It is proclaimed from the mountaintops every time a legend leaves the arena.
When Babe Ruth retired, the word of the day was nobody would ever hit more home runs than The Bambino. Along came Henry Aaron. Lou Gehrig was forced from the field by ALS and nary a one thought anyone would come close to tying his consecutive games played streak, let alone break it. Fifty-six years later Cal Ripken broke his record, eventually playing an additional three seasons to once again "put it out of reach". Or so it has been said.
Vin Scully, after sixty-seven years of entertaining generations of fans with the utmost class and grace, has bid adieu and called his last game. His final Dodgers home game was an L.A. come from behind win in the bottom of the tenth.
The last game he called was against the Dodgers most bitter rival, the San Francisco Giants. It is a rivalry that dates back to 1884 when the Giants were in New York and the Dodgers were in Brooklyn. Some think Vin may have called an inning or two that first year, but the archives are still being searched.
Despite the fact Vin's beloved Dodgers lost the last game he broadcast, it was fitting that it was against the Giants. Born in the Bronx and growing up across the Harlem River in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, the first baseball game he vividly remembers is a Giants game in the 1936 World Series. After that game, at the age of eight, Vin Scully knew he wanted to be a broadcaster.
He eloquently fulfilled his dream for sixty-seven years. The length of time he was a broadcaster is clearly impressive. Yet, he is not lauded, admired, and revered for only the length of time he worked at his craft. It is the way in which he honed and perfected it, like no other, that he is especially loved.
It is universally understood that times change and people move on. The world of broadcasting has changed quite a bit since Vin Scully began in 1950. The three-man booth, with one announcer trying to outdo the other, has become prominent. Pre-game shows and daily wrap-ups with commentators screaming and trying too hard to be funny have become commonplace (ESPN).
But Vin never changed.
Through his last day behind the microphone he brought the game into our homes all by himself, leaving the viewer with the feeling that nothing was missing. And it wasn't. He was all we needed the entire time.
This time, there truly will never be another like him.