Ryan Lefebvre, son of former Dodgers second baseman Jim Lefebvre, grandson of the late legendary high school baseball coach Benny Lefebvre at St. Bernard High, has been the play-by-play man for the Kansas City Royals for 18 seasons, working with Rex Hudler on the Fox Sports Kansas City broadcasts, as well as on the Royals’ radio network. He graduated from Loyola High of L.A. in 1989 and started a broadcasting career that took him to the University of Minnesota as well as the Minnesota Twins.
When he begins his broadcast on Sunday as the defending World Series champion Royals finish their season at home against Cleveland, he said his plan is to say: “Hi, everybody and a very pleasant Sunday afternoon to you, wherever you may be.”
“I just hope I don’t cry,” he added.
In the current issue of the Catholic Digest, Lefebvre recounts a meeting he had with Scully that he expands upon here.:
“How many people get to meet their hero?
“Los Angeles is my hometown, and my father, Jim Lefebvre, played and coached for the Dodgers. So, as a kid, I would see Vin from time-to-time at the ballpark, around town, and of course I would hear him every day during the baseball season. But back then, I wanted to be a baseball player. So at first, Vin was the man describing what my heroes were doing.
“When I eventually wanted to become a baseball broadcaster, Vin became my hero and modeled what I hoped to do someday. The more I listen to him with a so-called professional ear, the more I was amazed at how artfully he described the game. It didn’t take me very long to realize I would never come close to being as talented or revered as he is and yet, he showed me how I could match him one area.
“In 2003 I finally had the opportunity to broadcast a game at Dodgers Stadium, opposite Vin. I had been looking forward to seeing him ever since the schedule was released. I probably hadn’t seen him for 20 years in-person. When I arrived at the stadium, I was nervous about entering his booth and re-introducing myself. In those 20 years, he had gone from a voice of my childhood to a larger-than-life, almost mythical figure. I’ll never forget when I walked into his booth and he looked at me, I was fully prepared to say, ‘Hi Vin, I’m Ryan Lefebvre, Jim’s son. I’m a broadcaster for the Royals.’ I figured he would remember my name because it’s so unique and he knew my father well, and maybe even remember the little kid who used to run around Dodger Stadium. But I certainly didn’t expect him to know what I was doing or recognize me.
“Before I could get a single word out of my mouth and before I could extend my right hand to shake his, he said, ‘Well, Ryan, after all these years, look at you.’ I was absolutely blown away. I sat with him for about 30 minutes as we were colleagues for that brief moment in time: him sharing information about the Dodgers and me sharing information about the Royals.
“It was a life-changing event. Here’s why: Even though I would never be as talented or revered as he is, I realized I could be as kind as he was to me that day. He didn’t ruin or downplay that very important exchange with me. He treated me as if he was as excited to see me as I was excited to see him.
“I’ve tried to model that ever since that day in June, 2003. When baseball broadcasters come together and discuss Vin, we all seem to have the same experience. First, we all have a favorite Vin Scully call. Mine is: ‘In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.’” How in the world did he come up with that?
“Second, if fortunate enough, we all have a story about meeting him which eventually leads to how kind and humble he is. I’ve always been impressed with his humility toward some of his greatest calls at some of sports’ greatest moments. He claims that he just happened to be there. But we all know better than that.
“When God began to plan one of the greatest moments in sports history, the first thing He did was check Vin’s schedule.”
= Previous Scully media memory stories:
= Ross Porter, Charley Steiner and Dick Enberg
= Joe Davis and a second entry later.
= Fred Claire
= Derrick Hall
= Josh Rawitch
= Joe Jareck
= Mark Langill
= Toby Zwikel
= Steve Brener
= John Olguin
= Brent Shyer
= Jon Weisman
= David Vassegh
= Jon SooHoo
= Matt Vasgersian
= Ken Korash
= Tim Mead