For 67 seasons, Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Vin Scully invited viewers and listeners to “pull up a chair.” Now, collectors can own one of Scully’s chairs, along with more than 300 other items that will be heading to auction next month.
Scully, 92, is putting his extensive memorabilia collection on the block for Hunt Auctions’ All-Star Live Internet Auction, scheduled for Sept. 23. The auction was originally going to be held as part of baseball’s All-Star weekend, but the July 14 event had to be moved online when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Even though he retired after the 2016 season, Scully remains the most revered of baseball announcers by fans and colleagues. Ernie Harwell, like Scully a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame, called his broadcasting contemporary “the best ever.”
Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray took it a step further, calling Scully, “The Fordham Thrush with a .400 larynx,” paying homage to the New York native’s alma mater, Fordham University.
Longtime broadcasting partner Jerry Doggett told author Curt Smith in 1995 that “I was a journeyman announcer whose biggest break was to spend 32 years with Vin Scully.”
Many pieces of memorabilia that will be sold references Scully’s long broadcasting career, which, in addition to baseball, also included football and golf.
Hunt Auctions, located in Exton, Pennsylvania, will feature 305 pieces of Scully’s memorabilia. Lots will four World Series rings, including the 1955 jewelry from the Dodgers’ only title in Brooklyn, along with the 1988 World Series ring, which commemorates the last time the Dodgers won the Fall Classic.
“I would much rather treasure the memories,” Scully told The Associated Press.
Some of the lots show Scully’s interaction with U.S. presidents. One time is a graded, handwritten letter from George H.W. Bush, signed baseballs and an autographed letter from Ronald Reagan, and a signed photograph and a typewritten letter signed by Barack Obama.
The scorebook Scully used during his final broadcasting season in 2016 is also part of the auction.
“It’s not just a collection of cold, inanimate objects,” Scully told the AP. “There are things that mean a great deal to me, but now it’s time to let someone else treasure them.”
David Hunt, the president of Hunt Auctions, said Scully “has such a special meaning to so many people.”
“Vin Scully is one of the most iconic figures in baseball history,” Hunt said in a news release. “Vin’s ability to make you feel as part of the game itself, part of a family, and with an uncommon humility was his unique genius. The honor to associate with Vin Scully for this very special offering is without question one of the most significant in our 30-year company history.”
Scully said he and his wife will use some of the auction proceeds to provide for their five children, 16 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
“It seemed to be the right time to help everybody,” Scully told the AP. “We’re trying to do as much as possible before I hopefully go to heaven.”
The rest of the proceeds will be donated to UCLA for neuromuscular research. Scully’s wife suffers from a condition related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“For 67 years, I have been blessed to have fulfilled a childhood dream of broadcasting baseball,” Scully said in the Hunt Auctions news release. “My journey began in Brooklyn with the likes of Duke Snider and Jackie Robinson and finished with Kirk Gibson and Clayton Kershaw in Los Angeles. The sport has given a redheaded kid playing stickball in the streets of New York even more than he had nerve to pray for and allows my wife Sandi and me to contribute some assistance to neuromuscular research at UCLA to which my family is proud to support. This auction contains pieces of my life and dreams as well as baseball memories. Here’s hoping they will be enjoyed by many.”
Cox Media Group