Culver City Observer -

The Vin Scully I Got to Know

After 67 Dodger Years He's About To Retire

 

October 6, 2016

By Mitch Chortkoff

Sports Editor

If you've read this column over the years you probably know I traveled with the Lakers for a long time and got to know Chick Hearn very well.

We frequently sat together on plane rides and I had the pleasure of knowing his wife, Marge, too.

I haven't known Vin Scully as well because I didn't travel with the Dodgers but we became friends through a lot of conversations in the Dodger Stadium press box.

The Lakers began flying charter many years ago but they used to fly commercial and one time Hearn and I were talking on a plane ride when someone walked by.

Vin Scully.

"I didn't want to disturb both of you but I wanted to say hello," he said. Then he returned to his seat.

It was so long ago that it represented my introduction to Scully. He recognized me from the Dodger Stadium press box but we hadn't had any private conversations.

From that day on he has always called me by name and sometimes commented on a newspaper article I'd written.

I began noticing something special about him. He had time for everybody.

A lot of famous people are too busy to stop and chat, so absorbed in their work. I've seen radio and TV people who enter the press dining room briefly, then dash right out.

But Scully would stop and talk to a group of journalists in the dining room, knowing everybody's name.

Our relationship progressed to an occasional baseball chat on Sunday mornings before he headed to his broadcast booth.

A great guy and, of course, a great announcer.

I got bold about four years ago when he said he was about to retire. I taped six Dodger games to hear if he was losing a step. I listened closely and realized he was as good as ever.

Then I waited for him before a Dodger game, knowing the path he'd take from the press dining room to his booth. When he came along I asked if he had a moment. He asked what was on my mind.

I told him I'd taped those games and didn't find any major flaws. I said if you think you're slipping and should retire I disagree. Is there another reason?

"I have 15 grandchildren" he grinned and replied.

"Oh, that's different," I said.

Well, it's likely I didn't influence him. But he did decide to work a few more years.

This time he insists the retirement is really happening.

"I'm 89 and Dodger fans don't deserve a 90-year-old broadcaster next season," he said.

A lot of fans would disagree.

SOME OF SCULLY's FAMOUS QUOTES

"Andre Dawson has a bruised knee. He's listed as day to day. Aren't we all?

Tom Glavine pitches like a tailor. He takes off a little here, a little there and soon you're finished. Take a seat.

Good is not good when better is expected.

It's a mere moment in a pitcher's life between an all-star game and an old-timers game.

Losing feels worse than winning feels good

The roar of the crowd is the sweetest music

 

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