Sports · August 3, 2022

“It was the Dodgers.” Players, the staff mourn the loss of Vin Scully

Joe Davis reported the news to viewers at the end of the fifth inning from the TV booth visiting Oracle Park where, fittingly, the Dodgers and Giants were playing.

“Well, it is with a heavy heart that we broadcast some really difficult news,” Davis began. “At the age of 94, Vin Scully is dead.”

silence

“Hard. Hard,” Davis said shortly after finishing her SportsNet LA broadcast at the same baseball field that Scully called her last game. “But I think it was mine, like it was my responsibility to follow him and do my best to honor him by sitting in that chair and telling stories and calling Dodger baseball.”

Davis replaced Scully in 2017. Scully has been the hot voice of the team for 67 seasons. She went through the relocation of the franchise from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. His stories were heard on transistor radios in the Colosseum crowd when the team moved west in 1958 and through flat screen televisions when he said goodbye in 2016. He was as popular as any player in any era, a presence. constant summer throughout the region for generations.

Replacing the icon was impossible. Scully’s advice for Davis was the same advice Red Barber gave him in 1950: be yourself.

“I just tried my best to pay tribute to the guy I consider to be the greatest ever,” Davis said. “And I said it on the air tonight and I will say it forever: there will never be another like him. The biggest there has ever been and the biggest there will be.

“So, we just tried our best to convey stories that we think made Vin, Vin and we tried to deal with what was a difficult situation for everyone I know who felt they knew Vin from listening to him for so long and make some people smile on a difficult night. “

On the Dodgers bench, word about Scully’s death began to spread mid-game.

“I knew he was sick,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “But as for the purpose, I was still shocked.”

Justin Turner, the team’s longest-serving role player, found out when he returned to the batting cages after the fifth inning.

“It was the Dodgers,” Turner said. “I think there are a lot of heavy hearts here tonight hearing that news.”

A native of Lakewood, Turner immediately thought back to his first fight with Scully, when third baseman was still playing for the New York Mets early in his career.

“We were in town playing for the Dodgers and he went down to the visiting clubhouse to say hello,” Turner said. “He told me he was a red-haired guy and we redheads have to stick together. I thought it was crazy that Vin Scully walked into the clubhouse to meet and greet me. “

Catcher Austin Barnes remembered listening to Scully’s calls as she grew up in Riverside.

“The way he called the games, he made you feel at home, like he was in your living room,” Barnes said. “Super sad. Obviously we will miss him. It’s a bit like my childhood, growing up, listening to him.”

Clayton Kershaw, who has been around more of Scully’s career than any other current Dodger, has had fond flashbacks of his Tuesday nights.

The pitcher was watching a televised commemoration of Scully in the post-match clubhouse when the highlights of her no-hitter in 2014 appeared on-screen. Scully’s sweet voice recounted that game, just as she had done half a century earlier, when the broadcaster called Sandy Koufax the perfect game.

“All the people he called, no-hitters, perfect games, World Series, all of these things, to me being a little, tiny part of that is very cool,” Kershaw said. “His voice has never changed. “It’s time for the Dodger baseball”, the “Good evenings” will all ring out to me. It was a very special thing to have him around and we will miss him, for sure. “

The news of Scully’s death also resonated in the rest of the sport.

In Anaheim, Angels manager and Fullerton native Phil Nevin recalled his interactions with Scully, from keeping score of games while listening to him as a child, to the first time he heard Scully call her name on a broadcast when she reached the major leagues.

“It looked like, ‘Wow'”, Nevin said, “‘They are in the major leagues.'”

During Scully’s final season in 2016, Nevin served as the Giants’ third baseman. During a game against the Dodgers that year, he went to the press box to take a photo with the retired broadcaster.

“It was one of my favorite baseball moments,” said Nevin.

Perhaps the most memorable highlight of that year: Charlie Culberson’s home run in Scully’s last home game at Dodger Stadium, a win that swept the NL West for the Dodgers and was punctuated by Scully singing “Wind Beneath my Wings “for a sold-out crowd.

“We [were] everyone is celebrating and we turn our attention to Vin and his wife Sandra, “Culberson, who now plays for the Texas Rangers, told reporters after Tuesday’s game.” It was a pretty interesting time … People will talk about Vin forever. “

Online, Scully’s memories also flooded social media on Tuesday.

Jaime Jarrín, longtime Spanish broadcaster of the Dodgers, wrote in Spanish that he “lost the architect of my professional life; a dear friend”.

Magic Johnson, co-owner of the Lakers and Dodgers, said he “had a voice and a way of telling stories that made you think he was only talking to you.”

The rawest emotions were on the Dodgers’ radio and television waves.

Former Dodgers outfielder and longtime radio analyst Rick Monday’s voice cracked as he relayed the news during the radio show.

“For those of us who have been touched by him, have listened to him and learned from him,” he said on Monday, “this is a profound loss.”

During the SNLA post-match show, former Dodger pitcher and current TV analyst Orel Hershiser was holding back tears.

“It’s really hard,” she said, “because it’s a part of your life you don’t want to lose.”

While the Dodgers beat the Giants 9-5 on Tuesday, Davis spent the last few innings weaving stories about Scully. He shared how Scully fell in love with the sport, her rise as the voice of the Dodgers and her impact on other broadcasters. He recalled his first interaction with Scully in 2015, as she ignored two calls from her because she didn’t recognize her phone number. She then she listened to her voice message. It was Scully introducing herself.

“Everyone feels like they know him and so many people grew up listening to him and learned baseball from him,” Davis said. “So, I felt the responsibility to all of those people to, as hard as it may be, to understand that it’s just as hard for them and to try to be, I guess the steady voice like Vin had been to so many people for that long. “

Eventually, after the Dodgers secured the final elimination, they formed their handshake lines on the pitch with sobering graphics on the video card above. It was a picture of Scully in the cabin. 1927-2022.