As Major League Baseball fans mourn the loss of legendary broadcaster Vin Scully, it’s worth exploring his views on faith, culture — and legacy.
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Born Vincent Edward Scully on Nov. 29, 1927, this beloved broadcaster spent decades bringing baseball to the airwaves.
Scully, 94, died Tuesday night at his home in Los Angeles, California, sparking many reactions. The news was immediately met with lament, fond memories, and loving messages.
Among the details to re-emerge was the known fact Scully, who spent 67 years on the air, was often outspoken about his beliefs, openly praising the Lord and describing the impact faith had on his life.
Catholic media outlet Angelus once covered the famed broadcaster’s Catholicism, noting in a 2016 piece how he had quipped about the famous quote, “If you want to make God smile, tell Him your plans.”
Scully offered up the proclamation when asked about life was going after his 2016 retirement.
“That quote has been so much a part of me, I don’t know when it began,” he said. “Maybe as a child, I heard a priest say it, and it just stuck. It makes good sense. You know, we try to write our own script and it’s a mistake. There’s a script already written for us.”
That latter point about God’s plans for each human truly stands out and sheds light on Scully’s faith in the Almighty.
He told Angelus his beliefs always helped him keep “things in perspective,” and he had “not wavered.”
“Faith is the one thing that makes it work, makes me keep going. You appreciate what you’ve been given,” he said at the time. “You know, this isn’t the only stop on the train. There’s one big one we’re still waiting for. I used my faith to guide me straight and narrow and strong, for sure.”
And Scully knows a thing or two about forging on through pain. His first wife, Joan, died in 1972, leaving him with three children. His son, Michael, was later killed in a helicopter accident at the age of 33 in 1994. He also lost his second wife, Sandi, in 2021 due to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 3, 2022
But through it all, Scully said he trusted in his faith.
The Los Angeles Daily News reported his longstanding love of Mass, noting how he would often turn to his upbringing in church to explain why he was a kind and gracious man. And he overtly credited the Lord’s “generosity” with his legendary successes.
“God has been incredibly kind to allow me to be in the position to watch and to broadcast all these somewhat monumental events,” Scully told the outlet in 2016. “I’m really filled with thanksgiving and the fact that I’ve been given such a chance to view. But none of those are my achievements; I just happened to be there.”
He continued, “I know some people won’t understand it, but I think it has been God’s generosity to put me in these places and let me enjoy it.”
Scully has even encouraged fans in the past to be more prayerful:
“In the meantime, spend the precious time at home with your family. Pray a little bit more, like most of us will do and above all, try to smile.“
Vin Scully, 92 years young. A national treasure. pic.twitter.com/5aMWCuviWF
— Jason Romano (@JasonRomano) March 27, 2020
Scully would also sometimes insert stories and commentary in his broadcasting, shedding light during a 2016 broadcast on his views about socialism.
“Socialism failing to work as it always does, this time in Venezuela. You talk about giving everybody something free, and all of the sudden there’s no food to eat,” he said. “And who do you think is the richest person in Venezuela? The daughter of Hugo Chavez.”
He concluded with an “Anyway” before diving back into game stats. Watch the moment:
Vin Scully has strong feelings on socialism pic.twitter.com/7XEnF56EOy
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) June 18, 2016
That moment, too, is getting renewed attention.
But the most significant part of Scully’s storied life is how he wanted to be remembered — not as a famous broadcaster, but as a simple man who was good, kind, and “lived up to his own beliefs,” as The Los Angeles Daily News reported.
It seems that legacy is already being recognized, as Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw told the Associated Press Tuesday Scully was a truly unique man.
“He was the best there ever was,” Kershaw said. “Just such a special man. I’m grateful and thankful I got to know him as well as I did.”
You gave me my Wild Horse name. You gave me love. You hugged me like a father. I will never forget you, my heart is broken. My hand over your family’s hearts.
Los Angeles, I am sorry I am not there with you today to cry together. @TheVinScully @Dodgers pic.twitter.com/OgazZYQ8pU
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) August 3, 2022
Former Dodgers player Yasiel Puig mirrored this sentiment, tweeting Wednesday, “You gave me my Wild Horse name. You gave me love. You hugged me like a father. I will never forget you, my heart is broken. My hand over your family’s hearts. Los Angeles, I am sorry I am not there with you today to cry together.”
Scully’s well-lived life is evident in the responses of those who knew and loved him. Pray for those mourning his loss during this difficult time.
We’ll leave you with Scully’s final sign-off:
October 2, 2016. Vin Scully signs off for the final time. pic.twitter.com/R85tgy1bHB
— MLB (@MLB) August 3, 2022
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