Members of the media had the special opportunity to ask questions of the legendary broadcaster Vin Scully on Friday at Camelback Ranch before working in the booth for his only, and final, spring training game.
Scully spent about 30 minutes reflecting on his childhood and his Hall of Fame career including some of the most memorable Dodger moments he called. He spoke of Kirk Gibson’s miraculous home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series and Hank Aaron’s historic 715th home run against the Dodgers in 1974.
Scully reflected on his childhood when he decided that he wanted to be a sports broadcaster, a rare career aspiration for a eight-year old boy from New York who enjoyed listening to college football games.
“The crowd noise would wash over me like water over a shower,” he said. “I used to get ecstatic over that roar.”
He will miss the sounds of the crowd the most, and we certainly will miss him too. Perhaps that is why we feel as though we are sitting next to Scully watching the game together when we listen to him on the radio or watch him on television.
Although Scully says he’d “like to see the fans get the chance to see every game,” he also admits to not knowing much about the impasse over broadcast rights to Dodger games, and he feels it is “embarrassing” for him to be entangled in the negotiations. He did say that the price Time Warner has offered DirecTV seems fair.
Scully will open the season with the Dodgers on April 4 in San Diego, and he will work on all 81 home games at Dodger Stadium. He will also be in Anaheim for the two-game series versus the Angels in May and for the final series of the season in San Francisco.
Scully is fervently against working the All-Star game if asked, but is more open to possibly working the postseason should the Dodgers clinch a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive season.
Even though Scully is one of the most beloved personalities not only in Los Angeles, but globally, he is perhaps one of the most humble. He insisted that the game itself is what should be paid homage to, and he shouldn’t be the story this season.
“The thing that bothers me, really and truly, is making it sound like because it’s my last year I’m more important than the game,” Scully said Friday afternoon before making his lone broadcast of a Cactus League game this spring. “That scares me to death. That’s the last thought. I just want to do the game. I just want to have fun and eventually they’ll say, ‘OK, Scully, that’s enough. See ya.’”
As Scully embarks on his 67th season with the Dodgers, the fans will surely provide that roar which originally inspired an 8-year-old boy to become the greatest broadcaster of all time.