With five games to go in his 67th season, Vin Scully said, “Wow.” With four games to go, he said, “Whoa.”He has seen Bobby Thomson’s home run and Don Drysdale’s shutout streak and then Orel Hershiser’s. His amazement threshold is high.Yet Scully has kept both feet in the broadcast booth until it all ends in San Francisco next Sunday, and his eyes look straight ahead and down at the only thing that matters.He is going out like David Ortiz, deep inside the game, and unchallenged. Yasiel Puig’s throw made Scully gasp Wednesday. Chase Utley’s behind-the-back throw from the prone position was the thrill on Thursday. After each game this season, Scully has walked out with guards and between barricades as fans gather and beseech him for one more year, which is both unreasonable and natural.As a performer Scully can handle the lovefest without squirming, but he’d prefer to hang around the dining room and trade stories with scouts, without the Secret Service. He finds peace on Sunday mornings, when he sits in the front row at chapel service, in the interview room near the clubhouse.“They’ll miss me for a year,” he said, back in July. “They missed Harry Caray for a year, Jack Brickhouse, Jack Buck. Then they move on.”Probably not. But the intensity of the farewell is exactly right. He is the one shared experience in a city that speaks 224 languages, the only issue on which we all agree. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error He saw Juan Marichal bludgeon Johnny Roseboro and he saw four Dodgers hit consecutive ninth-inning home runs, and he saw Rick Monday win a pennant with his bat and save an American flag. He still has room for a “wow.”What makes Vin Vin?The sad irony is that baseball clubs have learned nothing from Scully. They honor him and yet they keep hiring his antitheses.He is rigidly non-partisan and, most nights, discusses opposing players more than Dodgers. Scully finds anecdotes that you’ve never heard before, even in the information age. When someone mentioned that he must have great researchers, Scully shook his head. He does it all himself, right to the finish line.Nor is Scully interested in umpiring. He doesn’t like the superimposed strike zones that networks use. “The umpire has a hard enough job as it is,” he said.Nor has Scully allowed decimal points to impede his enjoyment, and therefore ours. He will say a player is hitting “just over 300,” or that a pitcher’s ERA is “2.7.” Joe Davis, whom the Dodgers hired last year to do road games in Scully’s stead, recently declared that Fangraphs had decided Utley “is the 13th best baserunner in the game since 1950.” What does that really mean? In Scully’s booth, it would take up too much baseball to explain.And it is Scully’s booth. The solo method allows him to tell stories that he can finish next inning, if necessary. He leads us down his own roads. As a fellow broadcaster recently said, “The (production) truck follows Vin. Everywhere else, the play-by-play man follows the truck.”Peer reviewMarty Brennaman has done Cincinnati Reds’ games since 1974. Scully once asked him if he ever took time off.“I take off when the team has a day off,” Brennaman said.“Surely you’re not laboring under the illusion that they can’t play unless you’re there,” Scully replied. “It was the best advice I ever got,” Brennaman said in June, when the Reds came to Dodger Stadium. He was planning to stay home during that trip. Then he realized that he wouldn’t see Scully during the final season. He changed plans.“He’s the best storyteller that ever lived,” Brennaman said. “He might see something that reminds him something that happened in Ebbets Field in 1953. And he does it in a conversational way that makes it seem like he’s sitting across the table.“You have to have a voice that wears well. He doesn’t sound any different than 40 years ago. But beyond all that, he’s humble as hell, the most approachable, nicest man you ever met.”Scully’s voice is a natural resource that can’t really be explained. Voices get fainter and scratchier when they age. His baritone is somehow richer.Adele Cabot, a renowned L.A. voice coach, said it could just be spiritual, that Scully’s zest for baseball brings out the technique and the proper breathing. She may be onto something. On the day Don Drysdale died in 1993, Scully was subdued and mournful, not himself at all, as he talked from Montreal. “I don’t know how he does it,” said Eric Nadel, the Texas Rangers’ play-by-play man. “I do six innings. He does nine. I drink water for my voice. Pat Hughes (Cubs) drinks tea during the game. Some of us gargle. He started doing this the year I was born.“For years I’d listen to him in preseason. I might be hiking, might be in a hot tub, but I’d always have a pen next to me. The way he describes shadows on the field, body language of a pitcher, nobody comes close to that.”Most announcers get fired, of course. Some get promoted. Few get to decide how it ends.“He hasn’t had to make those concessions,” Nadel said. “You listen and you’re instantly in the presence of somebody who’s happy to be where he is.“The smile in his voice stands out.”UnpluggedScully is the most publicly private man you’ll meet. There are no authorized biographies of Scully, and he has spent all these 67 years — 70, if you add the accumulated time he’s spent waiting for the Dodger Stadium elevator — with a tight wrap on his non-baseball opinions.Lately he has unplugged himself a bit.One night he devoted a couple of innings to contradictory facts. “Do you know how long the Hundred Years’ War lasted? One hundred sixteen years,” he said. “Okay, just one more……”He abjectly refused to try the name of Cubs reliever Rob Zastryzny, which brought back the hilarity of the day he talked of the broadcaster’s nightmare: “A rundown involving Chin-feng Chen and Chin-hui Tsao.”You can tell his annoyance with the modern game when he says, “We’ve had 11 relief pitchers in this little gem.”You can hear the lament over a player’s obstinance when he says of Arizona’s struggling Shelby Miller, “I wonder how many kids have had their careers ruined by that Frank Sinatra song, ‘I did it my way.’’’Several years ago, off the air, he noted the swollen salaries, and the sensory assault by stadium loudspeakers, and he made a prediction.“Before I retire I’m going to see two things,” he said. “One will be a player who is making so much money that he hires someone to play the game for him.“The other will happen before a game. A human sacrifice.”Instead he walks out of our lives and into his own, having given us a year’s warning to gather all the DVRs and tape recordings, all equipped with a smile in his voice.