Vin Scully Calls His Final Dodger Game
To one of the greatest story tellers in baseball, in sports, and from the past 100 years… VIN SCULLY
by Ron Wells
What a difficult, joyous, emotional day. Vin Scully began broadcasting about the time I was born, and now he has left the broadcast booth forever. Fade to Dodger blue…
As a kid, I was a hard core Dodger fan when they moved to LA. My first professional game was when my father took me to the LA Coliseum on Roy Campanella Night. There were 90,000 fans and at one point everyone lit a match as Roy was brought to home plate.
I did not have my transistor radio, though I had already listened to Vin call games when I was at home. I figured, why would I need a radio announcer to tell me what I was seeing right before my eyes. A foolish and childish error on my part which would never be repeated.
By the time we went to Dodger Stadium I knew that of course you took your radio so you could be sure that what you were seeing was real. He called the game in such a way that you were spellbound by his words, even though the game was right in front of you. He called each game as if it were a mysterious, fascinating, unfolding story.
It was here where I saw Roberto Clemente actually have a sub-par game, but Vin could only talk about what a marvelous player Clemente was. I saw Willie Mays play and Vin convinced me that it was ok to love the “Say Hey, Kid,” even tough he was one of the hated Giants. He made it ok to like all of them including Aaron and Musial, even though they could do great damage to my beloved Dodgers.
To Vin, the game itself was bigger than any one person, though he certainly pointed out the beauty and grace of Koufax, Drysdale, Wills, Valenzuela, and so many more. For him, most of those who played on the professional level were worthy of praise in one form or another.
I loved the Dodgers, but more than that I loved the professionalism, the joy, and beauty which Vin brought to the game. There was no one like him. And there never will be again. Today, it is the screamers, the smart alecks, the bush leaguers, the arrogant know-it-alls who rule sports broadcasting. I seldom listen to any of them.
And I’m now officially done with the Dodgers, which has more to do with Fox, the McCourts, and Guggenheim, Inc., than it does with Vin. Time passes and greed and crassness rules supreme. Only Vin, humble as always, kept me listening these past few years.
Today, as I watched, I got very emotional as I watched time and my life pass before me through the lens of Vin Scully.
Yet I will always be so grateful that I was here on Earth at the same time as he was. It’s been a joy and an honor. To say he will be missed is to underestimate what a truly great broadcaster he was, and the even better human being that he was. For here was a man for the ages, a man for all baseball seasons.
Thank you, Vin, most of all, for teaching a young boy about dignity, class, and the power of words to paint pictures in his mind.
photos by Jim Friedman