Last night the Dodgers became the first MLB franchise to honor yet another legend in the baseball community. After honoring Jackie Robinson with the first ever Jackie Robinson statue in a baseball stadium, the organization honored the best broadcaster in the history of baseball.
On Wednesday night, the Dodgers honored legendary broadcaster Vin Scully by condemning him to their very own “ring of honor.” Before the first pitch of last night’s game, Dave Roberts and the entire Dodger organization led the celebration of revealing the Vin Scully circle plaque along the ring of retired numbers in Dodger Stadium.
Sandy Koufax and Tommy Lasorda revealed Vin’s very own plaque. The plaque reads “VIN SCULLY” and replaces the jersey number with an infamous microphone. The ceremony was both heartwarming and glorious.
The crowd inside Dodger Stadium was electrifying and the players were cherishing the opportunity to be in the presence of a baseball icon again. There was not one person in that stadium who was not moved by the voice of Scully through his 67 years of broadcasting.
Scully had an amazing ability to inspire his audience through his captivating storytelling and is now truly enshrined in Dodgers Stadium forever.
Vin leadoff the ceremony with a very passionate:
"“For one last time… Hi everybody, and a very pleasant good evening to you,” Scully said. He concluded his speech to the fans with one last “It’s time for Dodger baseball!”"
There’s no doubt chills ran through everyone’s spine. Throughout the ceremony, Vin, as usual, was humbled but couldn’t help to fight back a few tears. During the broadcast, there were many iconic stories told about former players and even Vin Scully himself.
My personal favorite, told by MLB.com, is the story that Dodgers Spanish broadcaster Jaime Jarrin shared about Vin.
Jarrin said that when he first joined the Dodgers nearly 60 years ago, he knew little about baseball. The Dodgers had hired Jarrin as the Spanish broadcaster in hopes of reaching out to the Latino community and asked Jarrin to learn the sport quickly.
Well through the guidance of listening to Scully’s play-by-play, Jarrin adopted the game. Jarrin would replicate Vin’s calls but translate them in Spanish and say the same stories as Vin. It didn’t take long for Jarrin to pick up the rhythm of the game and soon he began sharing his own stories, becoming a legend of his own.
As they say, the rest is history.
Jarrin credits Scully for the influence on his life as a teacher, mentor, and as a friend. Jarrin was at the ceremony and whispered to Scully’s ear:
"“You never left,” Jarrin said. “As long as I’m here, you will always be here.”"
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It’s amazing to see Vin’s impact on so many individuals lives through the power of storytelling. As a millennial, I’m beyond grateful to have listened to the voice of Scully for the decade and a half years of following Dodger baseball.
Vin joining the “ring of honor” is an honor well deserved after 67 years of dedication. Vin said when he looks up to those retired numbers he sees faces and stories. Now I can say the same when I see the microphone with Scully’s name on it.
I respect the value this organization has shown toward such an iconic individual within the team. Since Vin’s announcement of his retirement, the Dodgers have honored him by renaming the street formerly known “Elysian Park Ave.” to “Vin Scully Ave.”
Throughout the ceremony, Scully said he doesn’t anticipate returning to Dodger Stadium as an honorary member. But I have a feeling the Dodgers have other plans. While the tributes that they’ve presented for Vin Scully have been spectacular and lay as an amazing trademark in Dodger Stadium, I can see somewhere down the road the organization finding some other way to enshrine Vin.
I’m sure the city of Los Angeles will immortalize Vin Scully, Chick Hearn, and Bob Miller at some point together. They’re commitment to sports within the city of Los Angeles has been incredible. But hey, what do you know, we may be looking at a future “Vin Scully Field” somewhere down the line. Boy wouldn’t that be something. I’m just saying; it may not be that crazy.