The Dodgers lost their voice when Vin Scully died. Los Angeles fans lost a family member

For legions of Dodgers fans, Vin Scully was the voice of their beloved baseball team. But for many Angelenos, the redhead broadcaster was more like a family member. A grandfather, a tío – someone they welcomed into their homes on game day.

As heartbroken fans mourned Scully’s death at age 94, it felt, they said Wednesday, like a passing in the family.

“It almost felt like I lost my father again,” said Desiree Jackson, who took the bus from Skid Row to Dodger Stadium to lay flowers and pray at the makeshift memorial that was built there overnight. “I fell in love with the sport because of my dad, my brother and Vins.”

The 44-year-old wore a World Series hat and long blue dress in honor of the legendary announcer, who died Tuesday at his Hidden Hills home. Jackson grew up listening to Scully on the radio, and his voice, she said, is inseparable from memories of her late father.

The memorial at the stadium entrance brought a flood of offerings and tears. Fans who remembered the announcer described a character who transcended divisions and transported fans to the game – from wherever they were listening.

“Generations of my family, that’s how we became Dodgers fans listening to the show,” said Tiffany Morales, 21, who joined dozens of mourners outside the stadium. “He was like a grandpa to us.”

In addition to prayer candles and bouquets of flowers, fans left bags of Dodgers peanuts, a blue and white striped serape, and a baseball with “It’s time for Dodger Baseball”—Scully’s trademark—written across the stitching.

Eight-year-old Jax Gutierrez Alvarez, sporting Dodger blue, arrived with flowers. One of the little league pitcher’s favorite pastimes is watching Game 1 of the 1988 World Series — won by the Dodgers on Kirk Gibson’s dramatic ninth-inning home run — with his grandparents.

“I love Vin Scully’s voice,” he said. “My favorite part is when he’s like, ‘One high fly ball into right field, she’s gone!'”

A young bird chirps on an LA Dodgers hat at a memorial to announcer Vin Scully in front of Dodger Stadium.

A young bird chirps on an LA Dodgers hat at a memorial to announcer Vin Scully in front of Dodger Stadium.

(Wesley Lapointe/Los Angeles Times)

A tearful Lupe Guillen of Lincoln Heights brought a single white rose, a Dodgers flag and a handful of Mardi Gras beads to complement the memorial.

“I’m heartbroken,” she said. “My uncles used to live in the Chavez Gorge. They were deported, but they would hear him on the radio in Tijuana. He put you right there.”

Alain Gomez, 38, watched with tears in his eyes as he recalled the summers he spent listening to Scully on the radio with his brothers. A lifelong Dodgers fan, a guy who bleeds Dodger Blue, he wore a new Vin Scully t-shirt and sported a sleeve with Dodgers tattoos.

“I grew up with this,” Gomez said. “The stories he told about each player knew he loved the game.”

In East LA, Carlos Ayon parked in front of a mural of Scully that was painted outside the Paradise Bar. In it, a grinning Scully wore a suit with a Lakers jersey over it. Two candles flickered at the base of the wall.

Ayon is a lifelong resident of East LA. Taking the day off from his office job, he planned to snap photos with his Sony a7 II camera at the stadium and here at Lupe’s Burritos, where a “Vin Scully Av” sign hangs.

Suzanna Jimenez holds her daughter while looking at the memorial to Vin Scully

Suzanna Jimenez holds her daughter Isabella Jimenez as she looks at the memorial to Vin Scully in front of Dodger Stadium with Lorenzo Jimenez.

(Wesley Lapointe/Los Angeles Times)

Growing up in LA, he said, meant growing up with the Dodgers and growing up with Scully.

“He basically became a member of the family,” said the 36-year-old, delivering the sounds of life that Ayon found “reassuring.”

Ayon pointed to the mural of Scully and the one next to it, that of the late Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

When Bryant came to the NBA, Ayon was about 10 years old. Thankfully, although many things changed throughout his childhood, some things never changed.

Bryant and Scully “were the constants,” he said. “That’s why it hits people so hard. Both of your deaths.”

