Vin Scully on Face the Nation, 11/27/2016

Vin Scully Says Goodbye ~ Some Goodbyes Are Never Quite Done When They Are Performed in the Name of Love..

Vin Scully Says Goodbye at Dodger Stadium in LA
~ Some Goodbyes Are Never Quite Done When They Are Performed in the Name of Love.

We didn’t think CBS would mind our presentation of this excerpt from the interview that CBS’ Face the Nation host John Dickerson did with Vin Scully this past Sunday morning, November 27, 2016. CBS did us all proud with their handling of this rare moment with the great American baseball broadcasting icon. Vin Scully is the kind of deep blue light-burning soul who might have just as easily built the same kind of reputation over a lifetime of dedicated service as a coach, a spiritual leader, a business man, a writer, an actor, a statesman, a lawyer or jurist, a country doctor from the art pages of Norman Rockwell, or the retired and wizened former machinist who now serves as a street-crossing guard as his neighborhood elementary school.


Vin Scully spent 67 years as the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers.





JOHN DICKERSON: Before he retired this year.

Last week, the president awarded him the Medal of Freedom.

And we caught up with him outside the White House.


DICKERSON: What is the trick to calling a game, or what is the — if you had to teach me how do it, what would you do?

SCULLY: I would quote Laurence Olivier, because I have lived by his quote.

Apparently, some actor asked him about his success. And he said: “My success comes from a humility to prepare and a confidence to bring it off.”

And I think, the more you prepare, the more confidence you have, and they go hand in hand. That is the best of all.

DICKERSON: You also have a sense of joy in what you do and wonder.


DICKERSON: How do you get that every time? You have watched so many games.

SCULLY: I have a secret.

When I was about 8 years old, we had a big radio, four-legged radio, crosspiece underneath. I would get a pillow, crawl under the radio. And the loudspeaker would be right over my head. And I would be listening to Tennessee-Alabama, which meant nothing to a little kid in New York.

But what I loved was the roar of the crowd. And so, when I do the game, my philosophy is, do it quickly, call the play accurately, and then shut up. And for a little while, when that crowd is roaring, I am 8 years old.

DICKERSON: When Hank Aaron hit that famous home run, you called that.

SCULLY: Yes. I was…

DICKERSON: What — remember that for us. What was that like?

SCULLY: Well, it was building up, of course, all year long.

And now here we are in Atlanta. And our left-hander, Henry Aaron, is batting against Al Downing. And, of course, you are wondering about the home run. But I did not want to prepare anything. I did not want to think of all the home runs he hit or how many against the Dodgers or — and so, when he hit the home run, I did what I really do best. I shut up.

And I went back to the booth, and the crowd was roaring. It was magnificent. And while I stood there, it suddenly dawned on me. So, when I went back to the microphone, I said:


SCULLY: What a marvelous moment for baseball. What a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia. What a marvelous moment for the country and the world. A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol.


SCULLY: And to me, of all the home runs, that is the most important one I ever saw.

DICKERSON: And you hadn’t thought about that connection before?

SCULLY: No, no, not at all.

DICKERSON: You were quiet, you said nothing, I think, for a minute and 44 seconds.

SCULLY: I’m good at that.


SCULLY: Really.

DICKERSON: And that was you getting out of the way of the moment?

SCULLY: I did not want to get near it.

DICKERSON: What speaks baseball to you more, the crack of the bat or the snap of the glove?

SCULLY: The roar of the crowd. I have been in love with that ever since I was a little boy.

DICKERSON: What would you tell that little boy? He is under the radio. He’s 8 years old. What would you tell him now with the award you have just received? What would you tell him?

SCULLY: I would tell him, don’t be afraid to dream.

DICKERSON: What are you grateful for?

SCULLY: I am grateful for God’s grace to allow me to do what I have done for 67 years.

I’m grateful for my wife, my 16 grandchildren, my three great- grandchildren, for a life that has been beyond fulfillment of a dream. Yes, I am deeply thankful.

DICKERSON: You wrote in your farewell letter to fans, you said you would miss the fans.

Some people might think, well, wouldn’t you miss the game and the excitement? Why the fans?

SCULLY: Well, again, we get back to, when they roar, I get goose bumps. And that is why I have kept young, I believe, because every time they roar, I go back to being 8 years old. I don’t have a painting, like Dorian Gray, on the wall, but the crowd fulfills everything for me.

DICKERSON: Is there any other moment from your career that, when you look back, you say — the Hank Aaron home run would obviously be one. Is there another moment where you say, that — boy, that was a great moment?

SCULLY: I will be very brief.

I was in high school at the time sitting in the back of the auditorium with the best athlete on campus. * And we were chatting. And he said, what would you like to do when you get out? And I said, I would love to be a baseball announcer. He said, I would love to be a baseball player. I said, wouldn’t it be amazing if I became a baseball announcer and you become a Major League player?

It happened. Three years into my career, he came up to bat. I was on the air. And he hit a home run. And I had to call my friend’s home run in the big leagues. And that is why I would always say to kids, don’t be afraid to dream, because it can happen.

DICKERSON: Vin Scully, this was a pleasure. Thank you. And happy Thanksgiving.

SCULLY: John, and the very same to you and yours.


  • That unnamed “best athlete on campus” in this interview, of course, was the now 91-year old Bronx-born Irish legend and iconic Houstonian, former Houston Buff and St. Louis Cardinal, Larry Miggins. On May 13, 1952, Miggins made an appearance at Ebbets Field for the Cards in a game against the Dodgers. He homered off Preacher Roe as his former classmate from high school, Vin Scully, broadcasted the event as the fulfillment of his once upon a time amazing wish. – And, as Vin tallied it for young people – and for  the young at heart from everywhere – “don’t be afraid to dream, because it can happen.”


 Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas

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4 Responses to “Vin Scully on Face the Nation, 11/27/2016”

  1. stanfromtacoma Says:

    Thanks so much for this post Bill. It would be great at anytime of year, but with Thanksgiving such a recent memory and the sparkle of Christmas so near it is the perfect time to read your and Vin’s words.

  2. Tom Hunter Says:

    Bill, although you didn’t mention it, I’m sure you’re aware that today, November 29th, is Vin Scully’s birthday.

  3. roy bonario Says:


  4. David Munger Says:

    You never know what life has to bring, but for those two High School buddies to have crossed paths fulfilling both of their dreams…..Pure Magic.

    Nice piece Bill.

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