Scully to return to Dodgers booth in 2011

Scully to return to Dodgers booth in 2011

LOS ANGELES -- Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, saying he was "terribly embarrassed" by the attention, said on Sunday he will return for a 62nd season at the microphone in 2011.

"After that, only God knows how long I'll continue to work," Scully said at an informal press conference held in the Vin Scully Press Box at Dodger Stadium.

"I'm very grateful for the opportunity to be with the Dodgers all these years. It's a marvelous organization. And baseball, I love it with my heart and soul. And I found, deep in the recesses of my mind, I didn't want to sever the relationship."

Scully, 82, said he began believing in May that he wanted to keep going. He had supportive conversations with his wife and, a month ago, "was convinced" he'd return.

"And now that they have Rod Barajas," he deadpanned, "that was the clincher."

Actually, Scully said, the clincher was his love for the game.

"I just love it so much; it's like a very good marriage," Scully said. "When push came to shove, I just didn't want to leave. My wife, God bless her, said, 'If you love it, do it.'

"Wins and losses of the Dodgers don't really affect how I think. It's the relationship that counts. It's like a marriage. I love being here."

While Scully admitted that being on the road remains the job's greatest drawback, the game still gives him "goosebumps," he said. Refering to a play on Wednesday night when Colorado second baseman Eric Young Jr. made a backhand flip to first base for an out, Scully said, "I went home thinking about that."

Scully credited his longevity to "good genes" passed down from a mother who lived to 97.

"This being Sunday, you can appreciate that every day I thank God, and more so as each day and year goes by, I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here," Scully said. "Don't think I take it for granted. I know I could lose it like that. It could be over tonight, this afternoon driving home. Who knows?"

Scully has been working on one-year contracts since 2009, and this new one was hammered out at lunch last week with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. Scully said he will maintain his recent workload, calling virtually all home games, plus road games as far east as Colorado. He made no commitment beyond 2011.

"I'm as thrilled as our fans that Vin will be returning," said McCourt. "He is not only the greatest broadcaster of all time, but also a wonderful friend."

The Dodgers are currently in their 53rd year in Los Angeles, and Scully has been the voice and the face of the organization since it arrived. He joined Red Barber and Connie Desmond on the Brooklyn Dodgers broadcast team in 1950, one year after graduating from Fordham University.

In 1982, Scully was inducted into the broadcaster's wing of Baseball's Hall of Fame as winner of the Ford C. Frick Award and also had his star placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2001, the Dodger Stadium press box was named in Scully's honor.

In 2009, Scully was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and was named Top Sportscaster of All-Time by the American Sportscasters Association. In 2008, he was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the California Sports Hall of Fame.

Throughout his prestigious broadcasting career, Scully has received numerous awards, including being named the California Sports Broadcaster of the Year 29 times by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association; in 2000, Scully was voted as Sportscaster of the 20th Century by more than 500 national members of the American Sportscasters Association.

According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, his years of service are believed to be the longest tenure of any broadcaster in sports history.

Scully has been behind the microphone for some of baseball's greatest moments, including Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, Sandy Koufax's perfect outing in 1965, Hank Aaron's 715th career home run, the scoreless-innings streaks of Orel Hershiser and Don Drysdale, Barry Bonds' record-breaking 71st, 72nd and 73rd home runs in 2001 and all six Dodgers World Series championships.

In 1976, Scully was voted by Dodgers fans as the most memorable personality in Los Angeles Dodgers history.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.