Unforgettable 

“Unforgettable, that’s what you are
Unforgettable though near or far
Like a song of love that clings to me
How the thought of you does things to me
Never before has someone been more”

~Nat King Cole

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There are inevitably going to be a million pieces on Vin Scully as he reaches his retirement, and rightly so. When I started thinking about doing a piece about Vin and what listening to Vin has meant to me, I knew that I could ever do it justice. So I turned to you, Dodgers fans, to let you tell me what Vin has meant to you in your life. And as the fans of Dodgers baseball are varied, so are the reasons that you all love Vin.

For most of us, the love started very early on in our lives…

“Vin Scully is the reason I became a Dodger fan. I grew up in a small town north of NYC. When I took an interest in baseball, I used to listen on the radio to all the games. I had Mel Allen with the Yankees, Russ Hodges with the Giants, and the Dodgers with this young guy named Vin Scully. I listened to all of them, but kept gravitating back toward Scully. Pretty soon, all I listened to were Dodger games. He was just better. He made me feel like I was at the park. It was the early 1950’s when I started listening to Vin. I was around 10 years old. It was the start of a lifetime love affair that has lasted well over 60 years.” ~Chuck Hoag

“My favorite memory is one I was told  My dad held a radio to mom’s belly before I was born.His voice calmed me down.Kept me from crying. His stories calm me still today. There’s a void coming.” @splmygutz 

“I can never forget the day my grandfather told me he has been watching Vin since day 1. Granddad is 83.” @RealResultz

“Vin is a link to my grandpa who passed when I was young and who was a HUGE Brooklyn Dodgers fan.” ~Candace

“He’s been the voice in my living room my entire life. Hearing his stories and his words were like hearing a family member’s.” ~Thomas Price

All of us admire him for the person that he is…

“He has something good to say about everyone. Ump’s, coaches, players and anyone that works in any stadium he has visited.” ~Jason

“Never in my life have I seen a man so humble and appreciative.  Vin Scully has not just impacted the current generation of Dodger fans but generations of fans.  Most families have memories or stories they pass on from one generation to the next, but Vin Scully was the gift that kept on giving.” ~Michael Wittman

Some of you shared your favorite call that’s forever cemented in your mind…

“I was a kid listening to Vin call rookie Bill Sudakis grand slam and I was supposed to be asleep, but started cheering.” ~Tim Knoch

“The Kirk Gibson call is the happiest baseball has ever made me. Vin taught me everything about baseball and he narrated the greatest moment of my baseball fandom.” ~Ron Ramos

“There are a couple of calls which I love in particular – one (and it’s very hard to find) is Nolan Ryan completing his fifth no-hitter, which set a major league record that only Ryan himself has broken, on Sep. 26, 1981. The second is Joe Ferguson’s game-winning home run on Oct. 3, 1980, the first game of a season-ending three-game series that the Dodgers had to sweep in order to stay alive in the N.L. West race that year. Vin is so good about setting the scene within any game, but those two calls stand out for me because of the sheer emotion he brought to them; he was plainly rooting for Nolan to throw that no-hitter and even as a Dodger fan watching a recording of a moment where my team was about to be no-hit, I felt compelled to leave the recording on and cheer for Nolan myself. The Ferguson home run is called in the classic Scully style, but the excitement in the tone of his voice is unmistakable, and it’s always resonated with me. Vin clearly wasn’t ready for the season to be over yet, and he was caught up in the crowd’s enthusiasm and in the beauty of the moment (much like his call of Kirk Gibson’s home run in the 1988 World Series). ” ~JTDutch

“I’ve already told the story of how, in the Spring of 2014, life circumstances led me back to the game I had loved since the age of 10. As my love for the Dodgers grew that summer amidst a sometimes chaotic work/personal life, I found myself often comforted both by the sound of Vin’s voice and his calm passion for the team and the game. Clayton’s near-perfecto in June 2014 will go down as one of my favourite Vin memories. In about the 6th inning, you could tell something very special was happening, and when Vin told viewers to “Twitter your friends”, I was hooked. He made you feel the excitement of the game or moment without ever going overboard, and that night was a perfect example. I started to love baseball and all of its majesty like I had when I was a young Expos fan.”  ~Gail Johnson 

