Scully rides into sunset with Best Call Award

Scully rides into sunset with Best Call Award

LOS ANGELES -- Hall of Famer Vin Scully, who will receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom Award next week at the White House, was named winner of the Esurance MLB Award for Best Call: TV/Radio on Friday.

The MLB Award was for Scully's Sept. 25 call of Charlie Culberson's walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Rockies that clinched the Dodgers' fourth consecutive division title. Adding to the drama, the game was the home farewell for Scully, who retired after this season, his 67th.

The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor Major League Baseball's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five groups, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) voters.

The MLB Awards are an all-inclusive program, encompassing the top players and performances from both the American League and National League from Opening Day through the end of the postseason. Individual awards went to the Best Major Leaguer in addition to the winners in the following categories: Best Hitter, Pitcher, Rookie, Defensive Player, Manager, Executive, Social Media Personality and Postseason Performer.

Winners were also recognized for the year's best Offensive Play, Defensive Play, Regular-Season Moment, Postseason Moment, Single-Game Performance, Social Media Post, Fan Catch, Broadcast Call, Player-Fan Interaction and Trending Topic.

Voting began on Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. ET at, one hour after the inaugural Esurance MLB Fans of the Year winners were announced.

Other nominees for Best Call: Nationals radio voice Charlie Slowes on Max Scherzer's 20th strikeout; Padres broadcasters Don Orsillo and Mark Grant on Yangervis Solarte's catch falling into the stands; Mets broadcasters Gary Cohen and Ron Darling on Bartolo Colon's first career home run; and Indians broadcaster Tom Hamilton on Tyler Naquin's inside-the-park homer.

Here's how's Richard Justice chronicled the winning call:

Scully called this big moment the way he'd called thousands of others. He described it precisely, then went silent and allowed the cheers to wash over listeners.

"Can you believe -- a home run?" he asked. "And the Dodgers have clinched the division and will celebrate on schedule."

He paused for several seconds, then set the scene.

"Leave it to the Dodgers. Charlie Culberson, a game-winning home run. Would you believe his first home run of the year?"

Last year, Scully won the Best Call -- TV category for his call of the Dodgers' walk-off balk against the Rangers.

"As a broadcaster, I like seeing the play-by-play voices get a little love too," said MLB Network's Paul Severino. "The classic moments on the field are only half of the memory. How often do we also hear the announcer when we replay the great plays in our minds? The call of the moment isn't possible without the player's effort, of course. But the play and call work in tandem to make the moments as memorable as they are for as long as they are."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.