A life of baseball: Iconic Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully to auction items from 67 years of career
The 92-year-old Hall of Fame announcer is auctioning off items from his 67th birthday in the broadcast booth, including World Series rings, his final season’s score book, an album of his Career debuts retained by his mother and golf clubs he played against President George HW Bush.
Scully was sitting outside watching two sets of his golf clubs loaded into a truck. He thought of afternoons playing at the Bel-Air Country Club or with President George HW Bush.
These left handed clubs had produced a lot of shots on many rounds, some good, some bad. Walking the fairways has been a way to relax and share stories away from the stadium over the years. Seeing them leave aroused an emotion that surprised Scully.
“Wow, there is one chapter in my life that really hurts,” he told The Associated Press, “but at my age and after a few physical issues I knew I could never hold them again. . I heard a door close in my life. “
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Scully had a nasty fall in April at the end of his driveway as he picked up the mail, breaking his nose and ribs and suffering a concussion.
“It was a learning experience,” he said. “I’m hanging on to my walker.”
He decided to let go in another way, however. The retired broadcaster selected items from his personal memorabilia collection for auction on September 23. Internet auctions begin Friday at huntauctions.com.
The auction was originally scheduled for All-Star weekend in Los Angeles in July, but was moved online when the game was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It has such special meaning to so many people,” said David Hunt, owner of Hunt Auctions in Exton, PA.
Bats, balls, baseball cards, award plaques and trophies. World Series Rings. The spiral scorecard from his last season in 2016. They represent the physical vestiges of his 67 years with the Dodgers, from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.
“I’d much rather cherish the memories,” said Scully, the longest-serving one-team broadcaster in professional sports history.
Most of the 310 lots were kept behind glass doors in a trophy cabinet at Scully’s home in the Los Angeles area. The rewards covered a wall in the room that visitors were crying out for.
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“It’s not just a collection of cold, inanimate objects,” Scully said. “There are things that mean a lot to me, but now it’s time to let someone else cherish them.”
Among Scully’s favorites:
– 30 lots linked to American presidents, including the elder Bush, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. There is a book on Theodore Roosevelt signed by him in 1910 and given to Scully’s father, who worked at the president’s law firm in New York. “I’ve always thought about what trip this book took,” Scully said. He and Bush played varsity baseball against each other, Scully at Fordham and Bush at Yale. Years later, as he stepped off the golf course, Scully told him, “As long as you’re in the White House you can say whatever you want about your baseball career, but remember we we both did 0 for 3. ” Bush’s response? “He just screamed,” Scully said.
– A letter from Red Barber, who recruited his redhead colleague from the Dodgers pit and framed him. Having lost his own father at age 4, Scully revered Barber. In his sophomore year, Scully proclaimed Willie Mays as the best player he had ever seen. Off the air, Barber told him, “Young man, you haven’t been around long enough to talk about the best player you’ve ever seen.” Scully recalled: “He was going to make me a good announcer or be damn.”
– Several plaques noting Scully as a finalist for National Sports Commentator of the Year. “I put them forward out of humility to remind myself, ‘Hey, I was in the race but I didn’t make it,'” he said. Of course, he was the winner for many years.
– An album of “broken and bruised” newspaper clippings about his career in the 1950s, compiled by his mother. “She was a tall, red-haired lady with a tremendous laugh,” he said.
– A worn brown leather folio containing his score books. Inside are recorded some of his favorite poems and lyrics. “A Bel-Air Country Club member who was in the leather industry did it for me,” he said.
Scully and his wife, Sandra, plan to use a portion of the auction proceeds to help their five children, 16 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren with expenses that include parish school fees. .
“It seemed like the right time to help everyone,” he said. “We try to do as much as possible before I hope to go to heaven.”
Auctioning is a way to avoid the possibility of future family feuds over memories. “I didn’t want to cause bad feelings among the big kids,” Scully said.
The remainder of the proceeds will be donated to UCLA for neuromuscular research. Scully said his wife suffered from an illness linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the incurable disease that forced the great Yankee Lou Gehrig to retire at 36.
“It’s ironic that she’s wearing something like that named after Lou Gehrig,” he said.
After four years of retirement, Scully is content to stay close to home. His soft voice is still heard at Dodger Stadium, most recently recounting a video marking the late Kobe Bryant’s birthday. Scully recorded it in one take, as seamlessly as he has been telling stories behind the mic for almost 70 years.
“I can look back and enjoy it without having any regrets,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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