In one of my most-read GetReligion posts of the year, I explained last week that there's a reason longtime Los Angeles Dodgers play-by-play voice Vin Scully kept mentioning God during his farewell tour.
That reason: his devout Roman Catholic faith.
In a moment, I'll share additional insight from a Los Angeles sports columnist who thought it was crucially important to highlight the faith angle in telling Scully's story.
But first, a bit of news that might interest GetReligion readers. Crux reports that Scully "is back on the air, this time calling the Rosary":
The lede from Crux:
Baseball fans across the country were saddened at the end of an era on Oct. 3, when Vin Scully, the voice of Dodgers’ baseball for the past 67 seasons, signed off for the last time, calling the San Francisco Giants’ 7-1 victory over Los Angeles in the city by the bay.
But the man known as the voice of baseball is back, this time lending his voice to an audio recording, “The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” produced by the group Catholic Athletes for Christ in collaboration with Immaculate Heart Radio.
For Catholics who are baseball fans, it’s basically the answer to a prayer.
Scully — whose most famous calls include the Brooklyn Dodgers’ long dreamed of World Series victory over the rival New York Yankees in 1955, Sandy Koufax’s strikeout to complete the lefty’s perfect game in 1965, and Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series game-winning home run when the slugger limped around the bases on two injured legs — turned to a different kind of play-by-play for an unexpected encore.
The Hall of Fame broadcaster and devout Catholic has narrated the Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary for the recording, which is available on CDs and digital downloads, and people can hear one of the most famous voices of the past century read Gospel passages explaining each of those mysteries and then lead the praying of the rosary.
“We are blessed and honored to have the iconic voice of Vin Scully lead this new recording of the rosary,” said Ray McKenna, the founder and president of Catholic Athletes for Christ, in a statement announcing the recording’s late September release.
In my initial post on Scully, I highlighted an extremely insightful piece by Los Angeles Daily News sports media columnist Tom Hoffarth:
Hoffarth, who has written a number of columns about Scully, emailed GetReligion to let us know he was "touched that you would include my piece on Vin Scully's Catholic foundation." The columnist added:
It was important to me to let everyone know why his mention of God was so profoundly important to him — and I saw him at Mass on his last Sunday at Dodger Stadium. He was very upset about the passing of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, and the frailty of life. It made him really wonder: Why, God, am I here and this 24-year-old star not? Then he cried. We cried with him.
When I emailed Hoffarth to make sure it was OK to share his comment, he replied, "Absolutely," and offered even more insight on Scully:
I actually wrote down another thing Vin said to me on the phone this week: If I had done this job five years, 15 years, there would not have been close to the media hoopla of having done this 67 years. God was in control the whole way. I don't feel any self-gratification at all.
Thank you for taking us behind the scenes, Tom Hoffarth!