Thoughts on the way to LA’s Vin Scully Avenue

Vin Scully the play-by-play voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers sings “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” song, which has become the unofficial anthem of baseball, during the seventh inning of the baseball game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

To me, Vin Scully Avenue is any street or boulevard or freeway I’m driving on when Dodger baseball is on the air. Windows rolled down, speakers turned up — that’s my favorite way to listen to Vinnie!

Just like you, I wait all winter to hear Vin say this: “Well hi everybody and a very pleasant good evening to you wherever you may be!” Just like you, I’ve accepted his many genial invitations to “pull up a chair and spend part of Sunday (or whatever day) with us.”

I know that batters facing a Koufax or Kershaw curveball are up against “Public Enemy Number 1” because that’s what Dodger great Roy Campanella told Vinnie — and that’s what Vinnie told us. I know that when an infielder has a runner in a pickle, he should do a “full-arm fake” to freeze that runner in his tracks because that’s what Branch Rickey told Vinnie — and that’s what Vinnie told us. I know that as a college ballplayer at Fordham in the ’40s, Vin Scully “broke more bats than he was worth.” Vinnie himself told us that.

My favorite Scully moment on the air? It’s probably a thousand-way tie for first — but I’ll pick one that echoes back to something he did on the radio back in the Dodgers’ Coliseum days. Maybe you heard about the time Vinnie noticed it was umpire Frank Secory’s birthday. He told the listeners about it, and then figured maybe the fans with transistor radios at the Coliseum that day should wish Secory a happy birthday during the ballgame. He counted to three — and on three, “Happy Birthday Frank!” echoed across the Coliseum. It was social media before there was social media.

Now move ahead about a half-century to 2013 and the night Vin Scully decided it was time for another bit of fan appreciation during a ballgame.

Here’s what happened.

Somewhere in the vast expanse of the Internet that night was my #AJEllis hashtag — and probably yours, too. As Vinnie would say, the moment was “marvelous!”

— Nick Roman, 89.3 KPCC All Things Considered Host

Let us know your favorite Vin Scully moment at

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