Vin Scully says he’s OK with adding a protege to Dodgers booth
Vin Scully, with wife Sandi at his side, waves to the crowd during a ceremony honoring the Dodgers broadcaster before the game Sept. 23, 2016, at Dodger Stadium.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Vin Scully and Hall-of-Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax embrace during the pregame ceremony honoring the Dodgers broadcaster on Sept. 23, 2016.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts (30) joins MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, right, in presenting a check to Vin Scully to be donated to the Dodgers broadcaster’s favorite charity during a pregame ceremoney Sept. 23, 2016.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Fans wipe away tears during the pregame ceremony honoring Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Vin Scully with Jerry Doggett in the announcer’s booth at Dodgertown during spring training in Vero Beach, Florida on April 8, 1985.(Jayne Kamin / Los Angeles Times)
Vin Scully has broadcast Dodgers games since before the team moved to L.A. in 1958.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Hall of Fame Dodger announcer Vin Scully before the start of a Dodgers - Reds game at Dodger Stadium on August 22, 2010.(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers announcer Vin Scully takes the stage to speak about his decision to come back for a 66th season in the broadcast booth during a news conference at Dodger Stadium on July 30, 2014.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Vin Scully is applauded on the field at Dodger Stadium, by family members, as he is recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as the “longest tenured sports team employee” on September 23, 2015.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Maybe it seems a tad late in the game for this, though that doesn’t mean it’s too late.
Giants broadcaster Jon Miller suggested to The Times’ Bill Shaikin that the Dodgers should hire a young broadcaster whom Vin Scully could mentor as his eventual successor, much as Red Barber had once done with Scully.
In every game Scully broadcasts for the Dodgers, of course, he currently goes all nine innings alone. That doesn’t mean, however, Scully would be against Miller’s suggestion.
“Not at all,” Scully said.
Scully said he had actually once made a recommendation for such a role, but the unnamed broadcaster received an attractive national offer and had a wife who seemed less than eager to move to Los Angeles.
And though careful to say choosing his eventual successor would not be up to him, but to the team, he’s also not keen on eventually retiring without the Dodgers having a successor in mind.
“I would hope something would be developed for the future,” Scully said. “I wouldn’t want to leave them in the lurch.”
Scully turns 87 at the end of the month, but has announced he will return for the 2015 season. Each year he makes a decision about returning, though next year will see him cut further down on his road trips.
Originally Scully said he would not make any road trips next season that weren’t down the freeway to Anaheim, but now says he will include games in San Francisco against the World Series champion Giants.
Scully was fresh out of college when Barber took him under his wing to help with his radio broadcasts of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950. Barber -- like Scully -- was a proponent of one voice in the booth, so Scully initially did the third and seventh innings.
“He wanted me to succeed,” Scully said. “He worked me hard. He really got on me.”
After four seasons, Barber left to broadcast the Yankees and Scully became the team’s lead broadcaster. At age 26. Next season will mark his 66th consecutive season with the Dodgers, the longest run with one team in sports broadcasting history.
Scully said he would not be opposed to giving up a couple innings to a young buck, mentoring him much as Barber had once done to a red-headed kid born in the Bronx.
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