Vin Scully

Resident and Dodger Historian Mark Langill Pays Tribute Legendary Broadcaster was One of a Kind


In the weeks before Vin Scully’s retirement, an octogenarian Dodger fan transplanted from Brooklyn dabbed his misty eyes, lamenting the impending departure of the broadcasting icon. He surveyed an empty Dodger Stadium and the silence was threatening.
“What am I going to do?” he wailed in a desperate tone. When reminded he had survived a near-fatal battle with leukemia two years ago and recent cancer surgery, the man shrugged his shoulders and said, “Yeah, but I can’t do anything about this!”
And so the final act played out to perfection on the rival’s stage in San Francisco on Sunday afternoon at AT&T Park. The center of attention offered one last Shakespearian performance while the masses set aside their territorial mindset for a group hug.
Giants and Dodgers fans posed for photos with one another, holding their hand-made Scully signs. Entering the ballpark, each received an orange-and-black colored “Thank You Vin!” placards. The Giants pulled out all the stops, including Willie Mays visiting the booth and dedicating a plaque commemorating Scully’s final broadcast. Scully always considered Mays, the Hall of Fame outfielder who played in both New York and San Francisco, the greatest ballplayer he had ever seen.
Scully showed up for the party trying to look business as usual, nattily dressed in sport coat and tie. Among his scorebook and pages of research material, he allowed himself one prop – a replica 1936 New York Giants cap. It was 80 years to the day that Scully as an eight-year-old passed a laundry on his way home from elementary school and spotted a hand-written linescore from the 1936 World Series. Because of the lopsided 18-4 victory by the Yankees, Scully felt sorry for the losing team and decided to adopt the New York Giants. The irony of a one-time Giants fan becoming the beloved voice of the Dodgers was celebrated on the scoreboard in video tributes.
The passing innings also meant the final candle was getting smaller. Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow, a Scully fan from his days at San Gabriel High School, asked Scully to join in the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Without the organ music, the collective ballpark voices blended into a serenade to Scully.
Both teams were headed to the playoffs, but Scully would be heading home. After the final out, he closed his scorebook and hugged his floor director and cameraman. He received a kiss from his wife Sandi, illuminated by the flash from team photographer Jon SooHoo’s camera. Fans dividing their attention between the press box and the Giants players celebrating on the field were hit with reality when Scully was no longer visible in the booth. Their beloved baseball Elvis had left the building.
Within an hour, the Dodger Instagram account pictured Scully sitting on a private plane, smiling as he cradled a small dog on his lap. Clearly life will continue, even if he is no longer there to hold our hand.

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