‘He was the Dodgers.’ Players, staff mourn loss of Vin Scully

Joe Davis reported to viewers at the end of the fifth inning from the guest booth at Oracle Park, where appropriately the Dodgers and Giants were playing.

“Well, it’s with a heavy heart that we’re sharing some really tough news,” Davis began. “Vin Scully passed away at the age of 94.”

Be silent.

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

Davis replaced Scully in 2017. Scully was the warm voice of the team for 67 seasons. He spanned the franchise’s move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. His stories were heard on transistor radios in the Coliseum crowd when the team moved west in 1958 and on flat screen TVs when he said goodbye in 2016. He was as popular as any other player of any era, a consistent summer presence across the region for generations.

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

“I was just trying to do my best to pay tribute to the guy who I think is the greatest of all time,” Davis said. “And I said on the air tonight and will say it forever: there will never be another like him. The greatest thing that ever was and the greatest thing that ever will be.

“So we were just trying to do our best to tell stories that we think made Vin, Vin and just try to take a difficult situation for everyone I know who’s feeling.” had to know Vin because they listened to him for so long and make some people smile on a rough night.”

In the middle of the game, news of Scully’s death broke in the Dodgers’ dugout.

“I knew he was sick,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “But as far as finality goes, I was still shocked.”

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

“He was the Dodgers,” Turner said. “I think many heavy hearts in here tonight hearing this news.”

The Lakewood native turned back to his first encounter with Scully when the third baseman was playing for the New York Mets early in his career.

“We were in town playing the Dodgers and he came over to the visiting clubhouse to say hello,” Turner said. “He told me he was a redhead guy and we redheads had to stick together. I thought it was crazy that Vin Scully came to the clubhouse to find me and say hello.”

Catcher Austin Barnes recalled listening to Scully Call Games growing up in Riverside.

“The way he called games made it feel like home, like he was in your living room,” Barnes said. “Super sad. Obviously he will be missed. He’s like my childhood, how I grew up listening to him.”

Clayton Kershaw, who has witnessed more of Scully’s career than any other current Dodger, had loving recollections of his own past on Tuesday night.

The pitcher was watching a television memorial to Scully in the clubhouse after the game as highlights of his 2014 no-hitter flashed across the screen. Scully’s soft voice narrated this game, just as it had half a century earlier when the broadcaster called Sandy Koufax’s perfect game.

“All the people that he called, no-hitters, perfect games, World Series, all those things, for me, to be a very tiny, tiny part of it is very cool,” Kershaw said. “His voice has never changed. “It’s Dodger Baseball Time,” the “Good Night,” it’ll all resonate with me. It was very special to have him with us and we will definitely miss him.”

News of Scully’s death resonated throughout the rest of the sport.

In Anaheim, Angels executive and Fullerton native Phil Nevin recalled his interactions with Scully, from recording games while listening to him as a child to the time he first heard Scully on a show called names as he reached the major leagues.

“It felt like, ‘Wow,'” Nevin said, “‘I’m in the big leagues.'”

During Scully’s final games of the season in 2016, Nevin was the Giants’ third base coach. During a game against the Dodgers that year, he went to the press box to take a picture with the outgoing network.

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

Perhaps this year’s most memorable highlight: Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run in Scully’s final home game at Dodger Stadium, a win that secured the NL West for the Dodgers and was interrupted by Scully’s chanting “Wind Beneath my Wings” to a sell-out crowd.

“We [were] everyone’s celebrating and we’re all just keeping our attention on Vin and his wife Sandra,” Culberson, who now plays for the Texas Rangers, told reporters after Tuesday’s game. “It was a pretty cool moment … People will be talking about Vin forever.”

Online, memories of Scully also flooded social media on Tuesday.

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

Great Lakers and Dodgers part owner Magic Johnson said, “He had a voice and a storytelling style that made you think he was just talking to one.”

The rawest emotions were heard on Dodgers television and radio.

Former Dodgers outfielder and longtime radio analyst Rick Monday cracked his voice as he broke the news during the radio show.

“For those of us who were touched by him, listened to him and learned from him,” Montag said, “this is a profound loss.”

During SNLA’s postgame show, former Dodger pitcher and current television analyst Orel Hershiser held back tears.

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

When the Dodgers defeated 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, how he rose to become the voice of the Dodgers and how it impacted other networks. He recalled his first interaction with Scully in 2015, ignoring two calls from him because he didn’t know the phone number. Then he checked the voicemail. It was Scully who introduced herself.

“Everyone feels like they know him and so many people grew up with him and learned baseball from him,” Davis said. “So I felt a responsibility to all of these people, as hard as it might be, to understand that it’s just as hard for them, and try to kind of be the calm voice that Vin has been to so many people for so long.” .”

In the end, after the Dodgers secured the Finals, they formed their handshake lines on the field with a sobering graphic on the video board above. It was a photo of Scully in the cabin. 1927-2022.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2022-08-03/dodgers-players-react-to-vin-scully-death ‘He was the Dodgers.’ Players, staff mourn loss of Vin Scully

Emma Bowman

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