You knew this day would come eventually. It was easy turn a blind eye to. It was easy to ignore. More than anything, it might just be the impossibility of imagining being a Dodger fan when Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully turns off his microphone for the last time.
On a gloomy, overcast morning in July, Dodger Nation found out we only have another 15 months of Vin Scully. Only 15 more months of his poetry, his anecdotes and his utter respect for the game. Vin Scully is the only broadcaster in sports who knows how to remain silent when the drama speaks for itself. His 38 seconds of silence following Sandy Koufax’s perfect game (and fourth no-hitter) is legend. He did the same silent treatment after Hank Aaron’s 715 home run. He did the same when Kirk Gibson limped his way into our city’s soul, a place Vin had been for years.
To even attempt to sum up the moments that have made Scully so timeless is futile. That is because it is not about the moments themselves. For me, at least, it is about his voice. It is about tuning in on my ride home after a long day of work and hearing my third grandfather say, “Hi again everybody, and a very pleasant good evening to you wherever you may be.” You hear that and you look around. You realize you are in Los Angeles, it is summer and you are so very, very alive.
Many broadcasters these days resort to becoming gross caricatures of the Ghosts of Sportscenter’s Past now. Hell, even the guys on Sportscenter now are more like the pathetic old men at the gym that quote Entourage and pretend to lift than the old legends like Olbermann, Patrick and Kilborn.
To emulate Vin Scully, you would first need a perfect voice. Assuming you had that, you would need to have read the classics from Milton to Chaucer to Fitzgerald to Vonnegut. You would need to have seen every Broadway show for a half century. You would need to have seen fathers play and later, their sons. You would need to be so interested in the human side of baseball that you tirelessly quested for knowledge of each player’s upbringing. At breakneck speeds he recalls the song “All I Owe I Owe Iowa” when Casey Blake steps to the plate, then shifts to discuss Scott Elbert’s love of noodling, which is of course to catch catfish with your hands.
15 more months of Vin conducting the last few bars of Take Me Out to the Ballgame from his press box. 15 more months of poetry. When Vin Scully retires to my hometown of Westlake Village, when Vin finally hangs them up, I have to be honest. A part of me will die.
To see Vin walk away in the same decade we lost Chick Hearn is brutal. The good news is, we do know what we got and it is not gone yet. One more sun soaked summer for the redhead who followed the Dodgers west and never went back. I am going to save my sadness for after the celebration. We owe it to Vin to keep watching baseball and hanging on his every word.
Here’s to one more time around the horn.