Dodgers remember Vin Scully with a perfect Blue Heaven homage

It was deafening. It was discordant. It was perfect.

Los Angeles said goodbye with Vin Scully’s signature greeting.

With the five words that formed Vin Scully’s signature, Los Angeles carved his memory into the sky of Dodger Stadium.

“So now, 50,000 Dodgers fans, get up,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts admonished early Friday night from the middle of the infield. “If you count to three, yell as loud as you can so Mr. Vin can hear us from Blue Heaven!”

One two three.

And then, from the depths of her sorrow, it erupted at the top of her lungs, a jubilation straight from the heart of the most powerful connection in this city’s history.

“It’s Dodger Baseball Time!!!”

Sounded pretty crazy. Sounded wonderful.

All in all, it was an appropriately poetic end to a poignant tribute to Scully, the longtime spokeswoman for the Dodgers, who died Tuesday at the age of 94.

Dodger manager Dave Roberts tips his cap in appreciation to Dodgers announcer Vin Scully.

Dodger manager Dave Roberts tips his cap in recognition to Dodgers announcer Vin Scully after he delivered a speech during a pregame ceremony on Friday.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

This was the Dodgers’ first opportunity to honor Scully in front of his beloved fans since his death. Considering he was unflappably private and beyond humble, this was probably his only public memorial service.

If so, the Dodgers got it right, mixing a moment of silence with emotional video wrapped around a banner that was unveiled and interrupted by that convincing final cheer.

It was all so sweet, even the ever-respectful Scully might have liked it. Or maybe he would have just grinned and endured it. At least he had it.

“Vin, looking down on us right now, hated being in the spotlight,” Roberts said in his pre-game address to the crowd. “Well, that’s going to be very uncomfortable for him. Because he really deserves this moment right now.”

A photo of Vin Scully will be shown on the big screen at Dodger Stadium during Friday's pre-game ceremony.

A photo of Vin Scully will be shown on the big screen at Dodger Stadium during Friday’s pre-game ceremony. Scully, the voice of the Dodgers for 67 years, died August 2 at the age of 94.

(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

The celebration of life began long before the game and covered virtually every corner of 1000 Vin Scully Ave.

Outside, the Dodger Stadium welcome sign was covered in flowers, balloons, hats and t-shirts, all bundled under a homemade framed sign.

“God is acquiring Vin Scully from the Los Angeles Dodgers.”

Inside, fans wandered the halls paying homage to various photos and memorabilia of Vin Scully, including two dozen snakes to pose for a photo in front of the Vin Scully press box sign.

Dodgers fans watch a video honoring the life of Vin Scully ahead of Friday's game at Dodger Stadium.

Dodgers fans watch a video honoring the life of Vin Scully ahead of Friday’s game at Dodger Stadium.

(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

Albert Gonzalez, a 52-year-old from San Pedro, patiently stood in line, his voice heavy with memories.

“I grew up listening to Vin Scully since I was 5, listening to him with my dad,” Gonzalez said. “Losing him is like losing a voice, it’s like losing a best friend, he’s always been in your living room, always in your car, he’s been everywhere.”

That night Scully was everywhere again.

Flowers adorned the entrance to the press box. Flowers hung on the left field line next to his discarded microphone, which rests on the facade next to Jaime Jarrín’s discarded microphone and the discarded numbers of 11 other Dodgers.

After the second inning, the video board played a recording of Scully singing “Wind Beneath My Wings” to fans after his last home game. During the kissing cam in the fifth inning, there was a lovely video of Scully making out with wife Sandi, who died in 2021.

Dodgers starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin tips his cap into the press box in honor of Vin Scully.

Dodgers starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin tips his cap into the press box in honor of Vin Scully before his start against the Padres.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner wears a cap paying tribute to legendary broadcaster Vin Scully.

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner wears a cap paying tribute to legendary broadcaster Vin Scully during Friday’s pregame ceremony.

(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

At other times during the night, the wistful faces of fans appeared on the video board as they shared their favorite Vin Scully stories or answered trivia questions where Scully was the obvious answer.

It was as if Dodger Stadium had turned into a giant funeral home, populated by mourners in shirts and hot dogs.

A popular jersey was, of course, an inscription “Scully 67”.

“He’s the connection, the stuff, from the fans to the organization,” Roberts said of Scully before the game. “You look at 60 years of Dodger baseball, players change, teams are different, but he was the one constant. Every night when you turned on the game, hearing his voice was the constant.”

Dodgers fan Angie Varella holds a replica microphone during Friday's pregame tribute to Vin Scully.

Dodgers fan Angie Varella holds a replica microphone during Friday’s pregame tribute to Vin Scully.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Angie Varella holds a replica microphone during Friday's Vin Scully tribute.

Angie Varella holds a replica microphone during Friday’s Vin Scully tribute.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Roberts added: “He was the channel for a lot of people to tell stories, draw pictures, have a ball game. He was the common thread, so to speak.”

At one point during the pre-game ceremony, Scully was literally a red thread.

You may recall that during his last home game in 2016, Scully hung a banner in front of his booth that read, “I’ll miss you!”

On Friday, the Dodgers finally had a chance to get the answer right with a new banner unveiled by announcers Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser in the exact place of the old one.

“Vin – we will miss you! (signed) Dodger Fans,” it said.

“He understood that the game was about the players and the fans in the stands, he kind of didn’t want to be the star of the show,” Roberts said. “The cast of characters is always changing, but it’s about the game.”

Broadcasters Orel Hershiser (left) and Joe Davis unveil a banner honoring Vin Scully.

Broadcasters Orel Hershiser (left) and Joe Davis unveil a banner honoring Vin Scully.

(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

But Friday night, for once, was about Scully, whose place in Dodgers history was engraved by Roberts and echoed by thousands.

“He was one of the greatest, if not the greatest Dodgers of all time,” Roberts said.

Interestingly, the video board featured the two Dodger Stadium statues of Jackie Robinson and Sandy Koufax on various occasions throughout the night.

Does that mean a Scully statue could be next? It should be next. In terms of sheer impact on the franchise and community, Scully is arguably the greatest Los Angeles Dodger of all time.

Hell, the Dodgers even managed to save money for his inscription.

You can do it in five words.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2022-08-05/vin-scully-tribute-ceremony-dodger-stadium-fans Dodgers remember Vin Scully with a perfect Blue Heaven homage

Emma Bowman

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