“You know, this isn’t the only stop on the train. There’s one big one we’re still waiting for. I used my faith to guide me straight and narrow and strong, for sure. I think about that every week when I’m in line going up to the rail to receive Communion.”
The sports broadcaster has entered eternal life.
Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, whose dulcet tones provided the soundtrack of summer while entertaining and informing Dodgers fans in Brooklyn and Los Angeles for 67 years, died Tuesday night, the team said. He was 94.
“We have lost an icon,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said in a statement. “Vin Scully was one of the greatest voices in all of sports. He was a giant of a man, not only as a broadcaster, but as a humanitarian. He loved people. He loved life. He loved baseball and the Dodgers. And he loved his family. His voice will always be heard and etched in all of our minds forever. I know he was looking forward to joining the love of his life, Sandi. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this very difficult time. Vin will be truly missed.”
Scully died at his home in the Hidden Hills section of Los Angeles, according to the team, which spoke to family members. No cause of death was provided.
“Today we mourn the loss of a legend in our game,” Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Vin was an extraordinary man whose gift for broadcasting brought joy to generations of Dodger fans. In addition, his voice played a memorable role in some of the greatest moments in the history of our sport. I am proud that Vin was synonymous with Baseball because he embodied the very best of our National Pastime. As great as he was as a broadcaster, he was equally great as a person.
“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Vin’s family, friends, Dodger fans and his admirers everywhere.”
As the longest-tenured broadcaster with a single team in pro sports history, Scully saw it all and called it all. He began in the 1950s era of Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson, on to the 1960s with Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax, into the 1970s with Steve Garvey and Don Sutton, and through the 1980s with Orel Hershiser and Fernando Valenzuela. In the 1990s, it was Mike Piazza and Hideo Nomo, followed by Clayton Kershaw, Manny Ramirez and Yasiel Puig in the 21st century.
“He was the best there ever was,” Kershaw said after the Dodgers’ game Tuesday night in San Francisco.
As Wikipedia notes, he was also a man of deep faith:
Scully, a devout Roman Catholic, said in numerous interviews that he credited his religious faith and being able to dive back into his work with helping him ease the burden and grief from losing his wife and son. He encouraged devotion to the Virgin Mary, saying, “Her prayers are more powerful than those of the rest of heaven combined. No one was closer or more devoted to Christ on earth, so it only makes sense to see the same thing in heaven. Now, the Blessed Virgin seeks to help her spiritual children get home to spend eternity with her Son.” In 2016, Scully narrated an audio recording of the Rosary for Catholic Athletes for Christ in which he recites the Rosary mysteries and leads a group of responders.
He spoke about his faith three years ago in an interview with Tom Hoffarth of The Angelus in Los Angeles:
Scully: Thank God, my faith has always kept things in perspective. Completely. It has not wavered.
As many who have known me know, I’ve had some pain in my life [at age 5 with the death of his father, the deaths of his first wife, Joan, and his son, Michael]. Faith is the one thing that makes it work, makes me keep going. You appreciate what you’ve been given.
You know, this isn’t the only stop on the train. There’s one big one we’re still waiting for. I used my faith to guide me straight and narrow and strong, for sure. I think about that every week when I’m in line going up to the rail to receive Communion. That’s a pretty important moment. It always was and always will be.
Hoffarth: You frequently attended Sunday Mass at Dodger Stadium on game days for many years. You have your own family parish you are able to attend regularly now. What brings you joy about attending Mass?
Scully: I have such a lovely parish, a very extra-warm congregation. It only took about a week to meet all the ushers and the two priests who preside there. I think about the first priest I met there; he had been long retired and he has since passed away, but I said to him one morning: “Hi, Father, how are you?” And he said, “Well, I could be taller.” That just broke me up completely.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him …
Check out his comments below, from 2016, when he accepted a Life Achievement Award from Catholic Academy of Communications Professionals at the Gabriel Awards: