Donald Trump

Vin Scully President of the United States? It Could Have Happened

Newly retired, yet still legendary Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully almost ventured into politics in the 1960s, we imagine an alternate reality and see just how far he could have gone.

The 2016 Presidential election is on the horizon and while many Americans grapple with the unpopular choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, we offer up an alternate reality choice: Vin Scully.

As far-fetched as it seems, the possibilities of a Scully presidency weren't so improbable five decades ago.

It was the summer of 1964, and the Democrats were looking for a candidate to replace the vacant Senate seat of Clair Engle after he died on July 30 of that year.

The young California Democrats approached Scully in the middle of the season and asked him if he'd ever thought about a career in politics. 

"'We had a meeting last night and we're looking for a candidate,'" Scully recalled them saying. "We think because of your experience on television that you would be perfect."

Scully politely asked for 48 hours to decide, but said he knew in his heart that he had no interest in a venture into the cutthroat world of politics. Punctual as always, Scully called precisely 48 hours later. 

"I called them and said, 'I've given it a lot of thought,' even though I hadn't," Scully joked with reporters while retelling the story. "'I don't think I'm qualified and I'm sure I would be happier doing my baseball games.'"

Despite telling Scully that they would run his campaign, and tell him everything he needed to do and say, the Hall of Fame broadcaster still politely declined their invitation and the Democrats begrudgingly opted for John F. Kennedy's press secretary, Pierre Salinger.

"They instead chose Pierre Salinger to run against [vaudeville dancer], George Murphy," remembered Scully. "Murphy won in a landslide and that was virtually the end of Salinger's political career."

Unfortunately, it also marked the end of Scully's career in politics before it even began. Scully believes that he likely would have lost against Murphy as well, but history says otherwise.

Scully is one of the most beloved figures in Los Angeles, and the entire state of California for that matter. His polarizing voice and eloquent way of speaking makes people feel comfortable, a skillset that would have translated well into the political world.

Additionally, Salinger's Senate race was mired in controversy after it was questioned whether or not he was a legal resident of the Golden State. Salinger's loss to Murphy was the only Democrat-held seat that went to a Republican that election year.

It's likely that Scully would have defeated Murphy, especially with the popularity of the Los Angeles Dodgers during that time. Many political historians believe that had Scully won the vacant Senate seat, a race for Governor would have been in the works in 1967 as Scully would have had the support of incumbent Democrat Pat Brown (father of current Governor Jerry Brown).

Therefore, the 1967 Gubernatorial race would have been between Scully and Ronald Reagan, something that we only dream we would have been able to see. Reagan won the Governorship in 1967, and went on to become the 40th President of the United States in 1981.

Had Scully opted for Politics in that summer of 64' only fate knows what heights he could have reached. Thankfully, for Dodger fans, we got to hear Scully call baseball games (as well as football and golf) for the next 52 years.

Scully as President will only live in our dreams, but it's still nice to think about the State of the Union Address opening up like this: 

"Hi America, and a very pleasant good evening to you, wherever you may be."

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