They have been Vin Scully’s colleagues in the media-related world. As Scully heads into his final broadcast at San Francisco on Sunday, here are some more of their stories:
Tim Mead, the Angels’ VP of Communications going on 20 years, has been with the organization for 37 seasons, four of them as the assistant general manager under Bill Bavasi in the late ’90s.
He shares these thoughts on Scully:
“My admiration and respect for Vin Scully actually began in 1969. My family relocated to Southern California from Arlington, Virginia where we settled in Highland, near San Bernardino. I had just turned 11 and our entertainment during those initial days in August – we waited about two weeks for our furniture to arrive – was listening to Dick Enberg call Angels’ games and Vin Scully doing Dodgers’ games on our transistor radio. That radio was our introduction to Major League Baseball out West after having grown up with the old Washington Senators.
“I ended up going to many Dodgers games with my family and we’d always have that radio in the stands with us. You learned to appreciate Dodgers baseball and some of the history of the game through the words and verbal illustrating of Vin Scully.
“I lost my dad when he was 54, but vividly recall him using Vin as an example of how a person should conduct themselves. I was just a teenager, but my dad used the reasons for his reputation to teach me some valuable lessons for the future.
“When I first started with the Angels full-time in 1981 fulltime, I would see Vin during the Angels-Dodgers Freeway Series, and it was almost like self-applied intimidation! Here is a man and figure that seemed larger than life to me growing up. Now I was actually in the same room or on the field with him periodically. As the years progressed, I was finally able to engage in a variety of conversations. And during each and every one of those discussions, I would come away with some gem of wisdom that wasn’t just about baseball, but about life. There is a unique feeling one has when in the presence of someone you so greatly admire and respect.
“When the Dodgers came to Anaheim last May, we were able to honor Vin in a special group session with Mike Scioscia, Mickey Hatcher, Mike Trout, Jered Weaver, Alfredo Griffin, Ron Roenicke … As he talked, I was reminded of all about the wonderful things I grew up thinking about him. And now here I was, standing in a room with successful world class athletes who were as captivated by his words as I was. What a rare and truly special moment to hear an American icon and one of the finest storytellers ever associated with our great game. John Carpino, our club president, had some special items associated with Vin’s life to present to him. He took the time to look at each gift, tell a story and provide perspective for all participants. Everyone so entertained. The only negative was the clock. We had about 35 minutes with him during a session no one wanted to end. During the game later that evening, we placed a message on the scoreboard with our thanks and appreciation to honor not only a successful career, but an even more successful life. The standing ovation was one of those memorable emotional moments for all.
“The meeting was also a special moment on a personal level. Jon SooHoo (the Dodgers official photographer) took a group photo of everyone involved in the session with Vin. I sent one along to my Mom. She sent a return note stating: ‘How special is that? Never in my wildest dreams did I think you’d ever be in a position to meet Vin Scully. All those years when you would lay on the living room floor, watch games from the kitchen table, or have your transistor radio in bed listening to the Dodgers when you were supposed to be asleep. I hope you always cherish the experience!’ Indirectly, that gathering in May meant as much to my mom as it did me!
“In recent years when Vin would come to Anaheim with the Dodgers, we’d have our Stadium Operations department meet his car, escort him to the broadcast booth and generally assist wherever possible. He would always make a follow-up call to thank the organization. And never did he have someone make that call on his behalf. What might have been a simple act of effort to him, meant absolutely everything on the receiving end of those phone calls. Following the day we honored him this past May, I happened to be in the stands talking to a local group when my phone rang. It was Vin. I asked the group to excuse me for a minute or two. That ‘brief’ conversation turned into 15 minutes. My only regret to this day is that I picked up the phone instead of having this great voice message saved forever! Vin wanted to thank our organization and staff for the recognition. Then the conversation covered the spectrum of organizational personnel from our parking lot attendants to ushers and others he had interaction with. It was a conversation of compliments and appreciation. He also shared how nice it was to watch the organization’s success under Mike Scioscia among other things. I really thought here’s a man with so many things going on, yet he took the time to call a few individuals to express his heartfelt thanks and appreciation.
“I’m fortunate to have spent many years in this wonderful game and cross paths with tremendous athletes, executives, field personnel and prominent individuals in other vocations. Those I really admire are the individuals who exceed success in their chosen field by rising to another level with what they contribute to the community and ultimately to society. Vin Scully is an icon, an American treasure. He has painted verbal masterpieces day after day throughout his storied career. He has nurtured along generations of not only Dodgers fans, but baseball fans. Along the journey he has also taught us that humility, compassion, and general kindness and respect for others are perhaps some of the most significant foundations of a legacy.
“I wish he and his family nothing but the very best life continues to offer!”
= 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