'Best that ever was': Dodgers fondly recall Scully

August 3rd, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO -- In June, Sandy Koufax was back at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers were unveiling his statue. It was a day to celebrate Koufax and his legendary accomplishments. But even on a day that was supposed to be all about him, Koufax took a second to applaud a man that was with him along the way.

“Vin Scully is the greatest of all time,” Koufax said during his speech. “No discussion. It’s him.”

Koufax is right. There’s no discussion. There will never be a voice like Scully’s. On Tuesday, the entire baseball world mourned the loss of the Hall of Famer and voice of the Dodgers. Scully was 94.

“He was the best that ever was,” said Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. “Just when you think about the Dodgers, there’s a lot of history here, and there are a lot of people that have come through. It’s just a storied franchise all the way around. But it almost starts with Vin, honestly.

“Just a special man. I’m so thankful and grateful I got to know him as well as I did. I’m thankful that I got to be around for his retirement, I got to see that and be around for that. Just a tremendous life and legacy that he led and I’m thankful I got to know him.”

Scully called Kershaw’s no-hitter and was also on the mic during his debut in 2008. Scully was also inside his broadcast booth for some of the best moments in Justin Turner’s career. Turner, a Southern California native, grew up listening to Scully. Hearing the Hall of Famer call some of his career highlights was a dream come true.

“You know, he was the Dodgers,” Turner said. “If you heard that voice on the radio or on the TV, you knew the Dodgers were on. And, obviously, I think a lot of heavy hearts in here tonight hearing that news. But also very appreciative and grateful that I had the opportunity to come over here and play in this organization and get to know him. And get to consider him a friend. It’s a tough night.”

Following Tuesday’s game, the Giants’ organization paid tribute to Scully by putting his face on every scoreboard and TV at Oracle Park. The Dodgers were in the middle of their celebratory handshake line during the announcement. It was a fitting moment for a man that introduced so many to Dodger baseball.

“I feel honored to have called him a friend,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “I think there’s an endless amount of people that consider him family, a part of their families. This is a guy that was not only the voice of Dodgers baseball but baseball in general. … It’s a legacy of longevity. It’s class. He was a gentleman. That’s something we all strive to be. He lived a fantastic, fulfilled life. It’s our job to show gratitude towards being in this game of baseball that he loved so dearly and also being a Dodger and what it means to be a part of this organization.”

There were many heavy hearts in the visiting clubhouse and in the Dodgers’ organization on Tuesday. Former players took to social media to thank Scully for the memories that he helped them create with his legendary voice.

“RIP to a legend,” former Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen posted on Instagram. “I’ll always cherish the fact that my family and kids were able to hear him do play-by-play of a majority of my MLB outings. Besides being a great man, he was the best to ever do it -- I’ll miss you Vin.”

Dodgers Spanish broadcaster and fellow Hall of Famer Jaime Jarrin also took to social media to express his gratitude for the friendship the two legendary voices developed over the years.

“Baseball lost tonight the greatest of its broadcasters,” Jarrin said. “When we had an off day, the phone will ring in my room and with his marvelous voice he would say “meet you in the lobby for dinner at 7 pm.” The Major Leagues has had great announcers but nobody, nobody like him; his knowledge of the game, his voice, style, delivery and timing made him so special.”

To fully appreciate Scully’s impact on baseball, it’s important to notice just how much the news of his passing affected clubhouses around the league. Nearly every postgame interview on Tuesday centered around Scully’s legacy. He will forever stand in a class of his own.

“I got lucky in that moment, the walk-off homer to clinch the division,” said Charlie Culberson, who famously hit a walk-off homer in Scully’s last broadcast. “And then afterwards, we’re all celebrating and we all just turn our attention to Vin and his wife Sandra. It was a pretty cool moment. … People will talk about Vin forever.”