I pulled up a chair — a beat-up old beach chair that should have fallen apart years ago.
I planted it in the sand a few yards from the ocean surf and turned up the transistor radio.
Vin Scully opened the final Dodgers-Giants game of the 2016 season, and the last of his 67-year broadcasting career, with the usual pleasantries, and the words washed over us.
More of that final experience at this link …
I took an approach to this final column probably different than some, but it felt very personal. Here are more links to Scully-related stories from this weekend that may have captured the event from different prisms, going into and coming out of his final broadast:
= The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir: “How many men or women his age have ever performed so ably, so publicly, with no safety net? Think of two announcers often thought of as baseball’s greatest before Vincent Edward Scully succeeded them. Red Barber, Scully’s mentor, was 58 when he was fired by the Yankees. Mel Allen was 51 when the Yankees broke his heart by dismissing him. Imagine if they had worked for 30 more years — would they have maintained their abilities as Scully has? Would they have been as fortunate as Ernie Harwell, who retired at 84 but would have been able to work as long as Scully has? Scully’s working alone was a gift to all of us.
= Leading into the weekend, Sandomir also had a piece on Sandi Scully and how she and Vin became a couple … and how every year Vin would defer to her about whether to come back: “Mrs. Scully, however, insists it was her husband’s decision to step away from the microphone. ‘He’s going to be 89 in November,’ she said. ‘His children are in their 40s and 50s. There’s a time to fold ’em. He came to the conclusion that he’s done what he can do.’
= The L.A. Times’ Bill Plaschke: “Has any play-by-play announcer ever consistently relayed so many life stories with such dignity?”
= Video of the Giants’ fans sendoff.
= The San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea: “Vin Scully’s career in baseball ended the way his love for baseball began. As a Giants fan. ‘I can root for them now when they go to New York to play the Mets,’ Scully admitted during his final Dodgers broadcast Sunday. ‘Darn right.’ In a career that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.”
= The Southern California News Group editorial board: “The sports pages have heartwarming stories these days about Vin Scully and what he has meant. Here on the editorial pages, where we assess public figures daily, we salute one of the greatest Angelenos have ever heard.”
= The Southern California News Group chart on how Scully measures up to some of our greatest local broadcasters.
= The L.A. Times editorial board: “In an arena choked with egos, Scully has always exuded an aura of accessibility, ready with a smile for a fan’s camera and an autograph, and imbued with an unaffected sense of humility. And though it was inevitable, it does still seem impossible that Scully will today, in San Francisco, call the final out on his remarkable career. Summers won’t be the same.”
= The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman: “In a world of negativity, a world where people cannot agree whether the sun is hot, they concur in unison: Scully is baseball’s singular greatest voice.”
= USA Today’s Bob Nightengale: “We still want to hear his final words, of his final line, of his final sign-off. There’s no possible way it can replicate the dramatic moment of last weekend. Then again, it’s Scully. We have no choice but to listen, right? Only this time, with tears in our eyes.”
= Fox Sports’ Chris Chase: “Only a 75-year-old can remember a time when Vin Scully wasn’t calling Dodgers games. Someone who debuted this baseball season would have to stay with the team until 2083 to match that. It’ll never happen again – or even be approached. The end of an era? Yes. But Vin Scully wasn’t the voice of a generation, he was the voice of two or three.”
= Beverly Hills mayor John Mirisch: “The French have an expression, ‘Partir, c’est mourir un peu,’ which roughly translates to: ‘To say goodbye is to die a little.’ The day has finally come and I feel as if a little part of me has died.”
= Forbes contributor Carmine Gallo: “Anthropologists say storytelling marked a major milestone in human development because stories inform, illuminate, and inspire. Scully’s stories certainly informed and illuminated. They also inspired. When Scully talked about players who overcame poverty or setbacks, those stories inspired others, especially young fans who could see themselves in those narratives.”
= Doug McIntyre: “In the age of Twitter, do we still have the patience for storytelling? In a culture obsessed with the young, how many of us will hang on every word of a man knocking on 90’s door?”
= Maury Brown in Forbes under the headline “Vin Scully Must Not Die”: “Or rather, the spirit of the great baseball radio broadcasters must always live on. Vin is simply that era’s most visible and beloved champion.”= Howie Rose, the radio voice of the New York Mets, writes a guest column for the New York Post: “The inspiration he has provided me is multilayered and all encompassing. Professionally, he set the bar impossibly high, and though it is hopelessly beyond our reach, how could you not at least strive to get there?”
= Rose’s piece is much like the ones we have been collecting for the last two weeks and posting here. The latest very poignant stories have come from broadcasters raised in L.A. and building on his work as they pursue their careers, such as the Kansas City Royals’ Ryan Lefebvre, the Oakland A’s Ken Korach, the MLB Network’s Matt Vasgersian, and the NBA Portland Trail Blazers’ Brian Wheeler. As well as a piece that the Angels’ long-time and ultimate PR man Tim Mead wrote.
= And, if you need to see it again, Scully’s final signoff.