Legendary broadcaster Vin Scully, who called his final Los Angeles Dodgers game on Oct. 2 after 67 years in the booth, was at the White House on Tuesday to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama.
Scully, who turns 89 next week, was one of 21 individuals to earn the nation's highest civilian honor, bestowed upon those who make significant cultural contributions to the United States or international contributions in the areas of culture or world peace.
Scully, a 1982 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, arrived in Washington on Monday morning with his wife, Sandra, before sharing a moment with White House press secretary and Dodgers fan Josh Earnest, who last week called Scully to inform him of the award.
Among those receiving the Medal of Freedom alongside Scully were NBA greats Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, as well as musician Bruce Springsteen. Some of the other honorees included Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, Bill and Melinda Gates, Lorne Michaels and Tom Hanks.
President Obama spoke for nearly an hour while citing each individual, and introduced Scully by calling him one of baseball's "signature sounds." The Commander in Chief jokingly said he considered having Scully announce each recipient instead of him.
"You hear the crack of the bat. You've got the crowd singing in the 7th-inning stretch. And you've got the voice of Vin Scully." pic.twitter.com/4Wc5hWCDdF— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) November 22, 2016
The ceremony concluded with Obama inviting each individual up to the podium so that he could place the actual Medal of Freedom around their necks while an official narrator offered further words of praise. Scully appeared emotional as he shook Obama's hand and bowed his head while returning to his seat.
Pres. Obama awards Vin Scully, the voice of Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for 67 seasons, the Medal of Freedom. https://t.co/gICgC7svpD— ABC News (@ABC) November 22, 2016
Vin Scully is the best. pic.twitter.com/XNJAfN28Gd— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) November 22, 2016
Scully joined the Dodgers in 1950, when the team was still based in Brooklyn. Known for his calm delivery and storytelling capabilities, Scully's famous pregame catchphrase was, "It's time for Dodger baseball!"
-- Nick Ostiller