Godspeed Vin Scully!

By Connie Conley | 

“It’s time for Dodger baseball!”  

Can you hear those words today? Vin Scully, the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, passed away last night at the age of 94.  

The Dodgers' voice for 67 years, baseball fans, regardless of their team loyalty, appreciated Scully’s contribution to America’s pastime. Scully was the ultimate professional who painted a picture of baseball with words and sometimes silence that is unmatched. 

Fittingly, the Dodgers were playing the San Francisco Giants when the announcement came.  Scully was also a longtime fan of the New York Giants.

From the call in 1974 when Atlanta Brave Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s homerun record, Scully made us understand the historical significance of the home run, hit off Dodger pitcher Al Downing, was bigger than baseball.

“A Black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol. What a marvelous moment for baseball. What a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia. What a marvelous moment for the country and the world.”

Who can forget Scully’s call when Kirk Gibson hobbled up to home plate in the 1988 World Series?  

Scully’s intuitive commentary, “High flyball into right field, she i-i-i-is … gone”!” And then the silence, allowing the fans, and even Scully himself, to absorb the moment.  After 65 seconds, when we couldn’t find the words to capture the moment, Scully did, saying, “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.”

I never forget sitting at the kitchen table on a Friday night with my family when my sister mentioned the game that Sunday would be Vin’s last game at Dodger stadium. Our Dad loved Vin Scully, and taught us love of the game and the Dodgers. We looked at each other and said, “We have to go.”  We bought tickets and off we went to Los Angeles.

A week later, Vin’s very last game, again fittingly, was against the Giants in San Francisco. We went to that game as well. Never a Giants fan; however, the tribute given to Scully throughout the game was heartfelt. 

Vin Scully was beloved by baseball fans, and with every game he called, with his wit, knowledge, and his skill to entertain the fans without taking away from the game itself, taking us along for every call. Scully reminded us why, like him, we love and appreciate the game of baseball.

Rest in peace, Vin Scully, now another “Big Dodger in the sky!”

Even though she has resided in Northern California for more years than she did in her native Southern California, Ms. Conley is a lifelong Dodgers fan. 

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1 comment

Renegade said...

As a lifelong SF Giants fan who grew up in the central valley in the 60's, I grew up listening to Vin Scully, the true "Voice of Summer." My lifelong love of baseball is largely tied to his golden voice and descriptions of the game. Back in the 60's, fans watched only one baseball game a week on tv, the NBC Game of the Week on Saturdays, it was before cable and satellite tv. We had only three tv stations in my hometown. As a result, my friends and I would listen to our handheld transistor radios to find out how our teams were doing on a daily basis. I'd pick up Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons calling the Giants games on scratchy KSFO waiting for the next Willie Mays miracle.
The Dodgers were closer and their games came in clear as a bell. Listening to Vin call a baseball game even then, as a kid, I knew I was listening to the best baseball announcer there ever was. I would emulate his calls in my backyard as I dreamed of playing CF for the Giants. I had a baseball board game and I'd emulate Vin calls as I played the games in my room. He was that good.

For those that missed his smooth, poetic descriptions of the game, I suggest watching the movie, "For Love Of The Game." As I understand it, the producers hired Vin to do the play-by-play of the game. They just gave him the situation and let him create his own script as the game unfolded. It's classic Vin Scully, Vin at his best. His call of the last out of Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1966 is one of my favorite calls, as was his call of Aaron's 715th HR, previously described.
RIP Mr. Scully! You were a true Giant, ever if you bled Dodger Blue.
Thanks for the memories!

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