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Vin Scully: All class, all the time

Heroes, idols, they're easy to find in youth. Difficult to hold onto as the years advance.

For those able to actually meet a great figure from their formative years, disappointment often awaits. An almost inevitable letdown.

When I started out as a sportswriter, I was able to meet several sports figures I had always held in high esteem. A precious few withstood the test of unrealistic expectations. One, though, surpassed every improbable hope.

Vin Scully.

Listen to Vin broadcast a game and you begin to believe you know him. And the crazy thing is, you actually do. He is every bit the gentleman, the kind soul, the warm and sincere man you think he is.

He is intelligent, but never condescending. He's the people's aristocrat. Both warm and professional, friendly and respectful, outgoing and yet somehow still private.

An avid reader, he turned me onto Elmore Leonard's westerns during an Atlanta bus ride to the ballpark. Shared stories of starting out frightened in Brooklyn. Would speak pointedly on team failings.

A man who always seems to know the right thing to say on the air and off. When I saw him for the first time last summer after being out of work for several months, he stopped me and said simply: "I miss reading you.''

Every time I enter the Vin Scully Press Box at Dodger Stadium, it feels like an honor. Vin's "soundtrack to summer'' has left a lasting impression on generations. And it's a very real one.

-- Steve Dilbeck

 
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He was a legend when this 8 year-old tried to pick up Dodgers broadcasts in 1979 on my cruddy transistor radio while living in Palm Springs. I took advantage of some Danny Goodman souvenir offers (anyone remember those?) and sent away for some album recordings of Scully calling Drysdale's scoreless inning streak and Sandy's perfect game. That helped me really understand howl lucky I was that my favorite team had thisgreat voice, this wonderful story teller. I mean, back then I liked Ross Porter's stats and Jerry Doggett was okay in small doses but Scully was pure magic.

Fast forward all these years and now my twin 10-year olds still have the chance to listen to Vin. They love it just the same as I did all those years ago.

I savor every broadcast Vin Scully does. Long after he is gone, his voice will still clearly be heard in Dodger stadium. He is all Dodger and gentleman.

None better.

Ever.

Vin is a legend! Dodger Baseball will never be the same once he retires. Can the Angels or someone please hire Ross Porter!!! He is a voice So Califronia needs to hear once again!!

Vin Scully: the greatest Dodger of all-time. Met him many times in beautiful Vero Beach Dodgertown over the years & he was the nicest, most gracious person I've ever meet. One of a kind; the best there ever was & the best there ever will be.

Vin Scully was a friend on any kid's old transistor radio and has been a treasure for many years on TV. What a treat.

I had to put in my two cents worth.

I, too, am one of those fifty somethings who would fall asleep most spring, summer nights listening to Vinnie via a transistor radio beside my pillow.

Do y'all remember going to a Dodger game back in the 60's and hearing his voice echo all through the stadium? That was pretty cool.

Now due to age, I sometimes fall asleep while watching Vin on TV. There's that wonderful moment of a last half an inning, or so, when I revisit those wonderful moments I had as a kid.....falling asleep to listening to Vin's description of a Dodger game.

I was lucky enough to run into Mr. Scully when I was vacationing in Hawaii in 1995. I was having a miserable vacation and I was swimming in the pool at the hotel we were staying and I thought I heard Vin Scully's voice. I told my sister I must be going crazy, or I just missed baseball. She looked around and said isn't that him reading a book on a chase lounge right in front of me. I was really excited because he was always a hero of mine. I waited about 20 minutes or so until he dangled his feet back into the water. I approached him and introduced myself and told him it was a thrill to meet him. I told him how I grew up in Van Nuys California, and how I had been listening to him for over 30 years.
He was so gracious and generous with his time. We chatted about the current players strike and about sports in general. I asked him his opinion about the strike and he said in his famous style and grace that he felt the players will return soon " When cooler heads prevail."
It was a wonderful 10 minutes I spent with the greatest announcer of all time.
He did not disappoint this lifetime Dodger fan.

I was 8 years old in 1961. I had almost drowned getting swept into cave at Trancas Beach. If not for my brother, I wouldn't be here. I ran home crying, all scraped up and scared witless. I showered, got dressed and there was Vinny on the transistor radio. The Dodgers were playing a spring game against the Indians. His voice comforted me like no other voice. I listened for 2 innings and fell asleep and instead of having nightmares about the misadventure, I was in heaven... an 8 year old having Vin Sculley as his guide through life's most important adventure... Dodger Baseball. To this day, I have to say that Vinny's voice is still that enticing song of life... make it an adventure today by listening to Vinny... God Bless you Vinny for your steadfastness through all these years.

Mr. Scully is the one remaining link to the glorious past of the Dodgers. I had the pleasure to spend some time with him in Vero Beach, and he is the classiest individual one could ever meet.

