Joe Davis has a teddy bear that speaks Vin Scully’s voice.
The new Dodgers broadcaster appeared on Buster Olney’s Baseball Tonight podcast to discuss following the irreplaceable Scully. He shared a story with Olney that the night before being announced for the job, he ignored two Scully phone calls. Davis didn’t recognize the number and suspected being cornered by a reporter who had the scoop.
“So the first time I heard Vin’s voice actually addressing me was in a voicemail,” Davis said. “He said ‘I’ve tried you twice today, so I guess I begin the year 0-for-2.'”
Davis and Scully touched base afterwards. He recalled telling his wife he wished there was a way to box the voicemail and save it on a shelf. When his birthday came, his wife bought him a Dodgers teddy bear; one that plays Scully’s voicemail when squeezed.
Opening Day is tomorrow. I'm so honored to have the responsibility to sit in that chair. https://t.co/htLIvlf6a5
— Joe Davis (@Joe_Davis) April 3, 2017
Davis grew up a Cubs fan and told Olney of his days looking forward to getting home to watch WGN. He admired Harry Carey and specifically remembered the “Kerry Wood strikeout game.” He had a Ryne Sandberg poster on his wall.
When asked about the 2017 Dodgers, Davis said they’re “due some health.” He pointed out the team brings 21 of 25 players back from last season’s NLCS roster. He said L.A. is a “tangible example” of team chemistry, citing players declining more money in favor of being Dodgers. Olney concurred and said he marvels at the change of culture from just two seasons ago.
Olney asked Davis about Clayton Kershaw and where he may stand among the best pitchers ever.
“I just think, and you may be able to say this about any ace, but not to this degree: I just think the extra spring in everyone’s step on a day that he’s starting,” Davis said. “Part of that last year, it was uncanny. That first half of the season, that month of May when he was historically good. Every time the Dodgers needed a win, it was as if he was up in the rotation, and he was going to throw eight shutout innings on the heals of a three-game losing streak … Just the expectation that he was going to dominate and what that did for the traveling party, what it did in that clubhouse, was a really unique thing for me to see.”
But it’s a big Opening Day for Davis and the Dodgers franchise. It’s a new beginning after 67 years of Scully’s voice. It was the only voice Dodgers fans knew.
The 29-year-old said he never felt as though he’s replacing Scully. He sees it as an “opportunity to be myself.”
“You don’t replace Vin Scully. And I think that from the minute the Dodgers approached me about this position, I had to have my mind set like that. Because if I’m looking at it like I’m replacing him, I’m setting myself up to fail.”
Now, the job belongs to Davis. And fans can get to know him for who he is.