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Local Man Recalls Dodger Announcer with Fondness

Two weeks ago, the baseball world lost someone who was probably the preeminent baseball announcer — longtime radio and TV announcer, Vin Scully. His death has been widely mourned but perhaps not more so than the fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers, with whom he served as their prime announcer for 67 years, stretching back

Two weeks ago, the baseball world lost someone who was probably the preeminent baseball announcer — longtime radio and TV announcer, Vin Scully. His death has been widely mourned but perhaps not more so than the fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers, with whom he served as their prime announcer for 67 years, stretching back to their days in Brooklyn.

One local Dodger fan — perhaps no one is a more rabid fan Dodger fan than John Troisi — had the privilege of meeting Scully sometime during the 1980s. He shared some of his thoughts about Scully with Webb Weekly recently.

“Creighton Hale, who was then President and CEO of Little League Baseball, contacted Peter O’Malley, the owner of the Dodgers, to arrange for me to meet Vin,” Troisi told Webb Weekly. “I was taken to his office and met him there. He was wonderful! He could not have been friendlier. He was impressed when I told him that I had been a Dodger fan since 1947 during their days in Brooklyn.”

Troisi continued, “He was a very caring and sharing guy who made you feel very comfortable and as if you were his friend, much as he did on his baseball broadcasts. I was very saddened by his death.”

I am not a Dodger fan, but I appreciate Vin Scully’s love for the Dodgers, and that love was conveyed in his broadcasts, though he was never a “homer” who thought the team could do no wrong. He may be the best baseball announcer I have ever heard. He was thoroughly professional, vivid, and enlightening without resorting to cutesy tricks and verbal gymnastics that some of today’s announcers employ. He never insulted your intelligence or talked down to fans. He let the game tell the story even on the radio. He never tried to be an unpaid pitchman hawking products like some announcers do now. He never resorted to off-color stories or implications to liven up his broadcasts. He didn’t have to. The game did it itself.

I always enjoyed it when NBC would have him call important games such as play-offs or World Series games. His calls of the hectic and classic Game Six of the 1986 World Series in which the Mets beat the Red Sox in a sudden and shocking way was, epic. Even more epic, perhaps, was Game One of the 1988 World Series in which a hobbling Kirk Gibson came off the bench to lead Scully’s Dodgers to a win over the Oakland A’s that broke the back of the A’s.

He was, of course, present at some other Dodger classic games and calling those games for fans, including the then Brooklyn Dodgers’ improbable seven-game win over the mighty Yankees in the 1955 World Series. Scully is also intimately associated with the pitching feats of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, including Koufax’s 1965 perfect game against the Cubs.

Vin Scully was the ultimate wordsmith and painted wonderful word pictures of our beloved National Pastime. He has been described as the “poet laureate of baseball.” I think that may be one of the best ways to remember and appreciate the great Vin Scully and his broadcasting art.