Vin Scully memories from the media: Fred Claire

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:

51ym310p59lLong 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.

Fred Claire, center, with Vin Scully, below right, and Charley Steiner, left. (Credit: Twitter@FredClaire)

Fred Claire, center, with Vin Scully, below right, and Charley Steiner, left. (Credit: Twitter@FredClaire)

“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.
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Sunday media: You can call on them to have Vin Scully stories: Porter, Steiner, Enberg … and Davis

Our deepest thanks to Ross Porter, Charley Steiner and Dick Enberg for letting us hear some of the stories they have about Vin Scully in today’s column.

Joe Davis and Vin Scully prior to game against the San Diego Padres on April 4, 2016 at Petco Park in San Diego. (Photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers)

Joe Davis and Vin Scully prior to game against the San Diego Padres on April 4, 2016 at Petco Park in San Diego. (Photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers)

One more from Joe Davis, who starting in 2017 will be paired with Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra on the SportsNet LA TV games both home and on the road as Davis’ broadcasting schedule with Fox Sports allows:
“I guess just with how opposite our schedules are, with him doing exclusively home and me exclusively road — I actually haven’t had any interactions with him outside a call the night before my hiring was announced, and at a banquet we were at together in December.We also met briefly on Opening Day in San Diego. It’s how things have been. I know he gets pulled in a million different directions, especially this last year, so I totally get it.
“And maybe you already know the story on his phone call: The night before it’d be announced that I was joining the Dodgers, my phone rang with a number I didn’t recognize, so I ignored the call. Same thing happened later that night. ‘If it’s important they’ll leave a message,’ I thought.
“This time, a voicemail popped up. I almost dropped the phone when I played the voicemail and heard that unmistakable voice. ‘Hi Joe, it’s Vin Scully in Los Angeles. I tried you earlier in the day, so I guess I begin the year 0-for-2. ‘ He went on to congratulate me and welcome me to the club, telling me that he remembered what it was like to join ‘a big club.’ in his 20s, and ensuring me that’d I’d love being with the Dodgers.
“We connected later that night, thankfully. Part of me is also thankful that I let it go to voicemail. I have the voicemail saved in several different spots, and if you can consider an audio file a keepsake, the file of that voicemail is as special of a keepsake as I’ll ever own.”

Check back daily for more Vin Scully memories from members of the L.A. media who have worked with him over the years.


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It’s Out of the Question: Rams may be hanging by a thread, but it’s time for a costume change

0917_spo_ldn-l-questions-0917They’ve already managed to amass an unraveling laundry list of unresolved issues just one prime-time appearance into their 2016 regular season.

So does it really matter what type of laundry the Rams will be asked to wear for their Los Angeles re-coming out runway event Sunday at the Coliseum?

Psychologically, perhaps.

Philosophically, not really. Especially if all you’re trying to do is cover up obvious deficiencies during a clumsy adaptation of Act 2 in The Prodigal Team.

Although, when it comes to down-and-dirty costume changes, who does it better than Hollywood?

More at this link …

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Weekly media notes version 09.15.16: Still waiting for Ballmer … it’s apparently no slam-dunk decision

Following up to what was posted online concerning Fox setting up its NFL studio show at the Coliseum for the Rams’ home opener, we have this to consider:

small1eeb581cfbcbe3_tx600== As it relates to our Sunday sports media column last week focused on the Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket future with the Clippers making overtures as the next major franchise partner to leave, the New York Post is reporting the Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is prepared to make a deal to stay, as long as he can keep the streaming rights.
Please, let us know how that turns out …

== Not that any of our critiques matter about how NBC and its cable and online partners covered the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, because when you make $250 million from it, you can convince yourselves that you’ve got a winning formula.

== ESPN finally announced that Wednesday, Sept. 21 is the date when it will revamp the format of KSPN-AM (710) starting weekdays with a new show called “Mornings with Keyshawn, Jorge and LZ,” hosted by Keyshawn Johnson with co-host Jorge Sedano and writer LZ Granderson, going from 6-to-9 a.m., followed by an extended Mychal Thompson and Mike Trudell from 9 a.m.-to-noon, and Kelvin Washington going to the 3-7 p.m. shift with Marcellus Wiley.

