In 65 seasons as the voice of the Dodgers, he has called 19 no-hitters—including Clayton Kershaw's on June 18. While the 86-year-old still loves describing the action, he's just as happy to remain silent.
DAN PATRICK:Did you ever think we'd compare another Dodgers lefty, Clayton Kershaw, with Sandy Koufax?
VIN SCULLY: To me, there's one huge difference. In Sandy's day he pitched every fourth day. With Kershaw, he pitches every fifth day. Sandy [pitched] complete games. Sandy one year won 27 games and completed 27. Clayton will never do that.
DP:The game has changed. Has your role changed?
VS: No, not at all. My job, basically, is to call the play as accurately and swiftly as possible—get out of the way for the crowd—and perhaps inform a little bit, entertain even a little bit.
DP:How do you feel about silence during a game?
VS: I love it. When I was about eight, we had a big, four-legged radio. I would get a pillow, a glass of milk and some saltine crackers and crawl under the radio to listen to a Saturday football game. I knew nothing about [the teams], but the roar of the crowd absolutely intoxicated me. Now I try to call the play and shut up so I can enjoy the roar of the crowd—including Henry Aaron's home run, Kirk Gibson's home run, etc., etc.
DP:Are you scared of the day when you won't be broadcasting?
VS: It's pretty frightening after doing it so long. Each year I evaluate where I am as far as health. My wife and I talk about our association. And then I carefully try to be my own critic. Am I still doing a good enough job to have the privilege of doing the Dodgers game? I'll probably decide sometime in August. Whatever the decision, I am going to be uneasy.
DP:Who is the best player you ever saw?
VS: The one who was completely equipped in every phase of the game was Willie Mays. The most exciting player had to be Jackie Robinson, because we understood what was going on.
DP:Did you save any scorecards?
VS: I'm terrible at that. Each year I finish my scoreboard and throw it away. People say, I'd love to see Sandy Koufax's perfect game. I say, So would I.
DP:How do you feel about social media?
VS: A few years ago Shane Victorino had just become a Dodger. He sent a message to the team: "I'll be there soon." I said to the audience, "Shane Victorino has been Twitting and sent a twit." I didn't know. I assumed if it's Twitter, the message is a twit. People thought it was the funniest thing.
DP:Thank you for entertaining us for so long and good luck Twitting.
VS: If you sent me a picture of a hashtag, I'd love it.
Cal Ripken Jr. doesn't know why managers wear the same uniforms as players. "If I ever get a managing job, I would just put on a suit, a nice tie," Ripken told me. "Then I'd walk out for instant replay really slowly. The game will be forever changed." ... Bulls rookie Doug McDermott commented on how draft analysis can be too obvious: "I saw on the screen right after I got drafted they had Adam Morrison highlights. They like comparing the white guys. I prefer the Paul Pierce [comparison.]" ... Fox's Joe Buck admitted that his impersonation of his late father, Jack, isn't as good an many other broadcasters'. "Everybody wants to do all the home run calls: I don't believe what I just saw! They're not going to get him!" Buck said. "I can imitate my dad getting me up for school in the morning. It was, 'Get up, Buck. I'm not going to tell you again.' "
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK)
STEPHEN DUNN/GETTY IMAGES (SCULLY)
CHARLES LECLAIRE/USA TODAY SPORTS (RIPKEN)
CHARLES REX ARBOGAST/AP (MCDERMOTT)
BILL GREENBLATT/UPI/LANDOV (BUCK)