It’s a pretty hefty haul from Malibu to Downtown Los Angeles, but hundreds made the trek to see their beloved Dodgers against cross-country rivals or a freeway series. But they did eager to hear the crack of a fresh bat and the indescribable crunch of a Dodger Dog.
For 65 years, announcer Vin Scully was the biggest “bobblehead” of them all. The historic announcer will be cherished as the league’s biggest MVP ever.
“Vin was the Dodgers, and I will remember him as the voice of the Dodgers my entire life,” said one of the Boys in Blue enthusiasts.
“Vin was the voice of the Dodgers since I went to the game as a toddler with my Dad and my brother,” life-long local fan Barry Glaser shared, who has been watching the Dodgers since he was just a pip-squeak barely knee high. Glaser has been watching this year’s season with special attention and a keen eye.
A touching tribute last week after Vin passed drew a stadium full of fans without hardly a dry eye in the house. Whether in the ballpark or a television sports channel, Vin seemed to be welcomed as an “all the boys of summer’s” member of the family. The six-decade Hall of Fame announcer died at his home near Malibu in Hidden Hills on Aug. 8.
The outpouring of this icon was beyond compare. He had personal memories to tell and stories to share for years with the Dodgers.
Generations of local and other devoted Angelenos have fond sentiments about listening to the “Voice” in Chavez Ravine or their AM radio stations. Vin was the voice of the ballpark for everyone.
Vin would begin each game with an embracing hand, saying amid the freshly cut green grass, “Hi, everybody, and a very good afternoon to you and a very pleasant afternoon it is. Pull up a chair and spend part of the day with us.”
Chief Dodgers and Chief Executive put it this way, “We have lost an icon. The Dodgers’ Vin Scully was one of the greatest voices in all of sports. He was a giant of a man, not only as a broadcaster but as a humanitarian. He loved people. He loved life. He loved baseball, and he loved the Dodgers. He loved his family. His voice will always be heard and etched in all of our minds forever.”
Vincent Edward Scully was born in the Bronx in 1927, but sports always ran in his blood. Following his father’s death, the family moved to Brooklyn. The red-haired kid would listen to the radio on an old-time set and pick up empty soda bottles to buy a ticket to a sports game. His education was briefly interrupted by a stint in the Navy. A venture at the New York Times led him to a Washington D.C. radio station, and before you could say “she’s gone,” he landed a job with the third man behind the legendary Red Barber, and then came the Dodgers.
“Red Barber instilled in me that you always go down the middle. I like to think that if somebody made a good catch, fans will believe me because I will also say if he butchered the play.”
With a hand over his heart, Vin thanked his playmates and colleagues with thank yours, I love yours, and kisses, adding, “I am eternally grateful for the Dodgers for keeping me around here,” he said at his retirement tribute ceremony.
Los Angeles City Mayor Gil Garcetti presented the great Dodger with a key to the city as well as the announcement of Vin Scully Blvd. close to the stadium. In addition, President Obama presented him with the National Medal of Freedom.
How great an honor could there be?
The Mayor asked for a standing ovation, and he got that in droves.
In closing, Vin wished his fans blue skies and rainbows. “I know I needed you more than you ever needed me, And this Spring, it will be time for DODGER BASEBALL!”