This baseball season began with a dark cloud looming over the horizon. We knew it was there, but it was far enough away to ignore for the time being. As the season progressed, the cloud moved closer. And now, as we begin the second half of the season, it sits heavily overhead. We’re all well aware of it’s massive presence. No, I’m not talking about anything on the field or trade deadline dramatics.
I’m talking about something bigger, the end of an era.
The approaching end to the 67 year broadcasting career of Vincent Edward Scully, our beloved Vin.
Vin has about 36 regular season games left, and like every Dodger fan, I’m starting to feel a melancholy set in. A nostalgia for all things Vin. I have to be honest though, as I watch each game, I privately pray that Vin, in that humble way of his says, “This won’t be my last year, I’ve decided to return next season. Strike three… Kershaw strikes out the side.”
When the game is over, I sigh and hope that it happens during the next game. I’ll hold out hope all season. I’ll keep an eye out during the off-season, in case he does it then. It would be like Vin, not wanting to be a “distraction” during the season, to announce it during the quieter off-season. I won’t let the dream die until Opening Day 2017 and if Vin isn’t there, I’ll begin letting go. Only then.
Unless you’re a fan over 67 years old, all you’ve ever known is Vin. Christiaan’s post last Sunday, “How the TWC TV Deal is Ruining a Generation of Dodgers Fans” really made me think. Not just about the big business power struggle with the TV entities, but the point he touched on about the prospect of his nephews not knowing who Vin was and what they’re missing. That made me sad for the next generation of fans who will only know of Vin through YouTube videos.
I have TWC, so I can watch the Dodgers and listen to Vin all the time. I keep the channel on during the day while I work or write. Since they replay games most of the day, Vin’s melodic voice is a soothing backdrop to anything I may be doing.
I’ve been a Dodger fan for many years, since I was a pre-teen tomboy who didn’t have much interest in “girl things”. I’m much older now and still a tomboy without much interest in “girl things”. I remember my first Dodger game well. My friend Susan’s mom got Susan, Gloria and I tickets and shlepped us out to the ball park. We had all the Dodger gear – caps, t-shirts, batting helmets, megaphones and food… So much ball park food. We were completely awed by the Blue Heaven experience.
We sat in those stands watching the Dodgers and cheering for all we were worth. People brought small radios and you could hear Vinny calling the game. My love for the game, the Dodgers and Vin was born under that summer sun with my best friends. Baseball will always remind me of a simpler time. Vin Scully painting his majestic word pictures is the soundtrack.
Yes, my nostalgia is running high. I often sit crossed leg in front of the TV, like that young girl from many yesterdays ago, and I listen entranced as Vin effortlessly weaves his stories into his play by play calls. It’s often like the game itself, with reverence to the man, adjusts it’s pacing so he can finish a story. I savor every single one, whether I’ve heard it once or 50 times. I commit my favorites to memory, so I can share them with others. Between innings, when the camera pans to a sweet baby nestled in their mother’s arms or a dad with his son perched on his knee, Vin will always stop mid-sentence, “Hello, Princess. Look at those blue bows in your hair. Make sure you’ve got plenty of sunscreen, mom.”
Vin and babies, probably one of my favorite things.
While I can’t imagine Dodger baseball without Vin, the reality of it is setting in. His firsthand stories about Koufax, Robinson, Drysdale… all of the greats, past and present, recounted from the man who was there, will be over. Stories told from here on out will most likely come from Google searches.
I must add, I like Joe Davis (the heir apparent to Vin). Every so often a rude fan takes to Twitter to remind him he’s not Vin Scully, he always replies with truth and class, “Nobody is.” I enjoy the rapport between Joe, Nomar and Orel and wish them nothing but luck going forward. I’ll be there watching and listening.
I can’t promise this will be my last post about Vin. This man is as much a part of Dodger baseball as any player out on the field, maybe more so. Vin thinks he can go quietly into the night of retirement, but we writers and fans alike will tell stories about him forever. There will never be a young baseball fan in my presence who doesn’t know about Vin Scully. I’ll make sure of that… you should too.
Ok, Dodger fans, I’d love to hear from you guys – What was your favorite Vin call, story or moment?
We’re a family in Dodger Blue and I know your memories are as vivid as mine. Let’s share them and reminisce about the unforgettable, always loved Vin Scully.
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