The magnitude of the recent riots and unrest in Baltimore was so substantial it spilled over into the world of baseball. Believed for the first time in Major League Baseball, a game was played without any fans in the stands as MLB made the decision to not admit the general public into the April 29 game between the Orioles and Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards.
Vin Scully, the iconic voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, has seen more than his share of historic moments throughout his broadcasting career. Now in his 66th season with the organization, Scully said he would find it difficult to call a game without the presence of any fans, via Joe Resnick of the Associated Press:
My first thought was that it’s historical, if not hysterical,” Scully said. “But it would be very awkward for me. I rely a great deal on the crowd — because to me, the crowd adds all the necessary atmosphere. So not to have the crowd would be like missing your front tooth.”
As for the unprecedented decision to carry on without fans at the game, Scully added he believes it was the correct choice:
I felt it was a very difficult assignment for everybody involved. But they made their decision,” Scully said. “At least now it’s over, done, gone, and without any problems. That was the big thing. If there had been any demonstrations at all, there would have had to be a heavy police presence, which meant they would take the police presence away from where it should be. So I think it was a wise decision.”
While the impact on a Dodgers game wasn’t the same as what took place in Baltimore, Scully’s tenure as broadcaster includes him living through the 1965 Watts Riots and the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
The Dodgers canceled their home games immediately after the 1992 riots began April 29, which forced them to play doubleheadhers on July 3 and from July 6-8. Jon Weisman, now at the helm of Dodger Insider, chronicled his experience of being at Dodger Stadium when the riots broke out three years ago on Dodger Thoughts with comments from Eric Davis and Daryl Strawberry.
Vin Scully Tells Stories At Dodgers FanFest 2015