Reading and listening to the tributes to Vin Scully, who left this realm at the age of 94 on Tuesday, I heard plenty of what he had to say, but for somebody who charmed generations with his nouns and verbs, he knew when the time was right to clam up.
Scully never considered himself the main attraction, which allowed him to go silent at a particularly important moment. The game and its players were what people came to see or tuned in to see, so he resisted the urge to talk over a particularly critical juncture.
He was the voice of baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, but he was renowned in golf as well, calling the Masters, Players Championship and other events for both CBS and NBC and he became an icon for generations despite his humble and professional style.
Scully may have known when silence was golden, but he was also a renowned story teller with a distinctive voice. There is one particular bit of wisdom that those following him in media, any media, would be well-advised to follow.
“You should have the attitude of a reporter, not a fan. You’re not there to have a good time. You’re there to work, not to clown with guys around the batting cage,” he is quoted as saying. “Above everything else, the people have to believe you. If there’s the slightest doubt about your accuracy and fairness, you aren’t doing it right.”
In this tumultuous era for media, may the Vin Scully legacy live on.