5 Lessons from Vin Scully.

Bill Parrott |

The great Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully is retiring from the broadcasting booth after 67 years!   67 years!   Mr. Scully had an amazing run broadcasting some of the greatest games in baseball history.  I was fortunate to grow up in Los Angles in the shadows of Dodger Stadium.   The Dodgers of my youth had quite a run and even won the World Series the year I was born.   My friends and I loved going to Dodger Stadium to watch the game and eat Dodger Dogs. 

What can we learn from Mr. Scully’s improbable and impossible career?  Here are five takeaways.

1.       Goals and dreams matter.    According to Mr. Scully he fell in love with baseball at the age of eight while watching the 1936 World Series.   He had a goal and a plan to become a baseball announcer.   To become a successful investor, you must have a plan.   Your plan should outline your hopes, dreams and fears.  The financial plan you create ought to carry you through all the innings of your life.

2.       Sometimes nothing is something.   Mr. Scully was the master of silence especially when the crowd would roar to life as it did during Kirk Gibson’s epic homerun in the 1988 World Series.  What more could he have added to the story?  He once said, "I try to call the play as quickly as I possibly can and then shut up and let the crowd roar because, to me, the crowd is the most wonderful thing in the whole world when it's making noise." [1]   Does it make sense to be an active trader darting in and out of the market?  According to Dimensional Fund Advisors from 1970 to 2015 the S&P 500 Index generated an average annual return of 10.27%.  If you missed the best 25 days during this 45 year run your average annual return dropped to 6.87%.[2]  It makes sense, at times, to be patient and do nothing.  Don’t put yourself in a pickle stay with the market!    

3.       Success takes a long time.   Mr. Scully is a Hall of Fame broadcaster and a living legend.  He is the standard for all broadcasters.   He is at the top of any list you create about the greatest broadcasters of all time.   The broadcasting booth at Dodger Stadium is named after Mr. Scully and Vin Scully Boulevard runs from Sunset Blvd. to Dodger Stadium.   Was he always great?  I’m sure he was good when he started broadcasting games at age 22 but it took years for him to go from good to great to immortal.  What if you invested $10,000 in the Investment Company of America mutual fund (AIVSX) on opening day of 1950?   At the end of August your $10,000 investment is now worth $17.2 million dollars![3]  And that, folks, is a lot of peanuts!  Investing success also takes a long time.

4.       He was prepared.   If you’ve ever seen a picture of Mr. Scully’s desk inside his booth it’s covered with notes upon notes.[4]  His broadcasting style was smooth and effortless as a result of his tedious preparation.   To be a successful investor you need to be prepared.   You must do your homework before you invest your money regardless if you invest on your own or work with a registered investment advisor.

5.       He was humble and gracious.   The focus was never about Mr. Scully.  He always gave credit to others and never wanted to be bigger than the game.  While calling his last Dodger game he wanted the emphasis to be on the players.  To be a successful investor you must respect the market and check your ego at the door.   Pride comes before the fall.


"In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened. ~ Vin Scully.

Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ ~ Matthew 25:21

Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management, LLC.  www.parrottwealth.com

September 27, 2016


[1] http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/columnists/ct-rosenthal-vin-scull..., Phil Rosenthal, Chicago Tribune, May 27, 2016.

[2] Reacting Can Hurt Performance, Dimensional Fund Advisor Investor Discipline Presentation, accesses 9/26/16.

[3] Morningstar Office Hypothetical Tool.

[4] http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/62217474, Chuck Culpepper, 9/30/2013, website accessed 9/26/2016.