“Vin Scully was the heartbeat of the Dodgers — and in so many way, the heartbeat of Los Angeles,” the team said in a statement.
“We lost the greatest ever to do it,” Dodgers play-by-play man Joe Davis, who succeeded Scully, said during Tuesday night’s broadcast.
Scully died at his home in the Hidden Hills section of Los Angeles, according to team officials, who spoke to family members.
“We have lost an icon,” team president and CEO Stan Kasten said in the statement. “The Dodgers’ 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.”
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.
The Dodgers changed players, managers, executives, owners — and even coasts — but Scully and his soothing, insightful style remained a constant for the fans.
He opened broadcasts with the familiar greeting, “Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good evening to you wherever you may be.”
Ever gracious both in person and on the air, Scully considered himself merely a conduit between the game and the fans.
Although he was paid by the Dodgers, Scully was unafraid to criticize a bad play or a manager’s decision, or praise an opponent while spinning stories against a backdrop of routine plays and noteworthy achievements. He always said he wanted to see things with his eyes, not his heart.
Vincent Edward Scully was born Nov. 29, 1927, in the Bronx. He was the son of a silk salesman who died of pneumonia when Scully was 7. His mother moved the family to Brooklyn, where the red-haired, blue-eyed Scully grew up playing stickball in the streets.
As a child, Scully would grab a pillow, put it under the family’s four-legged radio and lay his head directly under the speaker to hear whatever college football game was on the air. With a snack of saltine crackers and a glass of milk nearby, the boy was transfixed by the crowd’s roar that raised goosebumps. He thought he’d like to call the action himself.
Scully, who played outfield for two years on the Fordham University baseball team, began his career by working baseball, football and basketball games for the university’s radio station.
At age 22, he was hired by a CBS radio affiliate in Washington, D.C.
He soon joined Hall of Famer Red Barber and Connie Desmond in the Brooklyn Dodgers’ radio and television booths. In 1953, at age 25, Scully became the youngest person to broadcast a World Series game, a mark that still stands.
He moved west with the Dodgers in 1958, where he would call games until his retirement in 2016.
Among his most famous broadcasts, according to the Los Angeles Times, was the 1965 perfect game by Sandy Koufax. With the Dodgers playing the Chicago Cubs, Koufax headed to the mound for the ninth inning needing three more outs. Scully told listeners it was “the toughest walk of his career, I’m sure.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.