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RIP Vin Scully


LMU
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Small preface to say that I absolutely HATE the Dodgers. Did a gig of glee when Lasorda died. 


 

That being said, this is crushing. Vin Scully represented a part of America that’s been gone for decades, but it’s the part that was very good and that I think is genuinely worthy of being missed. I just appreciate that we got to hear him as long as we did and that he was a part of so much of our comfort and structure. He’s the Mr. Rogers of baseball, in a sense. 

 

RIP to the only good Dodger ever. 

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My two Vin moments:

 

Around 2014ish my wife and I went to a game in Arizona.  We had seats about 15 rows back behind home plate and happened to be sitting next to fellow Dodger fans which isn't all that miraculous in that park.  Between innings we looked up at the press box and saw Vin sticking his head out.  We all screamed "HI VIN!" and he looked over with a huge grin on his face and waved like crazy.

 

And, I'd say about 15-20 years ago my wife went with my in-laws to church up in Thousand Oaks/Westlake Village since they (and by marriage I) have very close family friends up there.  Turned out they managed to sit in the pew right behind Vin.  My father-in-law told her to not say anything and to let him enjoy his privacy.

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23 minutes ago, LMU said:

Between innings we looked up at the press box and saw Vin sticking his head out.  We all screamed "HI VIN!" and he looked over with a huge grin on his face and waved like crazy.

 

Just when I thought I couldn't love Vin Scully more than I already do.

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Of course, Vin was famous for the famous calls (Clark, Buckner, Gibson, etc.). However, what we were spoiled by in LA were the stories that he was able to seamlessly weave into at-bats.  Here are some examples:

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We're all familiar with Vin's call of Kirk Gibson's home run in the '88 World Series, but how many of you knew that Vin called an earlier clutch home run that Gibson hit in the World Series?

 

 

Side note: Yours truly was at this game. Tiger Stadium was shaking after Gibson's home run.

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Vin Scully had a poetic delivery, and he was a master storyteller.

 

On top of that, he knew how to play to the strengths of his announcing partner.  On the NBC Game of the Week, he was adept at setting up Joe Garagiola for an amusing anecdote, and at evoking a thoughtful bit of analysis or some fascinating inside information from Tom Seaver.

 

But sometimes Vin was paired with an announcer who wasn't up to that quality.  I recently listened to games 3 and 4 of the 1971 NLCS, in which Scully found himself alongside Bob Gibson, who was not a good announcer.  Gibson was still an active player at that point; but, if we're honest, we will note that he did not improve much after his retirement, as demonstrated by the games he called in the first season of ABC's Monday Night Baseball in 1976.  (Also, other active players have been superb announcers, amongst them Reggie Jackson, Jim Palmer, and Seaver.)

 

Anyway, Scully clearly knew that he couldn't have the typical play-by-play / analyst interaction with Gibson, who would not have been able to keep up the flow.  So, instead of calling the plays and then leaving space for the analyst, as normal, Scully resorted essentally to interviewing Gibson throughout the games, while doing a lot of analysis himself.  This strategy got a useful contribution out of Gibson, and turned what could have been a rough listen into an interesting experience for the listener. 

This was just one of so many times that Scully showed that he was the consummate pro, the epitome of the artform.

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2 hours ago, Dynasty said:

I didn't know he was with the Dodgers when they were still in Brooklyn. The fact that he left ship with them to LA shows how big his connection is with the franchise.

And yet he was a childhood fan of the Giants.

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