Vin Scully :
A Thank You Letter From A Fan
In 1988 I was a 14-year-old kid watching my Los Angeles Dodgers play Game 1 of the World Series. I can still remember sitting on the couch both hating and being in awe of the Bash Brothers. They had taken the Oakland A’s to the World Series by crushing opposing pitchers into submission. I was hoping that this ragtag bunch of scrappy players in Dodger blue could somehow beat the highly favored A’s.
“And look who’s coming up” said the voice I had always known as a Dodgers fan. “All year Long they looked to him to light the fire. And all year-long he answered the demands.”
Vin Scully always seemed to know what was coming. “The Dodgers trying to catch lightning right now.”
“The tying run is on second base with two out. Now the Dodgers don’t need the muscle of Gibson, as much as a base hit. And on deck is the leadoff man Steve Sax. 3-and-2… Sax waiting on deck, but the game right now is at the plate.”
Then it happened. The Dodgers actually caught that lightning. “A High fly ball into right field, she is gone! In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.”
In one swing the Dodgers turned the series in their favor and Vin was there to narrate it perfectly.
And honestly, that’s what Vin did all the time. And that’s why we as Dodger fans were always spoiled rotten.
When you heard his voice come over the radio you were immediately drawn in. Vin had this sort of sing-song type of way of telling a story or describing what was going on in the field of play that made you feel, relaxed. He somehow seemed to be someone you knew. Not some guy in a box somewhere wearing headphones. But a friend that was talking only to you. Telling you about how this at bat kid grew up in a poor neighborhood and used to play baseball with a ball made of duct tape. Or how this pitcher on the mound was a catcher in the minor leagues until a coach saw something else in him. Vin always knew how to weave a story around the action of a game. And no one will ever be able to do it the way he did so beautifully.
67 years behind the mic. Think about that again, 67 years. Let that sink in for just a moment. I really don’t think anyone reading this will be able to say that they held their job for 67 years. This poor guy never even got a promotion in all those years.
There has been a whole generation that has grown up with Vin behind the mic. That group of lucky people includes myself. Almost every Dodger memory we have is tied to something Vin said.
The crazy thing is that this man is connected to not only significant Dodger moments but also other great moments in sports history.
Here are a few of some Vin Scully greatest moments:
- Hank Aaron’s 715 home run
- Don Larsen’s World Series perfect game (1956)
- “The Catch” – Joe Montana to Dwight Clark in the endzone (NFC Championship game)
- Sandy Koufax’s 1965 perfect game (some consider the 9th inning the best call ever)
- Kirk Gibson’s World Series home run
- Twins win the World Series off of Gene Larkin’s broken bat
- Jack Howell’s broken bat home run
- Mookie Wilson’s “little Roller” that goes between Bill Buckner’s legs (1986 World Series)
- Joe Carter walk off home run to win World Series
- Jack Clark’s homer beats the Dodgers in the 1985 NLCS
- R.J. Reynolds’ game-winning squeeze (1983)
- Ozzie Smith’s 1985 Walk Off home run
- 1985 World Series game 5 – Vin’s best “non-call” of the final out
- Vin also announced tennis events and the PGA Tour
One more moment many not know about:
On Saturday, June 3, 1989, Scully was doing the play-by-play for the NBC Game of the Week in St. Louis, where the Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs in 10 innings. Meanwhile, the Dodgers were playing a series in Houston, where Scully flew to be on hand to call the Sunday game of the series. However, the Saturday night game between the teams was going into extra innings when Scully arrived in town, so he went to the Astrodome instead of his hotel. He picked up the play-by-play, helping to relieve the other Dodger announcers, who were doing both television and radio, and broadcast the last 13 innings (after already calling 10 innings in St. Louis), as the game went 22 innings. He broadcast 23 innings in one day in two different cities. Crazy right?
This list could go on and on and on. Vin has been a part of and seen so many moments in sports history it’s pretty hard to comprehend. Let alone try to list all of them. But to us Dodgers fans Vin Scully is much more than any of these ‘moments’.
Vin Scully is not just an announcer who calls Dodger games. He’s a friend that reminds you that greatest part of summer is baseball. He’s the guy that makes listening to a game on the radio cool. He’s the guy that has become a part of your family.
I was lucky enough to attend the last Dodgers game he will call at home this past Sunday. I got to see each Dodgers player come up to bat and tip their hat to Vin. It was an amazing day capped off by an amazing moment that Vin called perfectly. We were there with our little radio listening to Vin when it hit us all in the stadium at the same time. Moments after the Dodgers hit a walk off home run to clinch the west, they all turned around at home plate, faced the man who had called all of their names, and tipped their hat one last time. An era was coming to an end. It was a moment I’ll never forget.
Thank you Vin for all your hard work.
Thank you for giving us all memories we will never forget.
Thank you for always knowing what to say and not say at the right time.
Thank you for never making it about yourself.
Thank you for telling us stories.
Thank you for making Dodger Stadium a real life Field of Dreams.
Thank you for being a part of our family.
Thank you for making everything ok when we heard this phrase:
“It’s time for Dodger baseball! Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good (afternoon/evening) to you, wherever you may be.”
All that being said nothing I have written here will ever convey how much Vin Scully has meant to the Dodgers organization, the City of Los Angeles, the fans, and me. You will always be loved by us Dodgers fans.
Listen to the Guys in Shorts L.A. tribute to Vin Scully