“His voice was everywhere”: our readers remember Vin Scully

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For so many people in Southern California, Vin Scully was a voice on a transistor radio hidden under a pillow or drifting through the air from seemingly every car or house on hot summer nights.

He was also so much more.

A poet.

A teacher.

A friend.

A class act.

The soundtrack of their life.

Here’s what some of our readers had to say about the legendary Dodgers broadcaster after his death on Tuesday at age 94 (some answers have been edited for length and clarity):

Hearing Vin’s voice coming from all directions at Dodger Stadium, toward a five-year-old boy, was like Almighty God was doing game by game. I always tell fans of other baseball teams that the reason for which Dodgers fans leave games early was that we could listen to Vin on the way home.

Scott Wilson, Downey

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I became a baseball fan in 1981 when, at age 7, I discovered the magic of Vin Scully’s Dodger shows. Many summer nights I lay in bed with a transistor radio next to my ear, just loud enough to carry me to Dodger Stadium. The buzz of the crowd, the crackle of a bat, and the intricate detail of this particular game, all woven together by Scully’s narrative. He was a master storyteller. Baseball Poet Laureate. The line between dream and reality blurred as I fell asleep.

Jason Leong, Chino Hills

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Picture this: my Mexican-American family, lying in the living room in the middle of July, listening to Vin Scully tell the stories of the Dodgers’ past.

Vin Scully was my childhood, his voice filled the air every summer. He made a young girl into a baseball fan. And when I was 12, I met him. I met the legend.

I was in the press box, playing an MLB game for broadcasters Jr. Dodger. In the next cabin was Vin Scully. Around round 7, we were able to visit Vin in the pit and say hello. The meeting was short – he gave us hugs and told us to “tell the viewer a story with your words”. They couldn’t see the game on the radio, paint it for them. So I did.

Eleven years later, I’m working in sports journalism thanks to Vin Scully. He inspired me to be like him, humble, smart, intelligent and a storyteller. Thanks Vin.

Skyler Rivera, Rancho Cucamonga

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After my father died, I found this handwritten letter from Vin Scully in his files. What a surprise! Who knows what my dad wrote Vin to get such a response. It must have been after the Dodgers won the World Series in 1981.

What I do know is that my dad and I loved watching Dodgers games together. My dad kept a transistor radio in his bathroom so he could keep listening to Vin in the shower.

When they say baseball saved us, it’s partly true for my dad. He was a child incarcerated in Manzanar. Reading sheet music and playing baseball kept him sane. Later in life, I think Vin Scully’s voice was the music that soothed his soul, the soundtrack to his favorite sport and team.

I hear Vin’s voice on all these TV tributes now and I’m taken back to my own childhood and it makes me sad.

Gavin Tachibana, Torrance

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As a Red Sox fan, I’ve always envied Dodger fans. They got to listen to the greatest of all time every day. I’ve never been happier than those few times I heard Vin Scully call a Sox/Dodgers game.

For me, the most memorable Scully call is Game 6, 1986 World Series, probably the most painful sports call of my life. I know it by heart:

“Small roll first. Behind the bag! It goes through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!

Devastating, but because it was Vin, her voice makes it (almost) bearable.

I’ll never forget the next game either, as it ended in another loss, the camera showing the Red Sox dugout, Wade Boggs visibly sobbing, hearing Vin encouraging the Red Sox to hold their heads up high and be proud of what they have accomplished. I will always be grateful for that. Class act to the end. Thanks Vin!

John Morrison, Beaumont, CA.

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I remember walking to the store in South Central LA when I was a kid. My mom needed something urgently so she sent me the block and a half to get it. The Dodgers-Giants were on TV. It was so special because we could only see them 9 times a season in the early 60s. I remember begging my mom not to send me off because I would miss the game.

With that all-knowing half-smile Mom has all over the world, she said to me in no less Spanish, “Don’t worry, you won’t miss a play back and forth, Mr. Scully’s voice will be everywhere.” . She was right, her calls floated through the summer evening like a troubadour’s serenade reaching into your mind and heart.

Alberto Franco, Whittier

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My mom was a big Dodger fan. I can still see her on her transistor radio, Vin Scully’s voice more familiar to us than even my own father’s, since Vin would talk to us all day and night before my father got home from work.

At one point, she got to meet Vin Scully, and of all things remarkable, she asked him to autograph her transistor. Of course, he complied graciously and humbly. Somehow I lost track of this radio and still wish I had it to this day. Vin Scully’s voice will forever ring in my ears and speak of the freedom of summer days.

Kathleen Clary Miller, Fallbrook, CA.

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From Vin I learned the history of the game, oh yes, and the rules and intricacies. But I also learned from him the history of the world, of show and opera arias, of art and literature, of Toulouse-Lautrec and if it was good enough to call with a 2 and 1 is good enough with a 3 and 1 count.

I learned the sacrifices of D-Day, and that when a batter fouls the ball down the line, a strikeout is sure to follow. I learned that Jackie had learned to ice skate by racing, and that Gil Hodges belonged to the HOF, and also that there was a right way and a wrong way to live.

Paul GoodwinCulver City

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While visiting my close friends in Northern California, we attended a Dodgers/Giants game at ATT Stadium (I felt like the only Dodger fan there).

I was sitting just below the Dodgers press box, and just before the game, I got up, turned around, and waved at Vin. He saw me and waved at me. I then blew him a kiss and he immediately returned the favor.

I had never been starstruck before then, and haven’t been since. But it’s a memory I’ll never, ever forget.

LeAnn Wills, Stephenville, TX

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I remember when I was a kid in the ’60s, when our car was at a red light, we could hear Vin Scully’s voice on other cars’ radios in addition to our dashboard. Back then most people didn’t have air conditioning and you drove with the windows down. His voice was everywhere.

Peter Sanders, Claremont

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My mother, a retired English teacher, lost her sight and was often ill later in life, but she maintained an active and intelligent mind. Mom’s dearest pastime was listening to Vin Scully host the Dodger game that night.

“He paints a picture of the game,” she said. “When he describes the action, I can see it!” No doubt Vin got extra points from my mother when he incorporated a reference to a Dylan Thomas poem into his play by play or compared, say, David Wells to Shakespeare’s Falstaff.

For me, the Vin shows and my mother’s affection for them illustrated how a person, simply by his dedication to a craft and his sense of service, could profoundly touch the lives of others.

John Sotos, Leesburg, Virginia.

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1982. Me and two of my buddies from USC, Chris Wildermuth and Terry Marks, drive from campus to Dodger Stadium on surface streets. We arrive at Sunset Boulevard and Chris cuts a car, then exclaims, “Oh my God, I just cut Vin Scully.” Terry and I waved at him to try to demonstrate that we hadn’t thought of it. Scully literally made us the sign of the cross like the pope and absolved us of our sins.

Steven Travers, San Anselmo, CA.

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Many years ago, shortly after the tragic death of Vin’s son, I saw him sitting in a barbershop in Brentwood with one of his grandchildren. I approached him and introduced myself, apologizing for the intrusion. He kindly said hello and I said “When I was a kid I used to fall asleep listening to your shows.” He replied, “Joe, I’ve put a lot of people to sleep with my shows!” We both laughed.

Joe Hilberman, Westwood



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