Vin Scully is one subject we can all agree about.

And that's pretty amazing, don't you think?

Absolutely one of my all time heroes. I spent many a summer night with my radio on listening to Vinny. Just hearing his voice takes me to so many, many incredible memories of baseball, summer and excitement. Now living in TN I can only see highlights or internet radio that have his voice. He's one of a kind.

Is it just me, or don't your days get just a little bit brighter when you hear Vin Scully say: "It's time for Dooodddgggers Baseballll"

Vin Scully calling a Dodgers game is like poetry, dressed up as sports announcing.

Just like Chick Hearn calling a Lakers game was like a sweet symphony playing over the backdrop of a ball and hardwood.

As a Southern California sports fan, if you don't feel a bit blessed to have experienced two geniuses at work...then you don't really like sports.

Scully is "The Voice." I grew up listening to him. On July 4th, 1971, I had the pleasure of meeting him. I told him I thought he was the best broadcaster in baseball. His reply, "Thank you, you are very kind." Pure class!!!!!

My wife isn't from this country and she doesnt' speak english. But she knows when baseball season arrives becauses she hears that beautiful voice of Mr. Vin Scully.

Then she frowns because she knows my attention turns to my beloved Dodgers :)

I really will be sad when Vin decides to retire. Whoever will follow him has some BIG shoes to fill. He really is an amazing broadcaster, and all around good man.

Thanks Steve for talking about such a legend, and important part of the Dodgers' history.

I don't know whose decision it was, but I wish Vin would do more that 3 innings on the radio.

I wish he would also do the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings as well.

Artieboy: Im with you all the way. Nothing against the teams other outstanding announcers, but if you have the greatest, most beloved baseball broadcaster in history, why wouldnt he do all nine innings on the radio?
Vins response is that he calls a different game when hes doing a simulcast, but it works well enough for three innings. The Dodgers are not fully utilizing their greatest asset.

I've been listening to Mr. Scully since the mid-sixities. I wish he did 9 innings on the radio since I always listen on my XM (The Dodgers are why I bought it in the first place). But I think they should let him do whatever he wants. We all owe him that.

DBlack---

Don't forget that we have one of the best hockey announcers as well. Bob Miller has been the voice of the Kings since 1973.

....scully is a class act.... i remember years ago my dad visiting me and going to a dodger game and he kept looking up to the press box trying to spot scully....he was more enthused in seeing scully than the players......he said he could describe the game on radio with such clarity he didn't need to watch it on tv......

Its (almost) time for Dodger baseball!

Cant wait to listen to Vinny again!

Growing up in Southern California, I remember listening to Vin, Chick Hearn, Dick Enberg, Miller, Tom Kelly and Jim Healy. I finally broke down and bought XM just to listen to Dodger games because the announcers in Wisconsin, Kansas City and Atlanta don't come close to matching what I grew up with.

It will be a sad day when Vin decides to retire... but he has earned the right to do so.

Vin Scully is the gold standard for baseball announcers. It didn't matter that the Dodgers refused to televise games for years because his voice brought you to Dodger stadium through the radio.

I don't often extol the wonders of the Internet, but when I list on what is really great about it, well, No. 1 would be the ability to hear Vin Scully call the Dodgers games thanks to my laptop wherever I travel. He is really one of the great Legends of Broadcasting, and has no competition anywhere. Thanks for bringing so much joy to so many, Mr. Scully.

Not what he used to be and the mistakes come more often now, but Scully is still a good broadcaster, and one ofa group of about 6-7 to be included as among the best ever (though no one deserves a 'best ever' tout because frankly that doesn't exist.)

No consensus: there never has been or will be and even if there was said it would not be validation of anything - too subjective. Though I'm a lifelong Dodgers fan for me my 'personal favorite' is Gene Elston when he used to do Houston Astros games - as good as anyone who has ever broadcast the game.

For a sports crazy kid growing up in Orange County in the 1970's, it was heaven on earth to have a radio to tote along all year. Vin with the Dodgers, Chick with the Lakers, a new guy named Bob Miller teaching me the ins and outs of hockey, and Dick Enberg everywhere - UCLA and the Rams along with a *very* opinionated at the time Don Drysdale (who great in his own way) on Angel games.

But Vin was better than the rest. I cannot explain it now, but he was like your neighbor telling you what was going on. We had it so good in those days most anyone would sound like an idiot compared to any of those men, and quite frankly if you listen or watch a Dodger or Angel game they still do. Tough to follow a legend. Jerry Dogget was actually pretty good on his own, although I hated the middle innings, and Ross Porter seemed to be everywhere.

For my entire life, Vin Scully has been the "voice". When he finally hangs it up, it will be a sad day indeed.

I have always felt there are two ways to truely learn the game of baseball.

