Last night, another thread was pulled from the center of the fabric that once held our culture together.
Vin Scully, the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers for 67 years, passed away in Southern California.
He was acclaimed by many as perhaps the best broadcaster that ever described a game, but that is not why I mention his passing.
I mention it because when I posted of his death, people immediately began to speak of shared experiences…how we would all lay in our beds at night listening to little transistor radios with a single pale yellow earpiece and find ourselves at the game with Vin.
I was not a Dodger fan, but I too was taken in by his soothing cadence and fascinating stories that he spun around whatever was going on at the ballpark….without missing any action in the process.
Scully provided us with generations of shared experiences around his voice and he did do without ever having a whiff of scandal or controversy.
If you listened for years ,you would probably gather that he was politically conservative and that he was also a Christian.
If you were neither, you could still enjoy the game…and Vin.
We could all agree on one thing…it was good to listen to Vin Scully at the mic.
There was a day when we were blessed of God to have many like him around the country, with each region boasting of the voice that they shared….Ernie Halwell in Detroit, Lon Simmons in San Francisco, Dick Enberg in Southern California …the list goes on…but they all gave us something to share with them and each other.
Shared experiences…positive shared experiences… help weave together a people even when it is around something as ultimately trivial as sports.
The voices in our silos tend to be shrill these days and they invite us to combat, rather than joy.
We share not in the warm anticipation of sport and story, but in the prospect of conflict with our neighbor.
We have lost the joy of simple shared experiences and we are not wise enough to mourn their passing.
We will….when we find the cost of the joy of conflict.
Well done Vin, but you’ve already heard that from a bigger Voice…
I head about his passing a few hours ago. A legend. 67 years with Brooklyn and LA. I think I read on CNN earlier that he broadcasted 20+ no-hitters.
He was wonderful.
I’m a huge fan of play by play broadcasters…spent the best times of my youth escaping to games with them with little transistor radios….
Speaking of Transistor Radios, as a kid during the early 60’s, at bedtime, if Koufax was pitching, and the game was still on, would listen to the remaining innings, with the volume low. His impromptu comments on Gibson’s 9th inning home run was the best ever! A great man, but an equally humble man. Would be awesome, if we could see that combination today.
I have friends who would see him and his wife at the local Costco…and he was always gracious.
We have gained so much with technology and lost our joy in the process…those cheap radios and a little imagination brought wonder…
Love the Dodgers
Love the Red Sox more
Love Vin Scully calling games.
Rest well friend – extra innings ahead.
Yes, there really is something about listening to good/great play-by-play callers on the radio when you are a kid. Same memories here with John Gordon and the late Herb Carneal for the Twins.
Vin Scully was a humble, kind, great man. To boot, he was also the greatest play-by-play announcer there ever was.
Harry Kalas was our Vin Scully here in Philadelphia. When he suddenly passed away some years ago, when he was still the Phillies’ lead announcer, there was great shock and sadness. Yet his voice and legacy live on and he is warmly remembered.
All the more so it will be for Scully, even for most of us who aren’t Dodgers fans. Forever etched in our memories will be calls such as, “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!, and, “It gets through Buckner!” (sorry Dread 🙂 )
Yes, in today’s world, we need more people and experiences like Vin Scully.
Felt the same about Bob Prince of the Pittsburgh Pirates. As we were kids growing up his voice could be heard around the neighborhood (windows & doors were open in the summertime in those days). Always had great & colorful commentary. 😊
I listened to Vin call the Dodger games on my transistor radio many evenings, particularly when the Angels were out of town. I remember he would even do some of the commercials for Farmer John and Union 76. Like some of you, it was my escape during my childhood.
I really, really dislike the Dodgers (see Kirk Gibson ‘88). But I enjoyed listening to Vin Scully and other classic broadcasters(Bill King and others). RIP to one of the best.
I have to exercise restraint on this subject or I’ll write a book.
PM…Bill King on Warriors basketball was wonderful and I loved his A’s calls as well.
Lon Simmons was my favorite from down there…
I usually listened to Bay Area teams…and all the teams had great announcers.
Southern California had Scully and Enberg and the great Chick Hearn on basketball and my favorite, Bob Miller doing Kings hockey.
Portland had Bill Schonely and “rip city’ and what treasures I hold from all of them…
So many people up here heard those Farmer John commercials that the stores finally had to stock them…
Vin goes back to the days when tv broadcasts were just beginning
I loved PeeWee Reese and Dizzy Dean and that era and the Saturday games of the week with matchups like Koufax v Marichal and Drysdale b Gibson. Usually 1-0 or 2-1 thrilling stuff.
Curt Gowdy would do those TV games, then do the Red Sox play by play…great days…
LoL!!! It wasn’t until the late seventies drive south on I-5 just north of the California-Oregon border that I knew that KFI—the station that broadcast Dodger games, could be received so far north….
“ loved PeeWee Reese and Dizzy Dean”
Takes me back to Saturday afternoons watching the games with my dad on the Philco
I’d drink Kool-aide and he’d down a beer while we both ate bologna sandwiches.
Miss those days.
I missed out on Bill King and the Warriors but heard he was great with them too. And yes, Lin too. And Hank Greenwald for the Giants
Greenwald was an acquired taste…took me a while.
When Lon stepped down from the Giants the first time, they hired an uppity kid from Cincinnati…Al Michaels.
We didn’t have a clue…
One more thing, since it’s a baseball kind of day. This writer is a joy to read. Here is a small snip from a wonderful baseball essay.
Since baseball time is measured only in outs, all you have to do is succeed utterly; keep hitting, keep the rally alive, and you have defeated time. You remain forever young.
— Roger Angell, The Interior Stadium
I grew up on Vin care of KFI 640 in LA. He was the first baseball broadcaster I ever heard starting in 1970. One funny thing (at least to me) is that almost every Vin tribute includes the word “transistor.” 😀