Vin Scully says Presidential Medal of Freedom honor came ‘out of the blue’

first_imgScully and his wife Sandi will visit the White House on Tuesday for a ceremony with President Barack Obama to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor, given to individuals who “have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”Scully said he has known about the honor for about a month but was not allowed to talk about it until Wednesday’s announcement.“I kind of pushed it out of the way and just knew I’d be leaving on Nov. 21st to get there,” said Scully, who turns 89 years old a week after the ceremony.In a press release about the award, the White House said Scully’s voice “is known as the ‘soundtrack to summer’” and mentioned his “induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame” in 1988. The year was actually 1982, and Scully was not “inducted” into the Hall but awarded with the Ford C. Frick Award by the Hall for his broadcasting contributions to baseball.Also honored by President Obama will be former athletes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan as well as musicians Bruce Springsteen and Diana Ross, actors Robert De Niro, Robert Redford and Tom Hanks and architect Frank Gehry. President Obama said the award is “a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better. From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.”In the 70-some years since the award was first given out by President Harry S Truman, nearly 600 have received it, but none has been a sports broadcaster.The Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson was given the award posthumously by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. UCLA basketball coach John Wooden was honored in 2003 by President George W. Bush.The event will live stream at Vin Scully said while he is humbled to be among the 21 recipients next week for the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony, the Dodgers’ broadcaster who retired after 67 seasons last month continues to be confused as to why he’s worthy of such recognition.“I’m deadly serious — when I’ve been given a gift of 67 years of broadcasting, and then have to take a bow, I can’t think it’s something that I actually did, it’s really about the 67 years,” Scully said Wednesday.“It’s very nice and I deeply appreciate it, but when I heard about it, I said something like, ‘Are you sure you’re calling me?’ It’s not like I invented penicillin. I can’t stand in a spotlight as if I just saved a child from drowning.“It really came out of the blue. What do I have to do with a presidential award?”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more