LOS ANGELES — Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully returned to Dodger Stadium on Wednesday for his induction into the Dodgers ring of honor, and the Hall of Fame is enjoying every minute of his retirement.
“It’s easier than I thought because I’m totally and completely at peace,” Scully said before Wednesday night’s game. “I’m in the right spot in my life at the right time. I’ll be 90 in November, so I’m not a boy of summer anymore.”
The Dodgers unveiled a circular plaque with a microphone and Scully’s name at the top, displayed along the base of the club level down the left field line, at the end of the other 10 retired numbers in the franchise’s ring of honor. Amazingly, Scully called games of all 10 — eight players and two managers.
“I don’t see those numbers,” Scully explained. “When I look at what you call numbers, I see faces, I hear voices. I see those numbers moving.
“I looked at 39, and I don’t see 39. I see Roy Campanella. I see outside the kitchen at Vero Beach. I used to literally sit at his feet, with a lot of young ballplayers, and Campy would sit and tell stories. I can do that with every number up there.
“There’s a sense of looking back, and that was my graduating class. Those were the ones who started me on my career. It’s very emotional to look up and say ‘I don’t belong up here,’ because I’ve always just sat back and admired every single thing you always did.”
Just before the Dodgers’ game with the Giants, a video tribute was played at Dodger Stadium, then Scully was introduced by Charley Steiner. Scully emerged from the Dodgers dugout, then walked with manager Dave Roberts out to short left field, and the team soon followed.
The blue cover over Scully’s plaque was removed by fellow honorees Sandy Koufax and Tommy Lasorda.
Earlier Wednesday, Scully mentioned in a radio interview with KNX 1070 AM that tonight would be his “last hurrah” at Dodger Stadium. He elaborated a little before the game.
“The Dodgers have been so good to me, so thoughtful. Last year I had so many things that were overwhelming in saying goodbye. Then of course we had San Francisco, where the Giants were unbelievably nice and kind,” Scully said. “Now tonight I’ll go out and join the numbers, but I can’t think of another award I could get, unless it’s cleanliness.
“It’s the last time in my mind that I’ll be in the spotlight. … I plan to be here at times. No one will know.”
Scully was accompanied by his wife Sandi, who has helped him adjust to retired life after 67 years on the job.
“Every minute that I look at Sandi in the house, I know I’m in the right spot in my life. It’s the right time, and the right place,” Scully said. “I like sitting in the back yard and sipping on something cold around five o’clock, instead of being here going over my ad-libs.”
Scully said he doesn’t watch the games, but still keeps up with the news of the team, reading accounts of the game in his morning newspapers. Among the players he mentioned, Scully said, "I'm excited about Cody Bellinger."
What an endorsement.
He keeps up on politics and news with Sandi, and they find things to occupy their time. Scully was asked if he might go see the play Hamilton.
“I really don’t like that kind of music,” Scully said. “If I can’t hum it, I don’t want to see it.”
If there was just one word to describe Scully on Wednesday, it might be content. This was my favorite quote of his pregame meeting with reporters:
“I’ve spent so many thousands of yesterdays, but you get to an age where you say, ‘Yeah, but how many tomorrows?’ If somebody said to you, ‘You’re going to have 123 tomorrows as of today,’ the first thing you’d say is, ‘Whoa, they’re precious. I want to be with the most precious part of my life.’ That’s how I am. No matter how many tomorrows I have, I’m spending the todays exactly the way I wanted to.”
Today’s today was pretty special.