"Red's basic method of operation was all based on accuracy and hard work," Scully said. "That's not necessarily his legacy, but it's part of the overall picture. All I do know is that I literally and figuratively sat at his feet for four years and he gave to me a strong work ethic.
"He surprised me once when I came to ask advice. He said, 'The one thing you bring to the booth that no one else can bring is yourself. Don't listen to other announcers, you might subconsciously alter your style. You don't want to do that to yourself. You want to be you.'
"I have followed that to conclusion. That was the best single piece of advice I have received to this day. I am what I am and that's all."
In the fall of 1953, after 15 years, Barber fled the Ebbets Field catbird seat in a salary dispute with Gillette, which was the sponsor of the World Series. Gillette refused to deliver a pay raise that Barber believed he was due for the Series. When Dodger owner Walter O'Malley would not stand up for him, he decided he could no longer stay in Brooklyn.
He moved over to the Bronx and a job with the Yankees beginning in 1954. Paired with Allen, the established Yankee voice, Barber accepted a secondary role. There was immediate speculation that Allen and Barber could not coexist, but their union was generally harmonious. Barber and Allen worked together until Allen was fired by Yankee owner Dan Topping in 1964. And although Barber might not have seen it coming, his own time in tall cotton was growing short.
Over breakfast at the Plaza Hotel on the morning of Sept. 25, 1966, new Yankee President Mike Burke fired Barber. It happened so quickly, Barber said, that he hadn't had time to finish his coffee.
Barber always believed that his commitment to objectivity hastened his dismissal. On a broadcast of a home game four days earlier, when the last-place Yankees drew a crowd of 413, Barber had alluded to Yankee Stadium as a ghost town.
At 58, after 33 years of broadcasting baseball, Barber would never call another ball or strike, but he quickly decided that Burke actually had done him a favor.
"I'm sure (Burke) didn't have it in mind, but he gave me back my life, gave me back my independence," Barber said. "For 30 years, I had been a servant of everybody, you name it. Anybody could call me into a meeting whenever they wanted. I loved my work, but I didn't belong to myself.
"When it happened, I said 'Dad-gum, I've had enough.' It made me a better husband, a better human being."
He moved to Key Biscayne, Fla., where he wrote a weekly column for the Miami Herald and did a local radio sports broadcast, then to Tallahassee in 1972. On Barber's 80th birthday in 1988, he was honored in a ceremony in Tallahassee as the state of Florida declared "Red Barber Day." A birthday party was held in the state capitol, where a message to Barber by Howard Cosell was read.
"You are the man who has always told it like it is," Cosell wrote. "A beacon light who never resorted to becoming a public relations arm for any team, any league, any organization."
Barber lived in a yellow ranch-style house on a quiet, tree-lined street about 10 minutes from the capitol in Tallahassee. On his bookshelf, baseball record books shared space with other works, such as the Bible, "Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible" and "The Prayer Book." Barber was a lay reader in the Episcopal church for nearly 20 years and sometimes delivered sermons.
One sermon was delivered not in church, but at Cooperstown, N.Y., at the Hall of Fame. He called God the "Good Manager," and said, "The Good Manager well knows His best hitters will go out about seven times for the three times that they will hit safely, and that even if He should win the pennant, His team at best is going to lose about one third of its games."
Barber seldom followed baseball in his later years. By his own admission, the game changed almost to the point where he could no longer identify with it.
"It's a different world," he said in an interview, 22 years after the Yankees fired him.
And besides, Barber told the Chicago Tribune in an interview in early 1988, he had other things to do.
"I was the eyes of the game for millions of people that couldn't see for themselves," Barber said. "I was a servant of my microphone, but now I'm free. My life is my own and it's precious."