Sports deaths are common every year, but some deaths stand out more than others. Recently the great basketball icon and social justice champion Bill Russell passed. It’s been felt how huge the loss is in the United States. Not even a week later, iconic play-by-play broadcaster Vin Scully passed the second of August.
I don’t usually write about passings not because it’s related to on-going sports seasons or games, but because most deaths are covered in depth, there’s no need to tell anyone something new. This case is different because it’s a personal one.
For those who don’t know me off of this site, I majored in sports broadcasting when i went to college and minored in journalism. My parents worked in broadcasting at some point in their lives, and they wanted me to be in the business, encouraging me at a young age. When asked in middle school what I wanted to be for a major project, i chose play-by-play announcer or commentator. One of my references used was Vin, who was and is mostly known for calling baseball games for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Vin found a perfect balance between story-telling and calling plays. Colorful vocabulary and simple words. Attention to details and letting the audience think. It’s what makes him to this day the best baseball play-by-play announcer many U.S.ians have heard over the decades.
The best part about Vin was knowing when to cherish historical moments and let others shine. Many in broadcasting are the complete opposite, and it alienates a lot of audiences and employees. These attributes made me believe I could one day be my own type of announcer and broadcaster while sticking to a lot of the same points Vin casually mastered or used without question.
I will never measure up to Vin’s career for many reasons, but his influence and inspiration led me down a sports path i’m well determined to grow, learn, write, talk and shine brightly on. Many sportscasters spoke on how his influence and how his career got them into sports careers, pushing them to be some of the best.
Vin Scully passed and transitioned at an age many of us dream of attaining, surrounded by those who loved him whether he knew or not. It’s true he left this world a better place but he also made the sports world a desired place to be regardless of how boring it could be at times. I am now reminded that before I hit thirty years old, many fans, analysts and children with aspirations of having the life as a sports analysts will be looking towards those in the business right now, wanting to be us decades down the line. A legacy is determined by those who remember the ones who pass, and right now, there are large shoes to fill.