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Grand Marshal Vin Scully

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THE SOUND OF BLUE-I hated the Dodgers when I was growing up.  After all, the Bums defeated my Yankees in the 1955 World Series when Series MVP Johnny Podres threw a five hit shutout in the seventh game. 

But my feelings towards the Dodgers started to change in 1972 when I read The Boys of Summer, Roger Kahn’s sports epic that chronicled the Dodgers of the early 50’s when he covered the Bums for the Herald Tribune and the lives of thirteen (listed below) Dodgers over the next twenty years. 

 

Life really began to change in 1984 when this transplanted Connecticut Yankee went to a weekday night game at Dodger Stadium.  The weather, the cool breezes, the mountains, the sunset, the fans: what’s not to like, especially when you compare the beauty of Chavez Ravine to Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, the Polo Grounds, and Ebbets Field. 

And then there was gimpy Kirk Gibson’s two run walk off homer in the bottom of the ninth of the first game of the 1988 World Series that still brings tears of joy to all Dodger fans, even though they have seen it a thousand times.  We still remember where we were when National League MVP Gipson hit that two run shot off of Oakland A’s Hall of Fame reliever, Dennis Eckersley, not dissimilar to Americans remembering where they were when JFK was assassinated.  

But my true blue metamorphis was completed when I began my 30 year “conversation” with Bronx born, Fordham educated Vin Scully, the ultimate master of trivia about every Dodger, past and present. 

We all have our favorite stories about Vin Scully, whether it is his call on Kirk Gibson’s dramatic home run, Sandy Koufax’s perfect game, or Thursday afternoon’s clinching of the National League West on AJ Ellis’ eighth inning home run.  From my perspective, he is very enjoyable company, a great and trusted friend who spins a story throughout the game, where Dodger baseball is a “pleasant” break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life here in Los Angeles.  

But what really stands out over time is that Vin Scully has always been a true gentleman, an optimistic person who loves all Southern Californians and does not talk “trash,” although he certainly had the opportunity with the team’s previous owner. 

Earlier this month, Vin Scully was named the Grand Marshall of the 125th Rose Parade, an appropriate honor for this very private man who has been a mainstay in Southern California for over 50 years, through good times and bad.  He commented about timing being everything and how difficult it would have been if he were the Grand Marshal in 1992 when the Dodgers lost 99 games. But true to form, this very modest man thanked all the “wonderful people of Southern California” for being supportive, friendly, and kind. 

The Dodgers have had a remarkable year, rising from last place in the National League West in June to being the first team to clinch a playoff berth.  As a result, attendance at the newly renovated Dodger Stadium has soared almost 12% to 46,000, tops in the majors. 

We are looking forward to The 125th Rose Parade on New Year’s Day 2014 where we can show our appreciation to Vin Scully.  But hopefully, the good Lord willing, this will be the second post season parade, 25 years after Kirk Gibson and Orel Hershiser led the Dodgers to a World Series title in 1988. 

The 13 Dodgers: Clem Labine, George Shuba, Carl Erskine, Andy Pafko, Joe Black, Preacher Roe, Pee Wee Reese, Carl Furillo, Gil Hodges, Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson and Billy Cox.

 

(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee,  the Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler Classifieds -- www.recycler.com. He can be reached at:  [email protected]. Hear Jack every Tuesday morning at 6:20 on McIntyre in the Morning, KABC Radio 790.) 
-cw
 

 

 

 

CityWatch

Vol 11 Issue 76

Pub: Sept 20, 2013

 

 

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