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How Vin Scully almost went to work for the Yankees

Jun 18, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

Vin Scully AP

You may have heard this story before — it often gets mentioned as an aside in Vin Scully features — but Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal writes today about the time back in 1964 when some New York ad men approached Scully and told him that, if he was interested, the Yankees broadcasting job would be his.

Though a New Yorker, born and raised, and though still missing New York, Scully declined out of loyalty to Walter O’Malley and the Dodgers who had given him his chance to become what he was in the business. The rest — 49 years and counting — is continuing history.

About those ad men: figure it was Pete Campbell on the pitch. Roger Sterling would have landed Scully, right?

  1. historiophiliac - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Tender mercies, y’all.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:44 PM

      BTW, Craig, that pitch would’ve needed the literate sensitivities of Ken Cosgrove.

  2. cur68 - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    So Vin Scully made a choice out of loyalty and feelings of obligation rather than cave to homesickness? Sounds like a decision made by a nice guy. And, in the end, he is the beloved voice of the Dodgers and not a soulless minion of The Empire.

    I’ve heard it said that “nice guys finish last”.

    Not so much, eh?

    • historiophiliac - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      Oh my god, I wanna make a dirty joke there…

      • cur68 - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        Ah, go ahead. Its in the service of nice guys, so its all cool. (Get it? Service? hur, hur, hur…)

      • historiophiliac - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:25 PM

        Bad, C-60. I’m greatly in favor of gentlemen and nice guys.

      • nbjays - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:37 PM

        Historio, never let us stand in the way of you making a dirty joke. It doesn’t even have to have Dickey, Wang or Johnson in it.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        Nope, no Mounties.

  3. josemartez - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    God. Imagine listening to Scully as opposed to that buffoon John Sterling?

    • kevinbnyc - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      Would Scully have murdered Susan Waldman by now??

      • turdfurgerson68 - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        Considering that the Yankees have THE worst radio (beyond a shadow of a doubt) and (maybe) TV announcers, having Scully would have been a blessing.

    • mybrunoblog - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      I’m beginning to feel that he Yankees wont get rid of Sterling out of respect for George. He actually really liked Sterling. His kids run the team so maybe they feel some nostalgia for Sterling. Waldman? Well, George liked her a lot too.
      Yankee fans can only dream of a day when we get rid of those two.

  4. rickdobrydney - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Gonna get killed for this, but I don’t care —- I have never been a big Scully fan, and I really think his laid-back LA style would not have been a good fit for the New York market — I think back to when the Yankees hired ex-Dodger announcer Red Barber in the late 50’s , with his best days behind him. He was ,in my opinion, not a very good announcer for that team — no life in his broadcasts. As for Scully, he is La-La Land through and through, and it shows in his work, especially in recent years. And I am not saying this in any way as a defense for the two clowns that Yankees have in the radio booth now, either. Just would not rather listen to Scully.

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      Outside of a few years with the Reds, Red Barber spent his whole career in New York City- with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Yankees, and New York Giants football team.

      Also, “La-La natural” Vin Scully is a New York native, graduate of Fordham University. He may seem very LA (whatever that means?) but he’s spent what, 50 years?, here calling games- like any good announcer, he adapts his style to his audience. Scully is great at what he does and would be great anywhere. I’m an Angels fan but I have no problem tuning to Dodgers games simply because I enjoy Scully and feel like I learn more about baseball from him.

  5. andreweac - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    99% of baseball fans prefer Scully to Sterling.

    • Innocent Bystander - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      The Sterling hate is so over-the-top. People who complain the most are those who either don’t actually follow Yankees games or do but only watch the TV broadcast anyway. Most people’s opinions are based on a couple of online clips or radio bits that aren’t representative of his overall play calling. I also think he gets unfairly tarnished because of getting lumped in with Suzyn.

      • tuberippin - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:42 PM

        No, they both suck.

      • yashraba - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        I’ve grown up on Sterling calling Yankees games and I agree the hate for him is over the top, however Suzyn is unbearable to listen to. Sterlings homer calls have gotten ridiculous the past few years but he’s essentially the voice of the Yankees for an entire generation.

        That being said I’m a die hard Yankee fan who stays up late just to listen to Vin Scully call ball games. Makes me feel like I’m hanging out listening to my grandfather tell stories about the good ol’ days and I just can’t get enough of it.

      • turdfurgerson68 - Jun 18, 2013 at 6:07 PM

        No, being with Waldman doesn’t tarnish him, he’s god awful on his own and is getting worse everyday.

        His TBS broadcasting back in the 80’s was terrible.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 18, 2013 at 8:03 PM

        No, being with Waldman doesn’t tarnish him, he’s god awful on his own and is getting worse everyday.

        Yes, yes, 1000x yes!

    • turdfurgerson68 - Jun 18, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      And that 1% of folks who don’t have to be clinically insane.

  6. rickdobrydney - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    I prefer anyone but Scully to Sterling——-

  7. valarmorghuliss - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    How I almost threw up in my mouth imagining Scully going to work for the Yankees

    Is nothing sacred?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      Yes, a guy who grew up in NY, went to HS and college approximately 30 blocks from YS…How dare he work for the Yankees…

      • valarmorghuliss - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        Vin good
        Yankees bad

        I don’t care where he’s from, I don’t like the idea of bit

  8. sleepyirv - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    I wonder which season Steinbrenner would have fired him.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      And then rehired him… and then…

  9. psunick - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Nah, Craig. Draper would have hit on Scully’s wife and the deal would’ve gone south.

  10. captn58crunch - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Ernie Harwell is the best ever and Scully a close 2nd.

    • captn58crunch - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:08 PM

      Maybe because while growing up, I was able to listen every night on radio to Tiger broadcasts, when the Tigers had maybe their best history of athletes in Kaline, Cash, McClain, Lolich, Freehan, McAuliffe, Gates Brown, Willie Horton, Northrup and Stanley.

  11. captn58crunch - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Can you imagine Scully today on the Yankees radio broadcast, where Sterling and the Wonder Woman literally hack products DURING the live action? He would have quit on the spot and we would not hear him again. The Yankees radio broadcasts have sunk to the bottom of the bottom.

    • captn58crunch - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      Sorry, I meant ‘hawk products”…. lol

  12. lessick - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Grew up in Baltimore listening to the great Chuck Thompson but could also pick up Tigers games on WJR. Harwell was the real deal. I’m not old enough to remember the 1955 season when Harwell and Thompson teamed up to broadcast Orioles games on radio and television. It was George Kell who helped lure Harwell from Baltimore to Detroit. Kell was a HOFer mostly for the Tigers, but he finished his career playing 3B for the Orioles, where he would be replaced by another HOFer, Brooks Robinson.

    Scully is the last of the truly great voices of baseball. Of the next generation, IMO, only Jon Miller comes close.

    • louhudson23 - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:47 AM

      Listening to Chuck Thompson call a game was proof that the game was worth loving and that you were not alone in doing so…And while not in the same class as Thompson,Scully and Harwell,Ernie Johnson’s love of the game and pleasure in calling it came through on every broadcast….he love the game and the fans and it was always clear how lucky he knew that he was to do what he did….

  13. jcracc - Jun 18, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Craig…Absolutely Rodger would have closed the Scully deal …assuming Vin smokes and drinks scotch…great comment! Being a southern CA basebal fan from when I was 4 yo’s listening to Scully was like listening to a poet ….all radio …no TV …also had the great opportunity to do the same with Dick Enberg ….Angels anouncer with Buddy Blattner…those were the days ….listening on the radio and visualy seeing every play as every word spoken was painting a picture…now we watch every game on TV and get bored.

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