Vin Scully: 2016 Southern California News Group’s Sports Person of the Year is an easy call

small-scully-siIn 2005, Daily News sports columnist Kevin Modesti decided it was about time to recognize a newsmaker in Southern California sports in the same way that Time magazine acknowledged its Person of the Year.
It didn’t have to be someone who was famous. Or an individual. Or even human. Time has given out its award to those who have had extraordinary impact positive or negative
As the award has evolved from just being one named by the Daily News, or the Los Angeles News Group and now the Southern California News Group, it has included athletes like UFC fighter Ronda Rousey (2015), coaches like the Clippers’ Doc Rivers (2014), an ownership team like the Dodgers with Mark Walter, Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson (2012), an executive like AEG’s Tim Leiweke (2011) and Thousand Oaks teenaged sailors Zac and Abby Sunderland (2009).
Reggie Bush has been recognized twice — with celebrated USC teammate Matt Leinart (2005), and then five years later, when his name was the flashpoint of an NCAA investigation that led to his Heisman taken away and the Trojans’ program going on probation (2010).
plaqueAnd then we come to those members still of the Vin Scully Marching and Chowder Society.
Although the Baseball Hall of Fame has an annual broadcaster and writing award for lifetime achievement, there’s the suggestion that Major League Baseball could also recognize someone each year for their craft of storytelling.
As Tim Williams of continued to flesh out his idea, he landed on calling it the W.P. Kinsella Award, after the author of novel “Shoeless Joe,” which was turned into the movie “Field of Dreams.” Kinsella died last September. This could honor him.
As Williams then narrowed down the field of nominees, it became quite evident that Vin Scully was best tailored for it.
“The last week of Vin Scully’s broadcasting career might have been the best work he has ever done, refusing to overshadow the games even when the games stopped to honor him, even when the Dodgers made him the man of the hour during their final home stand,” Williams wrote. “He delivered his goodbye eloquently, and joyfully, as he always conducted himself. We learned a lot about the man in that last week.”
Dodgers infielder Micah Johnson, an accomplished artists, posted two stunning original designs as a tribute to Scully and his “It’s Time for Dodgers Baseball” phrase.
Earlier this year, Jonah Gardner did a post for that outlined a fascinating journey of Scully’s career through the sabermetrics of games that he called.
Craig Calcaterra just posted a really piece on’s HardballTalk as to why Scully’s retirement was the No. 3 story in baseball this year.
Our attempt to explain why Scully was our choice for the Southern California News Group Sports Person of the Year at this link.

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