They have been Vin Scully’s colleagues in the team’s media-related world. As a week-long tribute to Scully begins at Dodger Stadium for his final seven home games, these are some of their stories:
It would not have been all the surprising to some if Derrick Hall, the current president and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks, had emerged as the one who ended up replacing Bud Selig as the MLB Commissioner when the spot opened a couple years back.
Before he received an eight-year contract extension to remain with the franchise, Hall, born in L.A., came up through the Dodgers’ organization, spending 12 seasons with the team, advancing to Senior Vice President of Communications before departing during the McCourt reign in 2004.
With a broadcasting and communications background that led to several on-air TV and radio positions in the L.A. media market, and having no reservations in believing Scully is the greatest broadcaster he has ever heard, Hall has these memories to share:
“My first meeting with Vin was one I will never forget because I grew up idolizing him and now here we were together in the press box. I was amazed at the eye contact, the genuineness and humility. I remember saying, ‘Vin, you are my only employee who could fire me if you wanted to.’ He laughed and said,'”I don’t think we’ll ever have to cross that bridge.’ I also remember calling my parents right after because I was still on cloud nine.
“I remember once he was flying on a red eye to Vero Beach on a Friday to do the Sunday spring training telecast and we had arranged for lunch upon his arrival to Dodgertown. When he got there, we jumped in a car to get to the restaurant and I asked how his drive down from Orlando was. He said, ‘Oh, it was fine, but the driver was a bit careless with one hand hanging over the steering wheel rather than in the 10 and 2 position and it frightened me some.’
“I looked down and realized that was how I was driving and that was his polite way of saying two hands on the wheel. I quickly gripped the steering wheel with both!
“He often invited me to play golf at his club and I cherished the fours of walking, talking and learning. During one of our first rounds, he stood over a short putt of about four feet for quite some time. It would have been a par putt. After missing it, he quietly and slowly said, ‘Oh dirty name.’ I then said, ‘Come on Vin, just say it.’ To which he instantly replied, ‘No, no. Just dirty name.’
“He is the greatest play-by-play announcer of all-time and nobody will ever take that title from him. He is a masterful storyteller and scene setter and has set the bar for all to aspire to. He is a consummate professional and gentleman and he changed the game of baseball. He created magical memories for families and made youngsters fans for life.”