VIN SCULLY BROADCAST BOOTH – Located at the end of Vin Scully Av, a legend is still at work on a busy sports weekend. And it’s been just that in my house, as I coached my ten-year-old’s baseball game (go Silver Lake Mets), then his soccer team (go Flaming Unicorns!), then took my older boy to the Dodger game Saturday night, dropped the younger at his U-12 game (he’s playing up!) this morning on the way out to play in my own game, and frankly I’m exhausted. There’s a lot going on right now, no doubt, but I just can’t get too excited about the first games of the first round of hockey and basketball playoffs that will still be going on two months from now. I hope the Islanders keep winning, though, because I’ve got a pretty good throwback story about them bringing in my Uncle Glenn as a softball ringer back in the 1980s that may just become my next post in two weeks.
Until then… I’m going to talk about Vin Scully. 2016 has been a tough year by all accounts. Beloved entertainers are dropping left and right (don’t join them, Prince!)… City-Defining sports stars like Big Papi and Kobe leaving competition… and here in Southern California we’ve already lost one sports broadcasting legend when Santa Anita opened to the unfamiliar cadence of somebody not Trevor Denman. The biggest blow is the impending retirement of Scully, though. And it’s not even close. Angelinos may have loved Kobe, but they’re the only ones. Vin Scully belongs to everyone. That’s the result of sixty-seven professional years of accumulated good will, hard work and clean living – in ways the last few generations (mine included) may never reproduce. Who retires at eighty-eight? At the top of their game? It’s easy to say top of his game, because it really seems like he’s always been at the top of his game. Still no color-commentator alongside him (because who could provide more color than he) and if anything, he seems to be effortlessly weaving even more stories into the play-by-play call these days, and still always knows how to stick the ending right before going to commercial.
Or so I figure… for I have DirectTV and thus can only catch Vin on the radio for a few innings (before he gives way to the sleep-inducing Charlie Steiner and Rick Monday). Then Vin must disappear back into the empty void that is Time Warner’s Dodger channel, a station that hasn’t stuck an ending yet. Fortunately MLB, never ones to let a feel-good opportunity to celebrate ifs history go by, has been all over this. They have some Scully story about Madbum, snakes and rabbits or reading a shopping list from forty years ago, popping up every day.
At Dodger Stadium there are as many different Vin Scully-themed t-shirts as there are for Adrian Gonzalez. There are calls for Scully to call the All-Star Game this year or better yet, a World Series game. Each of those articles I just linked to are from the last day or two, and I imagine it’s only going to get more intense as the year goes on… to the point, hopefully, that Time Warner’s executives succumb to a vicious crisis of conscience, pull their heads out of their asses, and give Vin back to the people.