Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully received the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday at the White House. “When he heard about this honor, Vin asked with characteristic humility, ‘Are you sure? I’m just an old baseball announcer.’ And we had to inform him that, to Americans of all ages, you are an old friend.” President Barack Obama said during the ceremony. “In fact, I thought about him doing all these citations, which would have been very cool, but I thought we shouldn’t make him sing for his supper like that.”
Scully was one of 21 recipients of the Medal of Freedom announced Wednesday, including NBA Hall of Famers Kareen Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan.
“With a voice that transcended a sport and transformed a profession, Vin Scully narrated America’s pastime for generations of fans,” a military aide cited during the ceremony. “Known to millions as the soundtrack of summer, he found time to teach us about life and love while chronicling routine plays and historic heroics.
“In victory and in defeat, his colorful accounts reverberated through the bleachers, across the airwaves, and into our homes and imaginations. He is an American treasure and a beloved storyteller, and our country’s gratitude for Vin Scully is as profound as his love for the game.”
The award is the nation’s highest civilian honor, given to individuals who have made meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the U.S., to world peace or to cultural or other major public or private endeavors.