He's not everyone's favorite baseball broadcaster, but not everyone has the best taste. Vin Scully, the voice and face of the Dodgers since 1950, celebrates his 85th birthday Thursday. To announce the occasion, Major League Baseball has sent out this tweet, which includes the neoclassic picture shown above of Scully checking out a rainbow at Dodger Stadium on his bobblehead giveaway night in 2012. Vin, a bobblehead and a rainbow? A stand-up triple.
Born in the Bronx the year Babe Ruth hit a record 60 home runs for the Yankees, Scully instead grew up a New York baseball Giants fan, idolizing the likes of Mel Ott and Carl Hubbell. (Scully said he cried whenever Hubbell lost a ballgame, you know?) And the rest, everyone pretty much knows. He went to Fordham, got a job as Red Barber's sidekick with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and eclipsed even Barber's popularity once the team moved to Hollywood.
And you don't have to live on the West Coast, or root for the Dodgers, to like him.
How many times have you heard a fan show excitement about a late-night Dodgers home game on TV, just because it would be Scully calling it? He became a national broadcaster for a time — think the Kirk Gibson homer in the '88 World Series — and that stage misses his presence a great deal. Scully is a solo act, of course, supplying his own color analysis, frequently coming up with tidbits about players that few other reporters (or no other ones) knew. Then there's voice. He's a comfort. And a baseball joy. And it's great that he has re-upped for 2013. Here's to another year of Vin.
Also birthed on this day: Mariano Rivera, Pedro Martinez (the left-handed one), Bob Hamelin, Howard Johnson, Bill Freehan, Minnie Minoso and Mike Easler.