By R.L. Bynum
Sports broadcasting legend Vin Scully, who died Tuesday at the age of 94, made the day of another broadcast legend with a note he sent.
Scully, the iconic Hall of Fame baseball announcer who called Dodgers games for 67 years, first in Brooklyn and then in Los Angeles, sent a note on Los Angeles Dodgers stationery to Woody Durham. It congratulated the longtime Voice of the Tar Heels, who passed away in 2018, on his career.
“Here’s my dad, who’s done everything that all these people thought was so great,” said Wes Durham, one of his sons, during a Wednesday interview on “The OG” on WCMC (99.9 The Fan), of the note that arrived after his father’s retirement in 2011. “He was terrific. Don’t get me wrong. But one of the proudest moments he had in his life was getting a note from a guy who he considered a hero.”
Durham has that note and tweeted an image of it Wednesday.
Durham said that the note surfaced about five years after his dad announced that he was dealing with aphasia. Wes Durham, the play-by-play voice of the Atlanta Falcons, had been spending a lot of time in the area thanks to Raycom and Fox assigning him to many games in the Triangle.
Shortly after Joe Davis got the Dodgers play-by-play job, Wes Durham picked up his dad to go out to lunch at Merritt’s in Chapel Hill for a BLT sandwich at a time when Woody Durham was having difficulty communicating.
“He said ‘I got a note I gotta show you,’ and he didn’t say it that fluid,” Wes Durham said during the interview. “And I said, ‘huh?’ And all he said was ‘Scully,’ and I thought to myself, OK, now he’s having some type of trouble at the time with words and things like that. And I thought to myself, I said ‘Vin Scully?’ And he looked at me and goes, ‘Yep!’ And I said, ‘Wrote you a note?’ And he looked at me and said, ‘Yep!’ “
Wes Durham said that, as far as he knew, his dad never found out who tipped Scully off to write him.
In 2011, Deadspin called Woody Durham “The Vin Scully of North Carolina.”