Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Vin Scully began his career as an announcer for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 18, 1950, marking the first day of his unprecedented 67-season stint with the organization.
Scully was just 22 at the time and eventually took over as the primary broadcaster four years later when his mentor, Red Barber, departed the role to become the New York Yankees’ play-by-play commentator in 1954.
For Scully to join the organization, Barber initially had to put in a good word for him to Dodgers president Branch Rickey, who agreed to hire Scully at the end of 1949. Barber evidently had a good working relationship with Scully and previously convinced him to cover cover football on CBS Radio.
Scully first caught the attention of Rickey with a two-page letter dated Dec. 23, 1949. Written in Dodger blue coloring, the majority of the document consists of Scully’s contract requests, which included a $100 monthly payment for the 1950 season and raises over the next two years.
Rickey inevitably agreed to those terms, as his signature, along with Scully’s, can be found on the second page of the document. Both Rickey and Scully’s initials are additionally featured on the first page as well.
A sale of the timeless letter was recently completed on SCP Auctions’ official website. The auction closed on Sept. 28, 2019 with 24 total bids being placed. With the minimum bid starting at $4,000, the winning offer (including buyer’s premium) came in at a hefty $76,193.
Scully’s letter to Rickey is historic in every regard as it began the start of a nearly seven-decade relationship with the Dodgers. Scully was responsible for calling some of the biggest moments in franchise history and earned a plethora of accolades along the way.
He earned the Ford C. Frick Award in 1982 and was the 14th recipient of the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award in 2014. Elysian Park Avenue was also renamed to Vin Scully Avenue in 2016 for all of Scully’s contributions with the Dodgers over the years.