The Day Vin Scully Spoke To Me…
Up until this point I thought my career had brought me everything I had ever wanted.
I got to interview two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, announced Clint Barmes’ retirement, attend more games than I could count and befriend people in the industry that I used to look up to.
Today was different. It was a typical Monday where I decided instead of working from home I would go to a local Starbucks and try to get as much work done as possible. (I tend to get distracted by binge watching of ‘The Good Wife’ trying to pretend I didn’t know Josh Charles is a huge Orioles’ fan).
After splurging for a venti, I plugged my headphones in and called into the BBWAA conference call that was supposed to be given. I had done these calls before. Bryce Harper was once on the other end thanking everyone for his National League Rookie of the Year Award and Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. once answered questions on the steroid era eloquently. While those certainly played a role in my life, I got to hear the best voice in baseball greet us.
It was Vin Scully.
The Dodgers broadcaster had spent 67 years as the voice of the SoCal team and throughout the process made us fall in love with the game. For those of us lucky enough our parents and grandparents told us the stories of Vin that reminded us of barbeques in the backyard with our families and make us love the smell of the leather on a baseball mitt.
This would be the last season we would hear Scully from the booth that was appropriately named after him.
I’m tearing up as a write this, which was exactly the emotions I felt when his voice entered the conference call. Pull it together, Jess.
“He sounds just as amazing over the phone as he does in broadcasts…” I thought to myself. I told Twitter I was shaking and it wasn’t any type of fabrication. It was difficult to make sure the 140 characters or less weren’t grammatically incorrect since my tear-filled eyes made the screen blurry.
I wish I could sit here and describe to you what it’s like to hear Vin Scully speak. He would tell you a story. The time he was 8-years-old when he fell in love with baseball. Exactly 80 years to the minute to the last day he would call a baseball game. October 2nd, 1936. His last game will be the same day in 2016 when he calls the Dodgers/Giants game in San Francisco. After the stories he would humbly thank each reporter for the compliment he received and addressed each person by name.
When he was young, Vin would lay under his family’s transistor radio, eating crackers and listening to the college football game that would be airing. “I loved the roar of the crowd,” he explains. “God has been SO good to me to allow me to do what I’m doing for 67 years to enjoy every minute of it.”
One-by-one reporters asked him questions. About his legacy, about his emotions, about his life. He said he would much rather be remembered as a good man than a good broadcaster. I think we can all agree he will be remembered as both.
Bill Shea from the San Francisco Chronicle asked him questions, Paul from CNN told Vin he was the reason he got into broadcasting and “he was an inspiration.” One-by-one the reporters tried to put into words their thank you’s and congratulations. I was in awe of each and every one of them.
I knew I titled this The Day Vin Scully Spoke to Me but I never had my chance to ask him anything over the call. It wasn’t because I was nervous (ha — — just kidding yes I was), but I knew there were dozens of people ahead of me wanting to get a chance to talk to Vin. He still spoke to me. I felt as if my uncle was telling me stories of his days in baseball and reminding me why I am so romantic about the sport.
I hope everyone in their life has an experience in their career and is reminded why they do what they do.
Vin didn’t say a word to me. He didn’t have to. His words to everyone else spoke to me.
Will I ever meet Vin Scully in person? In real life? Maybe. I hope so. My career has been a roller coaster and has done so many amazing things in my life that I used to dream of as a little girl, so why can’t that happen? Even if I don’t, this moment I will cherish forever.
“Thank you all,” -Vin Scully ended the call.
As the operator thanked everyone for joining and prompted us to hang up, I looked around hoping anyone was there to see the emotion I was going through. I didn’t hug the barista or anything, but for the first time in a while I wished someone was there with me to experience the feelings I felt.
Scully would probably roll his eyes and humbly thank me for all of the compliments I have given him in this story which makes me love him even more.
October 2, 2016 will be the day America’s Favorite Pastime will lose one of its best. I hope we all hand down the story of Vin Scully. If you need any assistance, I will be happy to help tell the story, although I can’t promise I will do it justice.
Thank you, Vin. For everything.