They have been Vin Scully’s colleagues in the team’s media-related world. As a week-long tribute to Scully begins at Dodger Stadium for his final seven home games, these are some of their stories:
Long before his time as the Dodgers’ general manager from 1987-98, Fred Claire came into the Vin Scully circle from a job a sports writer and then as a team public relations employee in 1969. The Torrance High grad and El Camino College student had covered sports for the Whittier Daily News, Pomona Progress-Bulletin and the Long Beach Press-Telegram, and was eventually the VP of Communications before moving into the GM spot in the aftermath of the Al Campanis exit.
Claire, author of the 2004 book on his 30 years with the franchise, shares this:
“I probably first met Vin when I was a young sports editor of the Pomona Progress-Bulletin and covered the Dodgers in their initial season in Los Angeles in 1958 and then the World Series at the Coliseum in 1959. I can’t recall the first meeting, and yet I can’t recall a time when I didn’t feel as though I knew him and considered him to be a friend.
“In reality for those of us who love baseball, or even those who have had a casual or summer time fling with the game, Vin always has been there. His voice has been the voice of Summer for so many thousands of fans, generations of fans, who live or have lived in Southern California.
“The thing about Vin is that you didn’t need a personal intro-
duction to know him. If you were a member of the media and saw him in the press dining room or in the press box there was always a warm and wel-
coming smile. You knew him instantly.
“The remarkable part is that the warmth in his voice and the incomparable talent to describe a baseball game connected him to the legion of fans who were listening to the game on the radio or watching on television.
“My close connection to Vin came in 1969 when I joined the Dodgers as the director of publicity. It was the start of a working relationship and a close personal relationship where my admiration grew by the day and by the quickly passing seasons.