Vinathon: Vin Scully in Variety, January 1950
We greet you this morning with a treat — a peek at Vin Scully on the brink of his Dodger career.
Last week, my former employer Variety ran a piece with TV legend Norman Lear talking about his first mention in the publication — which came way back in 1950.
That year, of course, is a magic year, because it’s the year of Scully’s debut with the Dodgers after impressing Red Barber with his professionalism during the broadcast of a college football game at a freezing cold Fenway Park. So I decided to look in Variety’s archives to see if Scully was also mentioned in 1950.
Turns out he was — months before his Dodger career began, in this letter from William A. Coleman, chairman of the AM-TV Division of Scully’s alma mater, Fordham University. Coleman was promoting his recent alumni as potential announcing stars of tomorrow.
Or take a lad from last year’s June class — “Vin” Scully. Graduation day found him working at WTOP, CBS’s Washington outlet, and in the fall the nation heard him reporting in each Saturday for Red Barber’s football and sports roundup. Now, we hear that Barber has signed him as his assistant for next season to broadcast and telecast the Brooklyn Baseball games. Here is one of the Ted Husings of tomorrow.”
Husing, if you’re wondering about the reference, was a prominent New York announcer — among other things, a mentor to Mel Allen and a predecessor of Barber as CBS radio sports director.
The Mac McGarry mentioned by Coleman also went on to great success, hosting Washington D.C.’s “It’s Academic,” the longest-running quiz program in TV history, according to the Washington Post, which credits Scully for urging him to apply for a summer job at WRC-TV in 1950.
“Ten years from now, Variety may well run another ‘those were the good old days article and point out the headliners who stepped out from this talent incubator,” Coleman wrote. Yes, you could say Vin Scully validated this prediction.
Originally published November 2, 2015