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A tribute to the “golden voice”

Posted on September 26, 2016 | Comments

I have to write about this–this being Vin Scully, the world renown broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The man who began his 67-year career the year I was born.  The “golden voice” who made a career out of painting word pictures and storytelling that made what happened on the field much more memorable.

Friday, September 23, 2016 fans at Dodgers stadium (originally called Chavez Ravine) were treated to fan appreciation night for Vin Scully.  Out of all the once-in-a-lifetime memories I saw in person of the Los Angeles Dodgers, I missed this one.  Thanks to in-depth newspaper reporting and online videos, I am able to enjoy it all.  Believe me, I am reading every word and watching every captured digital moment.

Back in “my day” the only hand-held device was my trusty transistor radio.  Every time the Dodgers played, I was glued to it.  By the time I was 10 or 11 years old, I rode the bus to the stadium.  Hearing Vinny’s voice echoing through the stands was music to my ears.  Even though I saw Maury Wills steal his 100th base and Sandy Koufax throw a strike three with two out and two on in the a world series game, Vin Scully’s account made it that much more magical.

I bonded with one of my grandmother’s brothers over the Dodgers.  Don’t recall ever going to a game with Uncle Ted—he lived in Pasadena and I grew up further east in Covina.  We talked on the phone a lot during baseball season and relived great plays whenever we saw each other at gatherings.  Just before a big family reunion (in honor of his approaching 100th birthday), my mother called to tell me he had passed away.  My initial reaction?  Anger.  How dare he leave just before the start of baseball season!  Of course there were plenty of tears too.  My favorite baseball buddy was gone.

Thankfully, Vin Scully has his health and is retiring from the career of his dreams on his own terms.  Very fitting for a man who is still as sharp as ever at the age of 89.  A man with a keen sense of fairness, a charming wit, and a humbleness that makes him that much more endearing.

Today’s Los Angeles Times has a special 14-page insert devoted to “The Voice.”  Thumbing through it, there is a two-page spread featuring fan favorite Scully calls.  I was in the stands for a few of them and remember every single one as if they were yesterday. I will most certainly add this feature to my collection of historical front page headlines, many of which are sport related.

It may be rather unusual for a woman “my age” to be writing a blog in tribute to an iconic baseball sportscaster. Just has famous bands or other genres of my generation have touched lives immeasurably, Vin Scully touched mine and it’s important that I speak up and say so. Given the outpouring of love for Vin Scully, I am certainly not alone.  Yet, the memory I treasure the most about this man is that he did his job in such a way that I always felt he was talking just to me.  For that cherished and indescribable feeling, I say a most grateful THANK YOU, Mr. Vin Scully.

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  1. Cheryl, this is a beautiful tribute. I too listened to Dodger games announced by Vin Scully, and decided to play baseball with the boys from age 10-13. It was magic to hear Vin announce those games creating so much excitement in the stands, and over the radio to my young ears.

    You capture it perfectly.

    • Thank you Bethany. Fun to hear you played baseball too. My dad started a girls softball league and yours truly was an active player for several years.

  2. Truly the top of the heap. Complete class act. I am a lifelong Cubs fan. Last month when the Cubs were in L.A. playing the Dodgers, the Cubs broadcasters in Chicago stepped aside for an inning and piped in Vin’s play by play to honor him. It was an uneventful inning on the field but Vin colored it with the master craft of his spoken word in a way that had me riveted. Remarkable gift and so humble a man. So sad to see him retire.

    • What a gracious gesture on the part of your Chicago Cubs announcer. Vin Scully would have done the same. Heartwarming to hear. Thanks for sharing.

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