Another memorial was created Wednesday at Scully’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Jesús Carcamo, 25, left his lucky Dodgers hat there at the base of a wreath of blue roses, white hydrangeas and palm-sized white orchids placed by the Hollywood Historic Trust.

“I wanted to leave behind one of my favorite hats that I always wore when I went to Dodger Stadium,” he said.

Fred Thomas III, wearing a black Vin Scully T-shirt and a crisp Dodgers hat, had also come to Scully’s star to pay his respects. A lifelong Dodgers fan, he recalled listening to Scully call the game in his grandmother’s living room in the 1950s.

“Everybody had a radio and you wanted to hear Scully,” he said. “He was a storyteller you could trust.”

Thomas said he admired how Scully kept the audience informed of what was happening on the field, even as he was weaving his famous yarns.

“Scully would keep you in the game,” he said.

Behind the counter at the Toro Grillhouse in Glendale, owner RJ Liquigan wore a Justin Turner jersey (he’s the Dodgers’ third baseman, for the uninitiated), a Dodgers cap and a replica World Series ring to show his respects to Scully . As he placed orders, Spectrum SportsNet reminded the station on a nearby TV.

Throughout the day, people had stopped by to take pictures of the 25-foot-tall mural of Scully in Liquigan’s parking lot. Painted in 2018 by LA muralist Alex “Ali” Gonzalez, it features Scully in a suit with a microphone in hand. As of Wednesday afternoon, white and red roses had been left at its base.

For Liquigan, it’s Scully “who most represents the Dodgers.”

“He’s a legend,” he said. “There is no one like him.”

Liquigan became a Dodgers fan in 1988 when they won the World Series. Five years old at the time, he watched the game at the nursing home where his mother worked.

He remembered Gibson’s Game 1 home run and Scully’s memorable words, “In a year so unlikely, the impossible happened.”

“I hope we can win the 2022 Vin World Championship,” Liquigan said. “Win for Vin.”

Richard Choi stands with Vin Scully, left, in a press box at Dodger Stadium.

Richard Choi, second from left, stands with Vin Scully, left, in a Dodger Stadium press box in 1993 to commemorate the Los Angeles Dodgers’ introduction of a Mandarin radio show. Choi had broadcast Dodgers games in Korean for Radio Korea between 1990 and 2021.

(Richard Choi)

Richard Choi also remembered this famous game in 1988.

For years, Choi would come to the stadium three hours before every Dodgers home game looking for Scully.

Choi showed Scully the game’s deployment cards and asked the famous broadcaster how to pronounce “Abreu,” one of the players’ last name. Scully read the players’ names aloud for Choi, a Korean-American broadcaster that served as a commentator on Dodgers games for Radio Korea from 1990 to 2021.

“He’s like a father figure to me,” Choi said Wednesday morning during an interview at Radio Korea’s studio. “He was the first person I looked for at Dodger Stadium.”

To the 74-year-old, Scully was a father figure in more ways than one. Scully taught Choi English and a love of baseball after he arrived in Los Angeles in 1974. Scully led Choi when Radio Korea became the first station to broadcast Major League Baseball games in Korean in 1990.

And through Scully, said Choi of the Koreatown studio, Southern California’s burgeoning Korean-American community began to understand the region’s sport, culture and identity.

“For Korean Americans, he taught the true taste of baseball,” Choi said.

Shortly after Choi started calling Dodgers games, he once asked Scully about the famous call Scully made in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. Why did Scully say “she’s gone” instead of “he’s gone” or “it’s gone” when the ball left the field, Choi asked Scully.

A man would describe the cars and yachts he loves and is proud of as “them,” Choi recalled Scully’s response. Describing the ball as “her,” Scully said, adding passion to this historic moment.

“When I heard that,” Choi said, “I thought he was a genius.”

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-08-03/the-dodgers-lost-their-voice-when-vin-scully-died-angelenos-lost-a-family-member The Dodgers lost their voice when Vin Scully died. Los Angeles fans lost a family member

Alley Einstein

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