Some expecting mothers play classical music for their babies while still in the womb. My two daughters got a consistent stream of Vin Scully’s voice announcing Dodgers game nightly, with some pop-punk mixed in. Mr. Scully’s comforting voice spanned four generations in my family like countless other families who listened to his sports play-by-plays. More importantly, we listened for his stories.
Vin Scully was one of the greatest American broadcasters and storytellers of all time. I’ll never forget how Scooter Gennett got his name. I’ll always remember his words of wisdom and comfort after the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. Vin was there for us for the ups and downs of life both on the baseball field and on a much bigger scale as well.
Vin made you feel like he was sitting next to you at Dodger Stadium in the stands chatting away about the players and the game. He was a master at providing personal anecdotes about players, but he also knew exactly what to say when we needed guidance during tough times
I’ll especially miss his narration and admiration for the babies and children attending baseball games. A lot of those babies who held dripping ice cream cones and sticky cotton candy described in loving detail by Scully are all grown up now with families of their own. I would like to think that those baseball babies are now taking their own kids to Dodger games and telling them stories about Vin Scully, the greatest broadcaster and Dodger to ever live.
I’ll cherish the time I had the opportunity to join a media roundtable with Mr. Scully at Camelback Ranch in Arizona during Spring Training 2016. Vin was set to embark on his farewell season, and he was gracious enough to visit the Dodgers’ spring facilities before Opening Day. A group of media members and journalists lined the outside of the room surrounding and facing Mr. Scully as he sat by himself at the table.
At the edge of the row of cameras, I stood holding my camera, shaking. Vin Scully, the legendary broadcaster I had listened to ever since I was a little girl, was sitting a couple of feet away. The questions began, and I stood and held my camera the entire 30 minutes Scully answered questions for. He answered everyone’s questions, including my own.
I needed to film and document the whole interview for both my personal memento and also for anyone who never would get the honor to be in the same room with the legend. My arm was sore from holding my camera the whole time. I kicked myself for forgetting my tripod in the media room, but it was worth it.
Vin Scully passed away in August. I knew that Vin was getting older, but it still felt like a shock when I heard the news from Joe Davis during the live Dodgers game broadcast on SportsNet LA. SNLA did a wonderful job paying tribute to Vin that somber night, but I felt emotionally exhausted. It had been a long day, just after the trade deadline, and then the news of Vin’s death during the game hit hard. Davis was stoic and went on with the broadcast like I’m sure Vin would want him to do.
I couldn’t go on and watch the game like nothing happened. I took a moment to disconnect. The live game felt so trivial. A man whom we all have grown to love over the decades, gracing us with his voice and presence, would no longer be with us.
A moment, by myself, in my bathroom upstairs. To cry a bit. I knew I had to allow myself to do it. Vin wasn’t merely a guy on my TV talking into a microphone about a game. Vin was like a baseball grandfather to me.
When I was a kid, life wasn’t always consistent or predictable. One of the only things that I could always rely on was Vin. Vin was the person whose voice could always lift me away from my worries and transport me to a castle in Chavez Ravine. That’s when I could pretend I was sitting in the Loge section on a sunny SoCal day scarfing down a Dodger Dog instead of sitting in my living room listening to the game on my transistor radio on the floor with my brother.
Baseball players come and go. Friends come and go. Vin Scully was always there. His tenure behind the microphone for the Dodgers was an impressive stretch of dedication to one job and to us. I’ll always be grateful for the games I was able to cover from the Vin Scully Press Box. Sitting in the specified area named for Scully where he manned the mic for decades is always a surreal experience that inspires me to continue to weave words about the Dodgers.
I went back to Dodger Stadium this season for the first time since Vinnie’s passing. It was a bittersweet feeling to see his broadcast booth draped with a We Will Miss you Banner From Dodger Fans.
The thing is, we will miss you Vin. A lot.