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How a Notre Dame football game helped kickstart Vin Scully’s career

The term GOAT gets thrown around way too liberally these days. There are some all-time greats and some really goods that deserve praise but it feels as if calling someone the “Greatest of All-Time” has lost a bit of the impact it used to.

That’s not the case for Vin Scully.

And it will never be the case.

Scully became the legendary voice of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for whom he broadcast games for an astonishing 67 years. His iconic calls for him included Kirk Gibson’s walk-off home run in the 1988 World Series, Hank Aaron’s record setting 715th career home run, and even “The Catch” in the 1981 NFC Championship game.

Those were all incredible and are worthy of celebration but what made Scully special was his ability to tell stories. Sure, he had them of the greatest players the game ever saw and he saw plenty of those guys up close, but his stories of the other players who weren’t All-Star regulars or megastars are what I always enjoyed most about him. Check out below to hear just a few of his less iconic but equally as great of calls over the years.

Earlier today our colleague Matt Zemek at Trojans Wire shared a story of how a college football game at Fenway Park actually served as Scully’s major breakthrough in terms of broadcasting.

From the piece Zemek found on

It was November 12, 1949, and Scully was just a 21-year-old looking to break into broadcasting after graduating from Fordham University. A special circumstance had helped him land the job of calling the game at Fenway Park between 6-0 Boston University and 5-1 Maryland.

It was legendary Detroit Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell (who was once fired by Bo Schembechler – good going there) was reassigned to call the Notre Dame-North Carolina game that day which led to the famed Red Barber reaching out to Scully and getting him to announce the Boston University vs. Maryland game at Fenway. Notre Dame routed the Tar Heels 42-6 that day which meant Scully’s game received the majority of CBS’ attention as it was competitive.

Shortly after Scully joined the Dodgers broadcast booth and the rest is history.

I’m not silly enough to think Vin wouldn’t have made it one day if not for calling that Boston U.-Maryland game but he wouldn’t have gotten his start quite as quickly.

From a baseball fan that was blessed to be able to fall asleep to Dodgers games on for the better part of the last 15 years, RIP Vin. Thank you for the incredible memories and helping spread your love for baseball with a world that will never hear from a finer broadcaster.

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