Vin Scully’s final game on Sunday was something close to a miracle in sportscasting — an 88-year-old man performing a solo act, conversing with us for more than three hours, keeping track of the game while telling stories, invoking memories and reminding us that he did this single job for 67 consecutive seasons.
How many men or women his age have ever performed so ably, so publicly, with no safety net? Think of two announcers often thought of as baseball’s greatest before Vincent Edward Scully succeeded them.
Red Barber, Scully’s mentor, was 58 when he was fired by the Yankees. Mel Allen was 51 when the Yankees broke his heart by dismissing him. Imagine if they had worked for 30 more years — would they have maintained their abilities as Scully has? Would they have been as fortunate as Ernie Harwell, who retired at 84 but would have been able to work as long as Scully has?
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