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.
“…There is no better storyteller alive today than Vin Scully, and his narration on this recording helps bring alive the stories of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
Baseball fans generally love Vin Scully, no matter who their team is. I am a lifelong practicing Roman Catholic and Los Angeles Dodgers fan (as long as I can remember, at least, for the latter) and this gave me a smile as soon as I read it.
Vin is also a lifelong devout Catholic with a good Catholic school background, having attended Fordham Prep for high school and Fordham University (my daughter’s school!) for college.
Those of us who have spent more hours than we could ever count listening to Vin’s voice know just how comforting it can be, as it has been a steady guide through the peaks and valleys all sports fans endure. This is an unexpectedly delightful way to not let Vinny go.
Kevin O’Malley, the Major League Baseball Ministry Coordinator for Catholic Athletes for Christ who served as an executive producer for the project, told Crux that it will allow both longtime and new fans of Scully to hear the Gospel story “come alive with his voice and incredible talent. It’s the greatest story ever told, by the greatest storyteller.”
And he said the timing could not be more providential.
“Everything happens on God’s time, not our time,” he said, noting the original goal was to have the recording ready for the All Star break in July but it wasn’t ready to go until September, so they announced its release just after Scully’s last home game at Dodgers Stadium.
“In retrospect, the timing (of the recording’s release) was perfect, considering the tremendous outpouring of love to Vin by fans worldwide at the end of the regular season and the start of October, which is the month of the rosary,” O’Malley said.
I am fond of praying the rosary but have never tried an audio “pray-along” guide before, but Vin’s voice is a selling point I just can’t resist.