Brent Shyer worked closely with Vin Scully as Dodgers’ Director of Broadcasting, Publications and New Media for 14 seasons. In 1998, Shyer also served as broadcast technical advisor for the movie, “For Love of the Game,” in which Scully starred as himself and called play-by-play during the baseball scenes. He shares these stories:
“Like most Dodger fans growing up in the Los Angeles area, I was truly blessed to have had the opportunity to listen to ‘that voice.’ The one and only voice that belongs to Vin Scully and is instantly recognizable.
“I became interested in baseball because of my Dad’s fondness for the Dodgers and Vin’s voice. My Dad always carried a transistor radio with him to listen to Vin. Even when we attended games at Dodger Stadium, Dad held the radio and listened to Vin, as if what he saw on the field with his eyes didn’t really happen until Vin said it did! Vin was as much a legend then as he is today and I knew from an early age he was very special. Through his unparalleled storytelling and tireless preparation, he taught us about the game, its players (for not just the Dodgers but the opposing team, as well), its history and traditions. But, more importantly, he has taught generations about life.
“Fast forward to 1988 when I had the opportunity to join the front office of the Dodgers as Director of Publications and subsequently added responsibilities as Director of Broadcasting. What a thrill to see and work with Vin on a regular basis and a privilege to interact with him in the press box, on the road, at special events or on the phone. His friendly, kind and gentle manner shined through and always uplifted my day.
“Following a road spring training game in Ft. Lauderdale, Vin invited me to ride back with him in his rental car to Vero Beach. Just the two of us, talking about baseball, hobbies and news of the day. I must have pinched myself to think this great Hall of Fame broadcaster, who I had always looked up to, was now driving me and we were having this enjoyable conversation for a couple of hours.
“On another occasion, after a televised exhibition game and attempting to catch his flight home, Vin wanted to drive from the broadcast booth at Holman Stadium at Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida to the main clubhouse, crossing over a small bridge and down a narrow road to the other side of the complex. Problem was a very nice security guard had been posted to not allow any traffic through. Doing her job, she put out her arms to stop Vin, apparently unaware who he was and the fact that he was driving on the street named for him by the Dodgers: Vin Scully Way! He smiled and reassured her, ‘Oh, it’s OK.’ To me, he saved her from any embarrassment or trouble. That’s Vin.
“He is also the most gracious, honest, humble and learned man I have known. After having dinner one night with him in Chicago, we were walking on the sidewalks on busy Michigan Avenue and people started recognizing him and made comments to him about how good it was to see him. One fan said that he loved Vin and had listened to his broadcasts for decades. Typical of his self-effacing demeanor, his reply was: ‘You ought to get a medal!’
“No, he deserves all the medals, honors and good that comes his way, and then some! We are all so much richer for listening to him, laughing with him, learning from him, following his unprecedented career and having him as a significant part of our lives. He is a good man. Daily he lives his faith and holds strong family values. I will always be grateful to him – a true national treasure – and his beautiful wife, Sandra and cherish memorable times spent together.”
= Previous Scully media memory stories:
= Ross Porter, Charley Steiner and Dick Enberg
= Joe Davis
= Fred Claire
= Derrick Hall
= Josh Rawitch
= Joe Jareck
= Mark Langill
= Toby Zwikel
= Steve Brener
= John Olguin