Vin Scully recently announced he will return next year for a 65th season announcing baseball. He now says 2014 may be his last.
“Right now, I’m pretty well sure – and I don’t want to go back and forth with it – but I’m looking to next year and thinking that should be about it,” Scully told KPCC in a recent interview.
He has been on one-year contracts for the last few years and turns 86 next month. His workload has slowed considerably: he only travels with the team on regular season road trips that are in California and nearby states.
For the playoffs that start Thursday, Scully will only be heard on the radio. That's a travesty, as far as many Dodgers fans are concerned. But the longtime broadcaster is fine with it.
“I’ve had plenty of experience on the network," Scully said. "And as far as now, trying to be 'guested back in?' I don’t want any part of that. I don’t belong there. I don’t deserve to be there. And I’m very happy to be on the radio.”
His longevity, combined with hints that he may be leaving the broadcast booth, has led to talk of finding ways to honor Scully. He said he does not want a street named after him. The suggestion came from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, after lobbying from the public and the broadcaster’s family.
"This was just a reflection of weeks, almost months, of people saying we have to name a street," Garcetti said. "His daughter-in-law, who has a blog, was the one that really pushed the question."
But Scully, whose humility is well-known, downplayed the idea.
"I really didn't want that at all," Scully said. "The mayor of Los Angeles has a lot more important things to do than name a street after me."
Garcetti says if next year is Scully’s last, Los Angeles would likely honor him – whether the 85-year-old likes it or not.
“I believe we need to pay tribute to this man who has given us in many ways our sports soul for half a century," Garcetti said. "There are times – even against people’s protest – that a city needs to do that.”
Angelenos can take solace in the fact this isn’t the first time Scully has threatened retirement.
"God willing, I will probably come back for one more year," he told L.A. columnist Bill Plaschke in 2009.
Tomorrow: As the Dodgers return the playoffs, KPCC's Ben Bergman goes behind the scenes with Vin Scully at Dodger stadium.