Today I had planned on writing about the playoff roster; who we’ll be able to count on, who we might not be able to, and how that roster will turn out. But, to be honest, as a Dodger fan since the mid 70’s, there is only one name on my mind, Vincent Edward Scully. The LA Times ran a page where you could write a farewell letter to Vin, and within the form, you’re asked to pick your favorite quote, game, etc.
I couldn’t possibly disservice 67 years of broadcasting excellence by narrowing it down to one or two passages, nor do I think that’s fair. I’m sure that approach will get some great print headlines, and maybe even boost traffic, but that’s unfair to the body of work presented by Vin.
I was going to go into detail about how Andrew Toles and Yasiel Puig luckily made the postseason roster, how Culberson, even with his home finale heroics, isn’t necessary, and, even considering his recent struggles at the plate, Kike Hernandez needs to be on the roster. But I can’t.
I can’t stop thinking about Vin.
He’s been the voice of baseball for 40ish of my 45 years as a man. He told me about Ebbets Field. He wove stories about conversations with Sandy Koufax, explained how Red Barber taught him so many tricks of the trade. His voice is baseball to my inner child; losing that voice is tantamount to losing baseball; it will never be the same.
Vin made me feel like he was talking to me, alone. He explained how he thought pitchers think, how batters changed their approaches, and what managers jobs were, and what they had no control over.
Vin never made it about Vin. It was always about the game, for 67 years. He delighted when a player did well, regardless of what jersey that player wore. His encyclopedic knowledge of baseball, and sports in general, transcends even the infinite internet.
Saturday the 24th was supposed to be how the Dodgers bullpen will bring them to their first World Series in 28 years. How their young arms will be counted on to fill in for the voids left by the injured starters the front office kept around, how Clayton Kershaw will flourish because of his fresh arm, and how Rich Hill will benefit from the extended time between playoff games, and be the 2nd ace to CK we’ve needed since Zack Greinke in the offseason.
Instead, I can’t keep a dry eye. I could count on Vin to call a game to perfection in good times and bad, whether I’m on the couch in the fetal position, or sitting in my car in traffic, Vin was there to take me away to Chavez Ravine, and make me feel like I’m sitting in the press box right next to him.
As a Dodger fan, I should be doing cartwheels being that we are the National League West Champions. How we’re within striking distance of 2nd seed behind the Cubs, and home field until the NLCS. Nope, I’m blubbering like a 5-year old whose ice cream just fell on the ground.
I only hope that you get a chance to have something as precious in your life as Vin has been in mine. It is odd, to think that a man who wouldn’t know me in person, I revere like a deity, but I think that speaks to who is as a person. Vin has always maintained that his job is to call the game, and that’s it. What he’s taught me, in the meantime, is that it’s not about me; it’s about the crowd. As a writer, describe it to the best of my ability, make the reader feel like he’s here with me as I write it, and hope that they get something out of it.
And with that, I wish you a very pleasant good evening.