Vin Scully had the most delightful reaction to his White House honor
2024-07-18 05:38:01

Legendary Los Angeles Dodgers baseball announcer Vin Scully, who recently retired after 67 years, got an important call from the White House on Wednesday.

When White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest rang to tell him he would be receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom award, Scully was in disbelief.

"No, are you sure? I'm just an old baseball announcer," he told Earnest.

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Other calls and notices went out to the 20 other civilians President Barack Obama tapped for the honor for their work in the arts, sciences, law, sports, pop culture and other fields.

From the sports world the list includes basketball greats Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Plenty of Hollywood star power also made the list, including TV personality Ellen Degeneres, actors Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro and Robert Redford, and producer Lorne Michaels.

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Musicians were recognized as well, including Diana Ross and Bruce Springsteen, who just over a week ago played at Hillary Clinton's final campaign rally in Philadelphia.

Mashable ImageMichael Jordan is known for basketball skills.Credit: AP Photo/Chuck Burton

In a nod to philanthropy, Bill and Melinda Gates will both be honored. Other recipients are a physicist, computer scientist, and a few architects.

Mashable ImageBruce Springsteen also was recognized for his music.Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum

In a White House statement, Obama said, "it's a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better.  From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way."

Two posthumous awards will be given to Elouise Cobell, Blackfeet Tribal community leader and activist, and pioneering programmer Grace Hopper, one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark 1 computer.

Obama has honored many celebrated artists, athletes, researchers, educators, performers, scientists and more with the award during his nearly eight years in the White House. This is likely the last round of honorees before Obama's term ends in January.

The full list is available on the White House website.

An award ceremony will be held Tuesday at the White House.