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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Vin Scully once considered Yankees announcing job

Vin Scully has been one of the most stable forces in baseball over the last 63 years. The legendary announcer is synonymous with the Dodgers after calling the team’s games since 1950 and moving with the organization from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. It’s difficult to imagine Scully as anything other than the Dodgers announcer and, while he says he never really came close to leaving the team, he did consider an offer that would have drastically changed the landscape of baseball announcers.

In a lengthy podcast interview with SI’s Jimmy Traina, Scully discussed being presented with an offer to announce Yankees games. The tidbit is mentioned in Scully’s Wikipedia page and was written about by Keith Olbermann a few years ago, but listening to the podcast was the first time I had heard about it.

Traina asked if Scully ever came close to leaving, and that’s when he mentioned the Yankees.

“Well no, not really leaving,” Scully told Traina. “I did many many years ago, shortly after we moved to California. A friend of mine in the advertising business who had to do with the Dodgers and other teams because of the major sponsorship, and he asked me if I would consider coming back to New York to broadcast the Yankees. He said, ‘Why don’t you think about it and let me know?’

“My heart was where I was. I was settled, and I said ‘I really do appreciate it, and I have nothing but admiration and respect for the Yankees, but I’m going to stay where I am.'”

Scully told Traina that he could have easily stayed with either ABC or NBC, for whom he broadcast other sports on a national stage, but he did not want to give up the Dodgers.

“There was no real tug in any other direction,” Scully said. “I felt I had found my home, and I was really reluctant to leave.”

Scully rarely does interviews of this length anymore, so it was a real treat to hear him answer so many questions. He talked about blending in with today’s digital age and his brushes with Twitter. He talked about learning what a soul patch and mullet are. He also discussed many aspects of his broadcasting career and philosophy.

Scully told Traina he accepted jobs calling golf and the NFL nationally because he wanted to challenge himself, and that he decided to end his time calling football after broadcasting Dwight Clark’s “The Catch,” figuring that was an excellent point to leave. The Hall of Fame broadcaster also explained why he believes a one-man booth is the best approach, why he doesn’t listen to other announcers, and why he doesn’t fraternize with the players much.

The entire interview is well worth a listen.



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