Vin Scully is the voice

Vin Scully rev

I’m not ashamed to admit it: Vin Scully can elicit tears of joy, whether during a game or within a bio piece.

 

What’s the deal? Why did I find myself getting more and more teary-eyed as the Vin Scully report on CBS Sunday Morning progressed?

Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing one thing consistently for a good part of my life — relentlessly attending Dodger games at Chavez Ravine. As a kid and a teenager and an adult, I’ve attended literally hundreds of games. In the beginning, it was a few here and there with my father. Later, I accompanied a friend’s mother to games several times a week … driving with her, meeting her at the Ravine, sitting with her and cheering with her at every hit and strikeout. It must have been a strange scene now that I think about it: Some young upstart attending game after game after game with my “other mom,” the two of us yelling our heads off and, quite often, leaving the game horse and unable to speak.

No live game is ever complete without Vin providing prose of the plays that unfold on the field.
In tow during those days were our ever-trusty transistor radios, antennas threatening to poke someone in the face to get the best possible sound so we could here Vinny announce the game, something just as important as the game itself. No live game is ever complete without Vin providing prose of the plays that unfold on the field. I’ve watched and listened with rapt attention at the marvelous moves committed by Garvey, Lopes, Russell and Cey. I’ve cheered and shook my head in wonder at the final pitch (and all the amazing pitches in between) of the eyes-to-the-sky technique of Fernando Valenzuela.

Of course, during every moment of every game I’ve ever been witness to Vin Scully has been there calling the plays, dissecting them, providing off-the-cuff commentary, enriching my enjoyment of the sport. With Vin behind the mike, there’s never a dull moment.

I was at a restaurant on a Saturday night with televisions blaring all around and found myself forever leaving my dinner to watch Game #1 of the Dodgers / Athletics World Series contest unfolded. Everyone in the place was glued to the sets while Vinny called Kirk Gibson’s walk to the plate and the resulting game-winning home run which ignited the eventual Dodger victory of 1988. And watching the Dodgers on television at home is no different. Vinny is there as well. If he’s not announcing because it’s a game of the week on another channel and not a local broadcast, my TV volume gets muted and the radio comes on. Many think I’m crazy to do this, but that’s not it at all. I’m just that obsessive about who I hear talking game when the Dodgers are playing.

I’m just that obsessive about who I hear talking game when the Dodgers are playing.

It’s an appreciation and a right of the season and a need, all rolled into one. It’s the taste of summer: Baseball and play by play from Vin. There are very few announcers, past or present, who are baseball institutions. Harry Caray. Bob Uecker. Red Barber. But Vin Scully? He’s not only an institution, he’s one of a kind, a baseball legend. And one who will continue, at least for one more season as the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Lucky us.

And those tears? Guess they’re a little bit of a love affair going on inside me.

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Photo Credit: bleacherreport.com

One Comment on “Vin Scully is the voice

  1. There is something about having a familiar voice on the radio that gives a team lasting identity. Players change; coaches change; even managers and owners can change. But if the voice you hear on the radio is the voice you heard as a child, you know you are still listening to YOUR team.

    Harry Caray was that voice for me as the St. Louis Cardinals captured three World Series titles in the 60’s. Then later, when my husband was trying to train our daughter to be a Cubbie Fan, there was Harry again. The seventh inning stretch was never the same without his voice leading “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”.

    Enjoy the moment and the memories.