Thank You Mr. Scully
After 67 seasons calling games for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Vin Scully is calling this his last with the team. Scully started with the Dodgers in 1950 back when they were still in Brooklyn. The 22-year old Scully joined a broadcast team that included fellow Ford Frick Award recipient, Red Barber and Connie Desmond. In 1953, Scully became the youngest man to broadcast a World Series game when Barber got into a salary dispute with a World Series sponsor. When Barber left in 1953 to work for the Yankees, Scully eventually became the team’s primary announcer. Scully accompanied the Dodgers in their move to Los Angeles in 1957 and has been a fixture there ever since.
I grew up watching Scully and Joe Garigiola broadcast the game of the week in the 1980s. My Saturdays were filled with some cartoons, This Week in Baseball and the Game of the Week. We didn’t have cable back then, so that was one of my only opportunities to see national games and teams. Scully’s storytelling and candor make him unique in his call of a game. I have found myself finding searching for some of his old and current game calls to soak in his dulcet tones.
Listen to Scully recite the famous speech from Field of Dreams, it is an instant classic.
I was fortunate enough to go to a game at Dodger Stadium a couple years ago to hear him speak those famous words, “It’s time for Dodger baseball” live and in person. Being from the Midwest, I haven’t had all that many opportunities to attend a Dodger game; so it was a very memorable experience. I took advantage of the game day stadium tour in order to get a closer look at the stadium. The game day tour is a little abbreviated and you do not have access to all of the areas that you would on a non-day tour, but we were able to be down close for the visiting Phillies pregame batting practice and a member of our tour was able to get an autograph from Ron Cey. The tour also takes you past the Vin Scully Pressbox. One of my favorite spots was the area in and around the Stadium Club. That area contains their championship trophies and duplicates of the team’s Cy Young and MVP recipient plaques. The dining option inside of the club also had some vintage memorabilia from the Ebbets Field days. I took many photos of the stadium and the tour, but unfortunately lost that memory card. I hope to go back sometime.
Dodger Stadium provided me with a look back at 1960s era stadium and part of that experience was being able to watch Mr. Scully do the pregame portion and “it’s time for Dodger baseball”. Scully is truly a gentleman of the game and in my opinion will always be remembered as the voice of baseball. I was glad to see that since my visit, the City of Los Angeles has renamed Elysian Park Avenue to Vin Scully Avenue. It only seems fitting for all that he has done for the game and the Dodgers, that his name is on one of the primary entrances to the stadium.
Thank you Mr. Scully for your contribution to the game of baseball. Your legacy and contributions will certainly live on and even though it may sound different, it will always be time for Dodger baseball.