09/29/2016 01:01 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

When Vin Scully Makes His Last Call Sunday, Maybe That Means The Dodgers Really Won't Come Back to Brooklyn

Last Sunday afternoon I drove to Fordham University in the Bronx, where I was a guest on Dan Romanello's Group Harmony Review over Fordham's radio station, WFUV.

As you approach the main entrance to Fordham, you pass the baseball diamond, home field of the Fordham Rams. You park and you walk to the basement of Keating Hall, where WFUV has become as professional an operation as you'll find at any college-based radio station anywhere.

I mention this because at almost the precise moment I turned off Southern Boulevard into the Fordham campus, a ceremony was being held 2,455 miles to the West.


The Los Angeles Dodgers were honoring Vin Scully, who has been broadcasting Dodgers baseball games for 67 years, on the occasion of his final home game. {Photo from

In an age when every kid gets a "participation" trophy, Vin Scully has earned each one of the many honors he has received over the years, for skill and for style.

Last Sunday's game, which ended with a walk-off home run by Charlie Culbertson to clinch the National League West division championship for the Dodgers, didn't give us Scully's final call.

That's expected this coming Sunday, when he announces the last Dodgers game of the regular season from AT&T Park in San Francisco.


When the last Dodger or Giant bats in that game, Scully will wrap up a broadcasting career that began in 1950 when he became the junior partner to Red Barber and Connie Desmond (above) in the booth for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Scully was 22 then. By the time he was 25 he had called a World Series game, still the youngest announcer in history to do that. He became Brooklyn's lead announcer after Barber jumped to the Yankees in 1953 and a few months before his 30th birthday he called the final Dodgers game in Brooklyn.

While he was a New York kid, he followed the team and his job to Los Angeles, where his calm, smooth style came to define baseball broadcasting. Okay, and it also moved a lot of Dodger Dogs.

Scully has never been just a baseball announcer, though we baseball fans will never stop claiming him for our own. He's called golf. He's called a lot of football, including Dwight Clark's catch of that Joe Montana pass in the 1985 NFC finals. He's lent his voice to video games, sitcoms and many other places that recognized no one sounds quite like Vin Scully.

You asked him how he did it, especially baseball, and he'd give you some modest dodge about good fortune. He also admitted to preparation, back to the days when that didn't mean reading the blizzard of arcane statistics that often pass for understanding baseball today.


Scully came to a broadcast knowing the players, on both teams. He could tell you who was having trouble with the curve.

He could fill a baseball broadcast with baseball, a concept that's not as automatic as you might think with many announcers. He also understood when to say less, or nothing.

Scully didn't openly root for the Dodgers. He just knew the Dodgers, and when they did something that made their fans happy, he understood why.

"In a year that has been so improbable," he famously said after Kirk Gibson's home run won the first game of the 1988 World Series, "the impossible has happened."

Scully was born with the right voice. That's a good start that would have meant nothing had he not developed it.

Hard work and persistence is how a kid who was fascinated by sports announcers got to spend his life announcing sports, and that's where the Fordham baseball diamond comes back into play.

Once upon a time, almost 70 years ago, Vin Scully played centerfield for Fordham. Years later he would reminisce about a game against Yale, when Yale's first baseman was George Herbert Walker Bush.

Scully allowed he was a decent ballplayer. He was also a decent barbershop quartet singer. Those just weren't what he was really good at. Announcing was, and that's where WFUV comes in.

Scully was one of the students who helped start WFUV. It's the place where he first got good.

He didn't get back to New York much after he stopped making long road trips with the Dodgers, he admitted a couple of years ago. He also said that didn't mean he'd forgotten where Fordham and WFUV had helped take him.

I was thinking last Sunday how both of those are still there today, which brought me to some other things that aren't, which includes the Brooklyn Dodgers.

When Vin Scully played centerfield for Fordham in the late 1940s, the war over and all things possible, there was no reason to think the Dodgers - or the New York Giants, Scully's childhood team - wouldn't be part of the city forever, like the Brooklyn Bridge or the Grand Concourse.


And then, 10 years later, they weren't. Now, 70 years later, Vin Scully's retirement severs the last active link between the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers.

In a real sense, this is where the last page turns and the book closes.

That's the unspoken part of what we lose when Vin Scully calls his final play Sunday, another reminder that time eventually turns almost everything into memories.

In Vin Scully's case, we could hardly have asked for more.