Vin Scully memories from the media: Toby Zwikel

Toby Zwikel, center, before a Dodgers game in 2014. (Photo: Riverside Press Enterprise)

Toby Zwikel, center, before a Dodgers game in 2013. (Photo: Riverside Press Enterprise)

They have been Vin Scully’s colleagues in the Dodgers’ media-related front office.  As a week-long tribute to Scully at Dodger Stadium for his final seven home games comes to a close, these are some of their stories:

zwikel-tobyToby Zwikel, who spent seven years in the Dodgers’ organization as an assistant publicity director and head of publications, was a sportswriter and columnist for the L.A. Daily News at one point. Now a partner with Steve Brener at BZA public relations as they continue to work directly with the Dodgers, Zwikel shares these Scully memories:

“Having grown up in Chicago and gone to college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, I got to hear broadcasters such as Jack Brickhouse, Milo Hamilton and Harry Caray, among others. When I first moved to Los Angeles in 1973, it was refreshing and illuminating to hear Vin.

“Covering the team as a writer in the late 1970s for the then Valley News was even more special on the occasions when our paths would cross. Then I had the privilege to work with Vin from 1981-88 in my first PR tour with the Dodgers. It provided still another opportunity to gain an up close and personal perspective of the man.

“No question, from every angle, he is incomparable. Regardless of the station of the person with whom he comes in contact, he always made you feel like you’d known him forever; like you had his undivided attention, even though he had to have a million things on his plate.

“Perhaps my funniest recollection of my time with Vin was when we were on a team bus navigating traffic to the Pittsburgh airport. He said the one thing you could count on in Pittsburgh was that it would rain at least once during your time there. To this day, whenever someone mentions Pittsburgh to me, I always recall that story.

“Another favorite memory: Vin would occasionally call the PR office with a question or seeking assistance. The phone would ring and I would answer and Vin would say, ‘Hi Toby, it’s Vin Scully.’ As if I wouldn’t recognize that melodious voice!

“There would be times when we would receive media requests to interview Vin. Knowing Vin arrives several hours before the game to begin his preparation, we would try to go to the press box to see him before he got too involved. When you entered the booth, regardless of what he was doing, Vin would turn to greet you and ask how he could help.

“And it’s certainly fitting the press box at Dodger Stadium be named for Vin. When he would walk from the broadcast booth to the press dining room during the game, it was like royalty in your midst, only this was royalty with the touch of the common man.”

= Previous Scully media memory stories:
= Ross Porter, Charley Steiner and Dick Enberg
= Joe Davis
= Fred Claire
= Derrick Hall
= Josh Rawitch
= Joe Jareck
= Mark Langill

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