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Sep 18 16 7:44 PM

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This is a thread I've been wanting to start for a while and considering that I might be the lone member left here at the rate we're going, I want to get this up as soon as I can.

As we all look forward to the end of the regular season, so we can begin the playoffs (hopefully), it also comes at a cost and that's the impending departure of Vin.  It was an inevitabily we all knew would come one day, and when it was announced last year, it was something that was still something we could put off.  Sadly, beginning tomorrow, Vin begins his final homestand.  By Wednesday night, Vin will never call another Giants vs. Dodgers game in Los Angeles.  Making matters worse is that after 10-2-16, that's it, he's done.  No playoffs.

So to cut to the chase: throughout the year, and I'm sure increasingly over the next few weeks, there's been a ton of Vin Scully articles.  You get the usual career recap and all the moments in baseball history that he's been apart of, and all of that is great.  But I've always found those things to be more historical recaps, more trivia knowledge than anything else.  It doesn't necessarily tell me why someone is great.  And it's something that you see a lot with figures who've been around for a while.  That is, they ultimately get revered not so much because they were great, but because they've been around for decades and haven't left.  Larry King, for instance, has been around and has interviewed some notable figures, and I think he's one of the most braindead interviewers ever (no offense to the Larry King Marching Chowder Society... all 3 of you).  Joe Buck has witnessed historical baseball moments and has managed to make them all worse with his arrogant bloviating.  He's still awful.  Conversely, Tim McCarver seems like a nice guy, and I still want to stab my ear drums whenever I hear him on TV.

Because of this, I wanted to start a thread and ask the membership here (also all 3 of you), some of whom have been listening to Vin for a little while, or if you're Kyle, have listened to him for his entire 67 year career: what is it that makes Vin the greatest broadcaster of all-time?  Why does he deserve to be revered in the way he has?  Or put differently: when you have a grandkid (if not already) who isn't as emotionally tied into this stuff as we are, what's your best sales pitch for why he should hold Vin with the reverence that we do?  Now this thread, along with the thread title, isn't meant in a negative way, or in some stand offish type of way; clearly I love Vin.  But with his career now officially coming to a close, I wanted to open this up for all of us to recount, review, (for better or worse) and kind of document his storied 67 year career, and what he's meant to you over the years.  

So go for it.
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#1 [url]

Sep 19 16 9:23 AM

I'm 56 years old and Vin Scully is the only thing that has remained the same since I was a five year old kid listening to him on the radio. It has been that long and the earliest memories of my youth seem to involve the Dodgers, family and a transistor radio. Now, a full continent away and 5 time zones ahead, (I'm working in Argentina), I still go to sleep listening to the voice of the master as he paints the story from Chavez Ravine just as he did when I was a little kid. It takes me back to the top bunk in my bedroom in an LA suburb, as I listen to Vin spin his yarns and keep me riveted on the game.

There are dozens of priceless calls I can recall, and we've heard them all. "2 and 2 to Harvey Kuenn..." "a black man in the deep south..." "In a year of the improbable..." "If you have a sombrero..." "and I forget to mention...the Dodgers are in first place"

I remember as a Boy Scout on a campout, circled around a transistor in the High Sierras, picking up the crackled reception of Vin calling a game won by the Dodgers when Ken McMullen homered with a walk-off shot. Or the '88 World Series, that was such a joy to watch as Vin called the whole thing on NBC. There was the tragic moment when he told us of Don Drysdale's passing. Vin was there for our joys and our sorrows.

There were the stories he told of Stan Musial, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Roberto Clemente and Warren Spahn. The personal insight that he had as a witness to so many historic events. The humility that he always displayed. Then sappiness of him commenting over cute kids in the stands, yes, that didn't bother me. He had an understanding of broadcasting that allowed him to make the game and crowd, (not him), the story. He would let the crowd speak for him and utilized pauses and his silence to enhance his broadcasts with the sounds of the game and most importantly the crowd..

Vin's departure means that my childhood will finally end. He prolonged it to age 56, and that makes me sad. I try not to think about the fact that this will be Vin's last homestand, and eventually in two weeks he will call his final game. In the back of my mind I hope that he can return for a homestand each year...but the truth is, I know this is it.

I'm grateful that he has broadcast to four generations in my family. I know that my son was able to enjoy Vin's work and one day will tell his children about him. I didn't have to do that, Vin was around for him to witness it. I'm grateful that Vin was our Dodger announcer and didn't belong to another team. That we will always have bragging rights over who the greatest announcer of all time was. Hands down, there is no argument there and even the most biased Red Sox, Yankee or Giant fan has to admit that.

He deserves his retirement. We have been spoiled, some of us for 67 years. Hopefully Vin lives several more fruitful years as he heads into the twilight of his amazing life. He sure has impacted mine, and it has been ALL positive.

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#2 [url]

Sep 19 16 5:50 PM

Nice idea for a thread, Matthew.

There are countless reasons to revere Vin but to me what has really made him stand out from all announcers in all sports is his truly unique approach to his craft. Despite his own stardom, which outshines almost all the players he has described for so many decades, Vin has NEVER made it about himself. He managed to give the listener the impression that rather than announcing the game to you, he is a friend of yours having a personal conversation about the game with you, replete with 67 years of anecdotes to draw upon. His style is so unique that nobody else even tries it. It takes teams of three guys a third of his age to fill out any other telecast yet he is still able to do it by himself and never run out of things to say.

I have enough Vin Scully memories to last me the rest of my life but the one that stands out to me more than any other was the night I heard him struggle to announce that Don Drysdale was found dead in his hotel in Montreal during a game. The way Vin handled that made me feel exactly as I have when hearing of the passing of a close relative. It was not maudlin, but still transmitted the enormity of the grief of the situation in a way I'll never forget. It absolutely blew me away and I'll certainly never forget it.

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#3 [url]

Sep 19 16 5:59 PM

It's hard for me also to realize it is the end of an era. I have been listening to Vin since the late 60's. Growing up a Dodger fan in a Gi'aint household way up in Northern California, I had to wait until late in the evening for reception. Heard many a great game. Like you all said, part of my youth. I guess now I am really 55 years old!

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#5 [url]

Sep 20 16 9:48 AM

There are no words for me what it will be like not having Vin calling the Dodger games. He has been there the whole 35 years I have been a fan. I don't have anything new that hasn't already been said.

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#6 [url]

Sep 20 16 1:29 PM

He's just the Dodgers to me. Players come and go, other announcers have as well, but he's always been there. I honestly don't know how much I'll miss him, but I know I will.

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