets Field. We had played a game on kind of a gray day. Not a lovely day. And I was single, and the game was over early. I had nowhere to go, and somebody said, ‘They’re going to try out a lefthander.’ So I thought, Well, I’ll go take a look, and went down to the clubhouse. I looked over and my first thought was, He can’t be much of a player. The reason was he had a full body tan. Not what you call a truck driver’s tan, you know? Full body.
“But I did notice his back, which was unusual. Unusually broad. So I thought, I’ll go watch him, you know? And I had played ball at Fordham, so I saw some kids that could throw really hard and all of that. He threw hard and bounced some curveballs and . . . nice, but you know, I never thought, Wow, you’re unbelievable. Nothing like that at all. So what a scout I am.”
His approach to calling a game
“I think when I first started, I tried to make believe I was in the ballpark, sitting next to somebody and just talking,” he says. “And if you go to a ballgame and you sit there, you’re not going to talk pitches for three hours. You might say, ‘Wow, check out that girl over there walking up the aisle,’ or, ‘What do you think about who’s going to run for president?’ There’s a running conversation, not necessarily the game. So, that’s all part of what I’m trying to do—as if I’m talking to a friend, yes.”
His morning routine
“As soon as I have a little breakfast, I’m on the computer checking rosters to make sure that in that dramatic moment [I know if] somebody comes into the game who wasn’t on the roster three days before.”
On calling his childhood friend Larry Miggins’s first MLB home run
“Incredible, isn’t it?” Scully says. “I mean, really, absolutely incredible. And probably the toughest home run call that I ever had to call because I was a part of it. He hit the home run against Preacher Roe, I’m pretty sure. And I had to fight back tears. I called ‘home run,’ and then I just sat there with this big lump in my throat watching him run around the bases. I mean, how could that possibly happen?”
A modest commencement address
“I’m not a military general, a business guru, not a philosopher or author,” Scully told the graduates in the adjacent Vincent Lombardi Fieldhouse. “It’s only me.”