When I was a younger man, I wanted to be a sportscaster. While most youngsters who wanted to be sportscasters wanted to be the best Chris Berman or Stuart Scott, I wanted to be the next Skip Caray. Granted, this was because I was such a big Atlanta Braves fan growing up and I could hear him every night on the Superstation. There’s something to be said about Skip, Pete Van Wieren, and Ernie Johnson being the soundtrack of my childhood summers.
Baseball is more than a game, it is about living with joy.
Another song on the soundtrack of my childhood summers was the iconic duo on the NBC Baseball Game of the Week: Vin Scully and Joe Garagiola. There was something so smooth and polished about how Vin Scully was able to bring the viewer into the ballpark. They came along at a time when I was falling in love with the game and with storytelling.
I wasn’t exposed to his Dodgers’ work until adulthood. Growing up in Alabama kept me from that experience.
Over the years, Vin became a hero to me. He was at the mic for some of the most important baseball moments of my lifetime. From the Buckner error in the 1986 World Series, to Kirk Gibson’s hobble-off home run in the 1988 Series, to my Braves winning it all in 1995, he was there.
Nobody let the big moment breathe better than Scully.
When he made the radio call of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run in 1974, Vin laid out and said nothing for several minutes while the Atlanta crowd erupted into a volcano of sound. He even left the booth and let the crowd tell the story for several uninterrupted minutes.
I could wax poetic about one of the greatest storytellers the game of baseball has ever seen, and the greatest announcer in baseball history. The latter I say as a huge Skip Caray fan.
Scully is finally retiring this year from the Dodgers’ microphone after 67 seasons. He’ll be 89 in November. While he’s still vibrant and lively, Father Time has caught up with the old redhead in recent years.
I write about him because of something I saw on Instagram this past week.
Here’s a man who has been doing the same job since Harry Truman was President of the United States. He’s endured two pretty major tragedies when he saw the passing of his first wife in 1972 and his oldest son in 1994 from a helicopter crash.
The picture I saw on Instagram was of a man whose face was weathered by age and time. His hair was artificially dyed red. He wore a crisply knotted necktie with a French cuff shirt. And this isn’t what stuck out to me about that picture.
Vin had a huge smile on his face. Pure, unfiltered, unadulterated joy emanated from that picture. He appeared to be in mid-laugh. I could feel the joy coming from that image.
Vin Scully has made a very comfortable living in his lengthy career. But you cannot do a job for as long as he has without having a deep and abiding love for what you do. You cannot do a job for as long and as well as he has without pure, unfiltered joy.
Vin’s final home game was a dramatic tenth inning walk-off home run by Charlie Culberson that clinched the National League West for the Dodgers. It’s fitting that Vin goes out letting yet another dramatic moment breathe.
As I wrote a few weeks ago, joy comes from within. Nobody can gift you with joy. You go out and create it, grab it, and don’t let go.
Will a coaching session with me support you in finding that level of joy in your life? Probably not. But knowing that this level of joy is available to each and every one of us is the first step.
Let’s connect on a sample coaching session to see if we can create a little joy in your life. Visit my website at team-ryan.team. Shoot me an email at [email protected]. Or follow me on twitter at twitter.com/ryanhallwrites.
I want to acknowledge you for being joy. And thank you for sharing your joy with the world. There’s some value in that for humanity, not just baseball fans.
Be joy. Be like Vin Scully.
“Social, along with baseball fans everywhere, will miss the beloved voice of the Dodgers. 87% positives and the only real negatives are how much he will be missed.” – Howard K. 30dB