Dodgers honor broad­caster Vin Scully

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Beth Har­ris

LOS AN­GE­LES >> Hall of Fame broad­caster Vin Scully thanked Los An­ge­les Dodgers fans for mak­ing him feel like an 8-yearold again ev­ery time they cheer. The crowd, in turn, saluted Scully with a loud roar and mul­ti­ple stand­ing ova­tions on his ap­pre­ci­a­tion night Fri­day.

Hold­ing hands with wife Sandi, he walked slowly from the dugout along a blue car­pet dot­ted with the team’s logo to a stage set up in front of home plate for the pregame cer­e­mony hon­or­ing his 67 years in the team’s broad­cast booth.

Smil­ing, laugh­ing and wav­ing to the crowd, Scully placed his left hand over his heart in a sign of grat­i­tude. As the ap­plause and cheers con­tin­ued, he shook his head and mouthed “OK” to let the crowd know it could quiet down. They ig­nored him. “Hi every­body and a very pleas­ant good even­ing to you,” Scully said, his sig­na­ture greet­ing draw­ing the first of sev­eral roars. “I thought I’d get that out of the way right away.”

The first 50,000 fans in at­ten­dance re­ceived a typed let­ter signed by Scully con­tain­ing rec­ol­lec­tions from his 67year ca­reer that be­gan in Brook­lyn with the Dodgers and con­tin­ued when the team moved west for the 1958 sea­son.

“You were sim­ply al­ways there for me,” Scully wrote. “I have al­ways felt that I needed you more than you needed me and that holds true to this very day. I have been priv­i­leged to share in your pas­sion and love for this great game.”

In his re­marks, Scully thanked the fans for “your en­thu­si­asm, your pas­sion for the game.”

“When you roar, when you cheer, when you are thrilled for a brief mo­ment I’m 8 years old again,” he said. “You have al­lowed me to be young at heart. I owe you ev­ery­thing.”

Ac­tor Kevin Cost­ner, base­ball Com­mis­sioner Rob Man­fred, Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Ko­ufax and Dodgers ace Clay­ton Ker­shaw were among the speak­ers pay­ing trib­ute to the 88-year-old Scully, who is re­tir­ing next week­end af­ter Los An­ge­les con­cludes its reg­u­lar sea­son in San Fran­cisco.

“Ob­vi­ously he is a Dodger at heart, but he called a lot of re­ally im­por­tant games and peo­ple re­gard him to be one of those rare trea­sures that are al­ways go­ing to be a part of base­ball,” Man­fred said be­fore the cer­e­mony.

Scully showed his sense of hu­mor when ex­plain­ing that he is of­ten asked about his fu­ture. He turns 89 in Novem­ber.

“I’m go­ing to try to live,” he said, draw­ing laughs. “I’m look­ing for a much smaller house and a much larger medicine cab­i­net.”

Not­ing his five chil­dren, 16 grand­chil­dren and three great grand­chil­dren, Scully said, “I guar­an­tee you if I don’t know what to do they will find some­thing for me to do.”

Dodgers chair­man Mark Wal­ter, for­mer owner Peter O’Mal­ley and for­mer man­agers Tom Lasorda and Joe Torre, now an MLB ex­ec­u­tive, were among those on hand. O’Mal­ley’s fa­ther, Wal­ter, owned the team and was in­stru­men­tal in bring­ing the Bronx-born Scully west when the team re­lo­cated.

The cer­e­mony be­gan with Bob Costas nar­rat­ing a video fea­tur­ing vin­tage pho­tos from Scully’s ca­reer and mem­o­ries from for­mer Dodger Steve Gar­vey, ac­tor Bryan Cranston, fel­low an­nounc­ers Joe Buck, Dick En­berg and Al Michaels, Kobe Bryant, Magic John­son, and co­me­dian Ge­orge Lopez, among oth­ers.

The Dodgers and Colorado play­ers jammed their dugouts to watch.

Man­fred an­nounced a $50,000 do­na­tion from Ma­jor League Base­ball to the Jackie Robin­son Foun­da­tion in Scully’s name. Dodgers man­ager Dave Roberts toted the over­sized check on stage. Scully called Robin­son’s ca­reer when he broke the sport’s color bar­rier in 1947.

Af­ter the speeches, both teams lined up on each side of home plate, re­moved their caps and lis­tened to John Wil­liams con­duct the Los An­ge­les Phil­har­monic in the na­tional an­them.

Then Scully stepped to the mi­cro­phone and pro­claimed, “It’s time for Dodger base­ball.”

And then he was gone, hur­ry­ing up­stairs to his fifth-floor booth to spin another night’s worth of base­ball lore for gen­er­a­tions of An­ge­lenos who have been soothed by the sound of his voice.

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