Man, this was sad. It’s like I just lost someone I loved here. And people who visit this blog probably wonder what all the fuss is about with me and Vin Scully. So let me try to sum it up.
Aside from my children, my wife, and my family; baseball is what I love most. And within what I love most is Vin Scully – what I love most in what I love most. If that makes sense.
Some of my best memories ever enjoying the game of baseball were with him on the call. It was an added bonus to the already nice relaxation that baseball provides. The guy was completely sublime, capable of lowering blood pressure just by being in my living room.
Vin Scully signed off for the final time yesterday, ending his 67 years of baseball broadcasting excellence. While there were a few distractions — in the middle of the game Scully was presented with a plaque by the Giants and was warmly met by Willie Mays, the best player Scully says he ever saw — it was exactly like every other Vin Scully game I’ve heard in the 30+ years I have been listening to him.
It was relaxed. It was comfortable. On some level Scully knows that we all have lives full of important and stressful things and that, baseball, however wonderful it is, is a diversion, not the most important thing in our lives. As such, he did not treat his broadcasts as destination viewing or listening. He did not act like the game he was calling or the fact that he was calling it was the most important thing going on at that moment. No phony superlatives. No unwarranted hype, hot takes or artificial intensity. He never, ever, pretended that he had any superior insight into the game than you the fan did, even though he obviously did. He simply talked about what was happening in plain terms and let you know things that he knew that might make the game more enjoyable for you. He didn’t style himself some baseball expert. He took ample time during breaks in the action to tell us interesting and amusing stories and make our diversion pleasant in any way he could.
God bless this man for so many great times and memories. And don’t buy what he says about him needing us more than we needed him. It was never that way. Baseball; at night in Los Angeles, and in general, will never be the same.
It’s been a tough day. Between the death of Jose Fernandez (and Arnold Palmer also passed), and the goodbye to Vin Scully; I am just emotionally spent.
The Dodgers had an incredible walk-off win today for Vin Scully’s final game at Chavez. Dodgers trailing 3-2 in the ninth, and there’s two down. But Corey Seager was at the plate, and of all the greats that Scully has seen play, you better believe it’s special that Seager did this to tie the game and “pull the sun back up in the sky” just a few more moments with Scully in the booth:
For the first time that I can ever remember, I sat and had a good cry over something to do with sports. And the reason I cried is because Vin Scully addressed the crowd one final time, and then sang “Wind Beneath My Wings” to them.
And my wife saw it all. For all in this world that is ugly, and patronizing, and backwards; and it’s everywhere right now…. there’s a prince like Vin Scully. Something that is the real article. That’s what I said to my wife. And then I told her that I hope they win it all as I might have wiped a tear out of my eye. And I do.
I have been listening to this guy for as long as I can remember. The truth is, I wasn’t ready for this. I would have never been ready for this.
It didn’t take long to see what all the hype was about.
Yes, everyone will talk about Seager’s three-homer game during his rookie season that happened on Friday night. And it spawned into a five-home run weekend. But for me, it was seeing some little things like his composure, the smooth stroke, the home run off a Kevin Siegrist, a Javier Lopez (two nasty lefties whom lefties don’t think about homering off of) or getting Thor Syndergaard on a night when no one is getting much. It’s seeing Seager battle a 10-pitch at bat and work a walk when the Dodgers are down ten runs at Wrigley Field and about to get swept. He simply never gives away an at bat. I never saw that because I was watching so much Harper, Correa, Trout, Betts, Bogaerts; you name it.
So here are the two others Seager hit. He has twelve home runs since May 11, the most in baseball by any player. He’s going to assault Nomar Garciaparra’s record of 30 home runs by a rookie shortstop as long as he stays healthy and he’s going to do it in a big home ballpark.
Vin Scully has been on fire lately; as if he knows the sun is setting so he wants to really give us all a great series of finales to remember him by.
And suddenly, I realize I’m simply not enjoying the treasure that is this man quite enough for what is his last season. Because there’s nothing like late night at Dodger Stadium and Scully telling stories and narrating a baseball game. Be it fatherhood, or whatever; I need to really start soaking this in before it’s gone for good.
The Dodgers are on the road for five and then begin a nine game homestand next Monday night. It’s my mission to watch the Dodgers about five or six of those games, regardless of what else is going on.
Yesterday afternoon at Dodger Stadium was his last first day. Paul Goldschmidt came into town as a guy who always spoils nice things at Dodger Stadium, so when he hit a 425-foot monster homer to help the DBacks steal the game, it should have came as no surprise.
Paul Goldschmidt owns the Dodgers, and is the finest hitter in the National League today.
Walter White and Vin Scully in the booth at Dodger Stadium. We’ve already talked about our affection for Breaking Bad. This will always be the summer of Breaking Bad. Walter White and Vin Scully together in one place; the world just wasn’t ready for it.
Because this horrifying month is the shortest of them all, we’re down to some 28 days and a wake-up from the Major League Baseball Opening Series in Sydney Australia on March 22nd.
