Dodgers legend Scully returning to booth in '13
Inspired by new ownership's moves, team icon looks ahead to 64th season
LOS ANGELES -- Vin Scully is not a young man. At age 84 and in his 63rd season in the broadcast booth, there is no denying that fact.
But there is a lot of kid in him, and for that reason, along with others, the Hall of Fame broadcaster has decided to return next year for at least one more season, unsure of how much longer he will continue calling games.
Impressed by the new ownership and the promises they made when buying the team, Scully was curious to see whether those promises would hold true.
"If you give a toy to a little child, especially a boy, he's going to start asking questions," he said in a very insightful metaphor. "How far will it go? How high will it go? How fast will it go? I think like Roy Campanella said, 'You have to have a lot of little boy in you to play this game.' I think you have to a have a lot of little boy to love this game. I still have that little boy.
"I wondered with the new ownership. How fast will they move? How high will they try to take the team?"
One day after the team completed the largest trade in Dodgers history, Scully wants to hold on with both hands and be a part of the future, unable to walk away just yet.
He plans to continue the same schedule and call all games in California and Arizona, but there is one road trip next year that might be too enticing to pass up.
"I really would like to see Yankee Stadium and the Dodgers and Yankees," Scully said referring to the Interleague Series between the two clubs next year. "That really gets my imagination stirring. First of all, I've never seen the new Yankee Stadium. But to just go back and play the Yankees."
And in classic Scully fashion, he went on to tell another story, the sort he has treated Dodgers and baseball fans to for 63 years.
"I can remember my first World Series in 1953, having a big breakfast and then immediately going upstairs to dress and then throw up everything," he said. "The nerves of playing and doing my first World Series. A lot of things will come back when and if I go to New York."
Scully went on to cover 24 more World Series and a total of three perfect games, 25 no-hitters and 12 All-Star Games among many other historic baseball moments in his long career. He has become a fan favorite and local legend over the years. He even became an overnight Twitter sensation this season when he got catcher A.J. Ellis to trend without any idea of what that even meant.
"It was a treat to be able to listen to Chick Hearn through my years with the Lakers," Dodgers owner Earvin "Magic" Johnson said in a statement, "and it's been great to be able to listen to Vin work his magic in the broadcast booth since I came to Los Angeles in 1979. Generations of Angelenos have been blessed to have these Hall of Famers in their midst."
Now with the future looking bright for the Dodgers, Scully can't imagine not coming back for the ride.
"I was so impressed by the new ownership. I was here for the press conference and I heard some big talk," he said. "I wondered whether they would do what they said they would do. They've done it 10 times. What they've done is revitalized this city, revitalized the team and myself."
As a matter of fact, Scully said the only lull in exciting teams came from 1967 to 1969 around the time Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale hung it up.
"I realized how tough it is for all the other announcers doing play-by-play," Scully said. "It's got to be tough to go to the ballpark every day saying, 'Well, we're last and we're not going anywhere.' They have to really push themselves a little bit. Where with me, every day I'm so thrilled to come to the park."
He went on to compare Saturday night's first-inning homer by Adrian Gonzalez to Kirk Gibson's iconic World Series shot and said those sort of moments keep him coming back.
Growing up broadcasting the stickball games he and his friends played in the streets of New York, it was the sort of scene he dreamt of calling as a little kid, and now it's the sort of scene little kids across the country have grown up listening to themselves.
"When I was 8 years old, I wrote a composition for the nuns," he said. "The children in the class, the boys wanted to be policemen, firemen and doctors and lawyers. The girls wanted to be ballet dancers and nurses. There was this one little redhead kid, 8 years old, and he wrote he wanted to be a sports announcer.
"People were in shock. Where that came from? I have no idea. But that's what I wanted. Although in my heart of hearts, I never thought it would come to pass."
Seventy-six years later, fans across Los Angeles and the country are delighted it did.
Alex Angert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.