== Mission Viejo (3-0), with a No. 4 ranking in the latest poll, plays host to Long Beach Poly in the Prime Ticket/Fox Sports Go high school football game of the week, Friday at 7:30 p.m., with Sam Farber, John Jackson and Chris Rix.
The 7 p.m. Friday games on the website: No. 1 Mater Dei vs. Upland (Fred Salas and Ralph Brown), No. 2 Centennial of Corona vs. Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks (Isaac Lowenkron and Lorezno Booker), Santa Margarita hosting Westlake (David Caldwell and Tony Moskal) and Corona Del Mar at Newport Harbor (Paul Westphal and Chris Hale).

== Maybe when someone else says it, it’ll start to resonate more with others:

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College football Week 3 in the L.A. market: Late nights for USC, UCLA

635849553527909986-usatsi-8977408== Joe Tessitore, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe have the call for ABC on USC’s Pac-12 opener at Stanford, Saturday at 5 p.m., Channel 7, while the usual prime-time team of Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Samantha Ponder will do the Florida State-Louisville contest for ABC (9 a.m., Channel 7). ESPN’s College GameDay will also originate from Louisville (6-to-9 a.m.). Lee Corso, a Florida State grad, coached at Louisville from 1969-72 with a 28-11-3 mark, including 9-1 in his final season.

== Allen Bestwick and Mike Bellotti call UCLA’s game at BYU (7:15 p.m., EPSN2).

== The rest of the Pac-12 schedule:
= Arizona State at University of Texas-San Antonio, Friday at 6:30 p.m., ESPN2, with Mark Neely and Ray Bentley
= Idaho at Washington State, 11 a.m., Pac-12 Network, with J.B. Long and Erik Coleman
= Oregon at Nebraska, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7, with Bob Wischusen and Brock Huard
= Colorado at Michigan, 12:30 p.m., Big Ten Network, with Kevin Kugler and Matt Millen
= Idaho State at Oregon State, 2 p.m., Pac 12 Network, with Gay Haberman and Evan Moore
= Portland State at Washington, 5 p.m., Pac-12 Network, with Jim Watson and Yogi Roth
= Texas at Cal, 7:30 p.m., ESPN, with Mark Jones and Rod Gilmore
= Utah at San Jose State, 7:30 p.m., CBSSN, with Jason Horowitz and Aaron Taylor
= Hawaii at Arizona, 7:45 p.m., Pac-12 Network with Roxy Bernstein and Anthony Herron

The best of the rest for the weekend:

= Houston at Cincinnati, ESPN, 4:30 p.m., with Dave Flemming and Jesse Palmer.
= Baylor at Rice, ESPN, 5 p.m., with Adam Amin and Mack Brown
= Arkansas State at Utah State, CBSSN, 6 p.m., with Dwayne Ballen and Eric Davis
= Florida State at Louisville, 9 a.m., Channel 7, with Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit
= Miami at Appalachian State, 9 a.m., ESPN, with Dave Pasch and Greg McElroy
= Iowa State at TCU, 9 a.m., FS1, with Joe Davis and Brady Quinn
= Alabama at Mississippi, 12:30 p.m., Channel 2, with Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson
= Pittsburgh at Oklahoma State, 12:30 p.m., ESPN with Jason Benetti and Kelly Stouffer
= San Diego State at Northern Illinois, 12:30 p.m., CBSSN, with Ben Holden and Jay Feely
= Texas A&M at Auburn, 4 p.m., ESPN, with Dave Flemming and Brian Griese
= Mississippi State at LSU, 4 p.m., ESPN2, with Mike Patrick and Ed Cunningham
= Michigan State at Notre Dame, 4:30 p.m., Channel 4, with Mike Tirico and Doug Flutie
= Georgia at Missouri, 4:30 p.m., SEC Network, with Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer
= Ohio State at Oklahoma, 4:30 p.m., Channel 11 with Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt. Also of note here: The Fox Sports Virtual App for iOS and Android users will offer access – a first for a live sporting event, without needing special equipment. Fox says it available to 95 million authenticated homes. More info here.

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