Pride of the Dodgers
(The following article originally appeared in the 1999 Los Angeles Dodgers
Media Guide. It was edited for americansportscasters.com by ASA Advisory
Board Member Gary McKillips with the permission of the Dodgers. For the
complete article or more information on the Dodgers, visit www.dodgers.com)
|Two baseball legends, broadcaster
Vin Scully and manager Tommy Lasorda, begin their 50th year with the Dodgers
Both members of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Scully has come
to represent the tranquility of the game, while Lasorda mirrors its competitive
Scully called himself a mere "observer." but his accounts of some
Dodgers greatest moments have become as a soundtrack for the ages.
Lasorda combined fun, motivation, comedy and strategy to fashion a career
as a winner on the field and a bonvivant off. His office was a melting pot
where Hollywood stars would mingle with players-and none would walk away
Scully became interested in baseball when he listened to games on a furniture-sized
radio in his living room. His favorite announcer was Red Barber, whose southern
accent and homespun tales gave a distinct flavor to Brooklyn Dodger broadcasts.
Following graduation from Fordham, Scully landed a job as back-up to his
idol Barber, and learned not only more about his easy going style, but his
ability to remain objective. Said Scully, "I was aware the first few
times I heard my voice, it was better if I saw things with my eyes and not
with my heart. I did not want emotion to color my facts."
Although Barber left the Dodgers after the 1953 season, his influence remained
as Scully developed into one of the premier broadcasters of his generation.
Former Dodger Manager Buzzi Bavasi said, "Vin Scully taught people
in Los Angeles about baseball. He was one of those rated as vitally important
in making the Dodgers as popular as they are today."
Scully was inducted into the ASA Hall of Fame in 1992. The Hall of Fame
is located in the MCI Center’s National Sports Gallery in Washington,
Lasorda also came from humble beginnings. As a pitcher, he was never good
enough to make it to the big leagues for any length of time, having appeared
in only 26 games with Brooklyn and the Kansas City Athletics.
After his brief pitching career ended, he became a scout in the Dodger organization
and in 1965 received his first managerial assignment with the Dodgers rookie
league team in Pocatello, Idaho. While Lasorda’s instructions were
to groom talent, he could never change his attitude about winning. In his
autobiography "The Artful Dodger," Lasorda said, "Telling
me I didn’t have to win was like telling the Wright Brothers to take
Lasorda did win several minor league championships and developed future
stars such as Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Bill Buckner.
He continued that success during his 20-year reign as manager of the Los
Angeles Dodgers, bringing the city World Series titles in 1981 and 1988.
Columnist Jim Murray summed it up best when he said, "What would baseball
be without Tommy? A meal without wine. A day without sunshine A dance with
your sister... Any cliche you want."
Lasorda created many of baseball’s greatest moments on the field. Scully
captures those moments from the broadcast booth. Together they represent
a century of memories for the Dodger franchise and for baseball fans everywhere.
Lasorda served as Master of Ceremonies for the 1994 and 1995 ASA Hall of
Fame Awards Dinners, during which time Keith Jackson and Chick Hearn were
inducted into the Hall of Fame.