Vin Scully’s Stories were Cherished the World Over.
I wish I could tell you a story about staying up late with a transistor radio under my pillow to listen to Vin Scully call the Dodgers game late into the night. However, given I was born long after the transistor radio ceased to be in use, I have no such tale. By the time I was in the world, colour TV dominated the media landscape, the use of radios was saved for cars but even then I have no tales of hiding behind the couch in my parent’s living room to catch the final outs. No, despite playing T-Ball since the age of 5, my first stories of Vin Scully don’t begin until the age of Plasma TVs, Laptops and iPads, where MLB.TV and highlight clips displaced the need for staying up late.
Call to the Pen
What Vin Scully means to me has little to do with old memories. For a kid living 17 hours away in Melbourne, Australia, Vin was the bridge between me and you, between me and the Dodgers, between me and the Greats. When you grow up in Australia, where AFL and Cricket wear out the TV screens and the sports sections in the Newspapers, stories of Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax and Kirk Gibson are scarce. Footage of the great Sanford Koufax is scarce no matter where you live. Like many of you, Koufax’s Perfect Game, Kirk Gibson’s home run and the move from Brooklyn to LA took hold of my imagination. However, separated by sea and culture I knew little about them.
Technology is a wonderful thing.
I was in my mid-teens when my family first got MLB.TV and it soon became part of a routine. I would wake up for school at 6.30, downstairs Dad would be cooking breakfast for my brother and I, on the TV would be a baseball game. As I became more and more enthralled by the Dodgers, the more that game would be a Dodger game and more and more the voice I would hear walking down the stairs would be Vin Scully. It wasn’t long before I realised that the voice speaking to us over bacon, eggs and coffee was the very same one that called the historic moments I had dreamt of. I had my connection. If Baseball history was the class, then Vin was our textbook and our teacher and no one did it better than he did. I’m not sure if Vin knew just how far he was implying when he would call a runner ‘out from me to you’ – 7,932 miles is a long way for a runner to be out – but for us the dining table could have been in the heart of Dodger Stadium. Such is the way Vin Scully called the game.
When the Dodgers came to Sydney to open the 2014 season Vin would be calling his 65th season – I had not long turned 18. Sitting just shy of the 1st base dugout at the SCG, this time, the runners were very nearly out from me to Vin. Just feet away, Clayton Kershaw was putting on a clinic, even if he was laboring. In my seat, an earphone blared Vin’s call into my left side – my family sat to my right and I sat in wonder. For the first time, the two greatest to ever do what they did were in the very same building as myself and I finally had a story of my own.
From here, I do not wish to say much more. Much has already been said, most of it by writers far more talented than myself. Yesterday, Vin Scully called his final game, cementing his place amongst the Dodger greats. For 67 years Vin Scully told the stories that connected us all to the game and to each other better than anyone who has ever manned the booth. Because of that, from now on the history books will forever read:
Sandy Koufax. Jackie Robinson. Vin Scully
The Greatest Who Ever Lived