The opening series will be entertaining not only because it’s the first counting baseball that we’ve had since October, but it will be held at marvelous Syndey Cricket Ground.
Throw in Yasiel Puig, Paul Goldschmidt, Mark Trumbo, and Hanley Ramirez into a friggin’ cricket stadium and make them play baseball, and you’re bound to see something interesting.
There’s another thing you may not realize that will make this opener unique in it’s own way. For fans in the United States, the opener will actually take place at 4 AM Saturday morning. For fans like us, there’s a good chance we just ride out Friday evening and turn it into an all-nighter. At some point, people will need to sleep. And that’s not just because you can’t function without it. It’s because at 10 PM that Saturday evening, Vin Scully will be back on the air calling the second game of the series.
For some nutbags out there, that’s two games packed into one Saturday. Then there’s all day Sunday to recover for work on Monday.
It literally cannot get here soon enough. When I hear that jolly old man telling stories and calling the auction in the wee hours of the night that glorious March 22nd day, I’m going to be like a kid on Christmas.
One of baseball’s greatest marriages will continue for at least one more season. This is possibly the greatest news that has made it’s way out for baseball’s 2014 season.
Vin Scully will return to the Dodgers in 2014, his 65th season at his profession. Scully will be 85, and while there’s been no official announcement that it will be his final season, it is likely. I have to get to Dodger Stadium next year in Vin’s final season to bid him a proper farewell, somehow.
There is almost nothing more relaxing then turning the Dodgers on at 10:00 here in the Eastern time zone and listening to the grand old grandfather of the game tell stories about every player. He’s so magical you get lost in it. Vin Scully does his part to make the die-hard fan fall deeper in love with the game on a nightly basis.
I’m absolutely exhausted upon my return from Las Vegas, so there will be no 4th of July fireworks for me tonight. I’m just settled in watching the Dodgers against the Rockies at Coors Field, and Vin Scully has the night off! It must be vacation week for Vin like so many others this time of year because I think I hear Steve “Psycho” Lyons doing the game.
Here’s a brief recap of the holiday baseball action, with still a very full weekend of ball to follow:
The Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants were rained out in Cincinnati, bummer.
All-Star Game voting ends in like two hours. I finally cast a few ballots just to be a good sport about it. This is the first year ever I really didn’t care to do it much.
Yasiel Puig batting average update: .434 after singling up the middle to drive in a run. Yasiel Puig bat-flip coverage: here.
Tomorrow’s slate: Pirates/Cubs at Wrigley at 4:00 to kick off the weekend (gotta love that, you think people are partying in Chicago this weekend or what?), Padres at Nationals, Mariners at Reds, maybe a little Orioles at Yankees all at 7:00, Dodgers at Giants at 10:15. Good slate of baseball tomorrow.
And I’ve honestly never taken an Ambien. But is there a better way to unwind from a long and stressful day of real life then laying in your living room with the lights off, letting good ol’ Vin take you to dreamland?
My friend said it best via text the other night – I could listen to Vin Scully read my the telephone book.
There are few guys who you wish could just live on forever, doing what they’re masterful at forever. And we’re not talking about Tommy Lasorda; as enjoyable as he’s been at times. Scully provides you with the backdrop of every player, including the hardships his parents endured in Cuba. He eloquently educates the viewer as if it were their very first baseball game. The guy shows up ready to work every day more reliably than a Breitling brand watch.
Like the recently passed on Pat Summerall, Vin Scully is the greatest of all-time. I listen to him better than I listen to my own wife. When Vin Scully turns that microphone off for the last time we’ll be crying like a tear duct is blocked.
I’m happy with what I saw of Bryce Harper’s big league debut. The only at-bat I missed last night was his first MLB hit, a rocket double off the base of the wall that would have been out of most parks. But I saw all I needed to see.
The hustle, the look, the grey bat. The incredible bat speed. The rifleman throw from left field that had a runner nailed at home plate if Wilson Ramos would have just hung onto the ball.
I hope this is the first of many memorable games from Harper and I hope he’s up for good. Last night was a memorable atmosphere as a baseball fan with Strasburg on the bump, Matt Kemp slugging one deep into the night, Vin Scully calling the game on my television. It will always serve as the perfect memory for the youngster’s debut.
While we’re on the subject of baseball promotions, we should tell you of one of baseball’s best coming in 2012. If you’re going to be in Southern California in Late August, you better make it a priority to get down to Chavez Ravine. You’ll come away with quite a prize.
Hall of Fame Broadcaster Vin Scully will be featured on the club’s final bobblehead night on Aug. 30 when the Dodgers take on Arizona. Entering an unprecedented 63rd season broadcasting the Dodgers, Scully’s 62 years of consecutive service with the Dodgers is the longest of any sports broadcaster with one team. This marks the Hall of Famer’s first Dodger Stadium bobblehead.
We’re big fans of bobbleheads. After all the bright lights, glitter, and fancy hair clip giveaways; bobbleheads remain at the sanctum of baseball’s best freebies. If Vin Scully’s head is going to be on one; it’s worth getting to the stadium or paying a hefty price on eBay for.