Maybe it was just an antidote that he shared on air…

“When he announced he was coming back & talked about the lady who made him cookies so he would stay.”  ~Rebekah Shibley

“His story about Nat King Cole losing his voice after a White Sox/Dodgers. It’s pure magic.”  ~Chris Pennington 

Maybe you were lucky enough to actually meet him in person…

“I once had the privilege of sharing an elevator ride with Vin. We were both staying at the Hyatt in San Diego. I was waiting for the elevator, and when the doors opened, there he was. I walked in rather surprised and probably had a stupid grin on my face. He just smiled at me and asked, ‘going down?’ I nodded and he said “well come on in’. He asked me how I was today, and I found my words, lol, and said ‘I’m doing great, how about you?’ We chatted about the weather, I think. It was a quick elevator ride but to me it was one of the most amazing highlights of my life and I will remember it always. A moment frozen in time that belongs to just Vin and I. He was so genuine, so kind, and a perfect gentleman. His smile went all the way to his eyes even in that small conversation. This was in the pre cellphone selfie days, how I wished I had had a camera. He wished me a very nice day and smiled. I told him it was wonderful to see him. Just standing there in awe of what I just experienced I watched him walk away to the most beautiful shiny baby yellow Lincoln Continental and I thought wow, that car suits him. I walked with a smile in my step for days after that. I mean, it was probably all less than a minute or two, but I hold it close to my heart always.” ~Coco

“Vin spoke at my school’s career day when I was in 7th grade. As you’d expect, most of the questions resulted in him telling  stories. I asked him what he thought his most memorable baseball moment was, and he said the Shot Heard Around the World. He spent a few minutes going into depth with the moment, and that’s my personal experience with his unprecedented  recollection of the past (even though that’s a pretty memorable moment in itself).” ~Andrew L

Or maybe it was when he taught us more about life…

“The first game after 9/11. It was weird. Should we even be here? Then Vin said the right words & it was ok.” ~Michael Horowitz

“When Vin called the Memorial Day games. Reminded us it was more of a somber, reflective holiday, not just barbecues.” ~Jim Peel

Or his devotion to his job…

“As a Dominican, it has always amazed me how he’s found and told many detailed stories on DR players that most don’t know.” ~Ivan Sanz

And there’s not a person on earth who doesn’t love when Vin talks about children…

“Vin Scully saying “Hello there, sunshine” every time the camera picks up a shot of a baby is the most earnest damn thing in all of sports.” ~Jonah Keri

My own favorite memory of Vin, more than the antidotes about zephyrs, and the stories spurned by players with names like Socrates and Uggla, and the poem about the thumbsucker, is the time spent listening to him with my own baby. I will always hold dear the nights of the season of 2007, when I spent many a night half asleep in my rocking chair, nursing my newborn baby boy, rocking, and listening to Vin with my eyes closed, taking that brief respite to relax and just enjoy what was being told to me, whether the team was winning or not.

What has struck me most in assembling this post is that so many people have so many different memories and circumstances that have endeared Vin to them, and they are all equally wonderful.  Not one is better than the other, because it is in how Vin has personally connected to them. Jackie Robinson famously said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” Vin Scully has impacted each and everyone of our lives, and only in the most special way, a way that has allowed us to feel that we are his friend, and worthy of this simple baseball conversation with him.

“Vin does more to project us as listeners into the story he’s telling with each game he broadcasts than anyone else I’ve ever heard. He looks at us through the camera’s lens when he’s recounting a historical moment or providing a preview to the game we’re about to see, and effectively says “It’s important that you know about these things because YOU ARE A PART OF THIS.” And when Vin deservedly rides off into the sunset, I know I’m going to miss that the most.” ~JTDutch

“…Other than that I love listening to him take a miserable game and fill the time with stories and poetry. There’s never a reason to turn a game off when you’re spending quality time with Vin.” ~Ron Ramos

There will be a huge void in our baseball world, when the master finally retires after 67 years as the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers. But we are so very lucky to have had him all this time, and have him to call our own. He will never be replaced.  Thank you, Vin Scully.  You most truly and lovingly, will be missed.

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