1. Listen to Vin Scully. His ability to explain what is happening is (IMO) a dying art.

2. Sit in the top deck (general admission) of DS. It's the best place to see the coordinated movement of infielders and outfielders on every type of play.

Finally in 2006 or 2007 Vinny made the trip with the club to Chicago. He didn't hail the team, the fans, or the city; he hailed the stadium "It is a marvelous ballpark".

It brought tears to my eyes.

Growing up in San Jose, Ca I used to look forward to baseball season and Dodgers baseball. Especially at night when I could pick up the Dodger games on my transistor radio. The best part was listening to Vin Scully broadcast the game. It would make feel like I was at the stadium whenever I heard Vin Scully. call a game. I'm looking forward to another season of Dodgers baseball and listening to Vin Scully.

I'm an Angels fan and LOVE Vin Scully. That's one thing the Dodgers have that I envy.

When I heard that the 2010 season would be his last season in the booth, I cried at my desk! It broke my heart. I first remember hearing him in 1955 and grew up in San Pedro listening to him and watching the SF games on Channel 11. I've been in St. Louis now for 10 years and listen to the games on MLB radio. It's as close as I can get to DS and still be here. It's the nearest thing to heaven!

Vin is the best. I moved from L.A. in 97. but I order the extra innings package every year Just to listen to Vin. it is really sad to think of Dodger Baseball with out him as this will be his last year. then we will have to listen to Steve Lyons.
I'm sure Steve is a great guy. but, he is no Vinny. then again...who is?

In a span of 4 months in 2003 I had the pleasure of meeting Sandy Koufax and Vin Scully. Both of them were consummate gentlemen, humble and very personable.

I met Vin after a ball game in San Diego and thanked him for the thousands and thousands of hours of pleasure he had given me since I was 4 years old. He put his hand on my shoulder, looked up very sincerely and said, "Thank you, you are very kind."

If you've never heard his call of Hank Aaron's 715th home run you should give it a listen. Just paste the following link on to your browser: http://mlb.mlb.com/atl/history/aaron.jsp

Then click on "Vin Scully's radio call of Aaron's 715th HR"

I too grew up with Vin's voice through my tranistor radio. Later while in the broadcast business in Denver I was in LA to cover a Rockies game and I walked into the press box to grab a Dodger dog before the game began. There sat Vin Skully talking to Jim Murray. There is an unwritten law with press privlegdes that you don't impose on others nor are you allowed to ask for autographs......I was a kid from East LA and had to meet my idols. I broke the rules to meet these two poets and superstars. Later I enjoyed another Dodger dog, and one of the greatest baseball games of my life with fond memories filling my heart. Vin, you are the best, and your stories are captivating. Mr. Murray, I know your are still writting like a son of a gun on sports with the best seat in the house. Thanks gentlemen. "you see a man skilled in his work, he will stand before kings."

Lying in bed last night, I decided to listen to 2 or 3 songs on my iPod, and put it on "shuffle". The third "song", to my surprise, was my recording of Vinny calling the ninth inning of Sandy Koufax's 1965 perfect game. No matter how many times I have heard this -- from "live" in on a transistor radio in our kitchen in Van Nuys, to countless times since then -- I always get chills. If I had a live recording of Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address, or a video of Michelangelo sculpting his Pieta, I probably wouldn't get tired of those, either.
I've never met Vin, but people I know who have met him all say the same thing: That he is as kind and gracious in person as he appears to be on radio and TV. The John Wooden of broadcasting, the Chick Hearn of baseball -- there will be no more like him to take his place.

My best friend had the vinyl record of the Koufax perfect game. We played it over and over. To this day, over 40 years later, I can remember every word "...2 and 2 to Harvey Kuenn..." I have always wondered how I could get another copy. Like I said, we wore it out. My father once remarked that Vin Scully was just like everyone's best friend, and I can say that he has been one of mine for my whole life. I am glad that I was able to pass on the wonderfulness of Vin to my young son. I try to never miss a game and follow them on TV or radio. Vinny once said, that, "If it has happened, it has happened to the Dodgers." Winning a game without scoring an earned run...a pitcher throwing his glove at a batted ball and actually hitting it! Vinnie made those moments and thousands of others come alive.

Bditman - In lieu of a 45 rpm record, here is the next best thing (the full ninth inning of SK's perfect game):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uozLFsEPu8&feature=PlayList&p=B66B4A46EF7E1089&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=2


I AM A GREAT VINCE SKULLY FAN DATING BACK TO WHEN HE ANNOUNCED THE DODGERS GAMES IN NY AND NJ. I AM NOW LIVING IN SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA AND WANT TO KNOW HOW I CAN LISTEN TO VINCE ON EITHER TV OR ON MY RADIO.

THANK YOU

ED BASTON
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA
TEL. 480 585 5628


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