For so many people in Southern California, Vin Scully was the voice of a radio transistor stuck under a headphone or wafting through the air from every car or house on warm summer nights.
It was also much bigger.
The soundtrack to her life.
Here’s what some of our readers had to say about the legendary Dodgers broadcaster after his death Tuesday at age 94 (some responses have been edited for length and clarity):
Hearing Vin’s voice coming from all directions at Dodger Stadium, to a five-year-old boy, was like God Almighty playing by play. I always say to fans of other baseball teams, the reason Dodgers fans leave the games early is so we can listen to Vin on the way home.
Scott Wilson, Downey
I became a baseball fan in 1981 when, as a 7-year-old boy, I discovered the magic of Vin Scully’s Dodger broadcasts. Many a summer night I would go to sleep with a radio transistor next to my ear, just loud enough to carry me to Dodger Stadium. The buzz of the crowd, the crack of the bat, and the intricate details of that particular game, all woven together by Scully’s narrative. He was a master storyteller. Baseball poet laureate. The line between dream and reality became blurred as I drifted off to sleep.
Jason Leon, Chino Hills
Picture this: my Mexican-American family, sitting in the living room in the middle of July listening to Vin Scully tell stories of the Dodgers past.
Vin Scully was my childhood, his voice filled the air every summer. He made a young girl a baseball fan. And when I turned 12 years old, I met him. I met the legend.
I was in the press box, play-by-play MLB game for the Jr. Dodger broadcasters. In the next booth was Vin Scully. Around the 7th inning we got to visit Vin in the booth and say hello. The meeting was short – he gave us hugs and told us to ‘tell the audience a story with your words’ that they couldn’t see the game on the radio, paint it for them. So I did.
Eleven years later, I work in sports journalism because of Vin Scully. He encouraged me to be like him, humble, intelligent, intelligent and a storyteller. Thank you, Vin.
Skyler Rivera, Rancho Cucamonga
After my father died, I found this handwritten letter from Vin Scully in his files. What a surprise! Who knows what my father wrote to Vin to get such a response. This must have been after the Dodgers won the World Series in 1981.
What I do know is that my dad and I loved watching Dodger games together. My dad kept a transistor radio in his bathroom so he could keep listening to Vin while he showered.
When they say Baseball Saved Us, that’s partially true for my dad. He was a child prisoner in Manzanar. Reading box scores and playing baseball kept him sane. Later in life, I think Vin Scully’s voice was the music that soothed his soul, the soundtrack to his favorite sport and team.
I hear Vin’s voice on all these TV tributes now and it takes me back to my own childhood and it makes me sad.
Gavin Tachibana, Torrance
As a Red Sox fan, I’ve always been jealous of Dodger fans. They got to listen to the biggest time every day. I have never been happier than the few times I got to hear Vin Scully call a Sox/Dodgers game.
For me, the most memorable Scully call is Game 6, 1986 World Series, probably the worst sports call of my life. I know by heart:
“A little roll up first. Behind the bag! He gets through Buckner! Here’s to Knight and the Mets winning it!”
Devilish, but because it was Vin, he’s (almost) bearable because of his voice.
I will also never forget the next game, as it ended in another loss, the camera showing the Red Sox dugout, Wade Boggs visibly sobbing, listening to Vin encouraging the Red Sox to keep their heads up and be proud of what they have achieved. . I will always be grateful for that. Activate the class all the way. Thank you Vin!
John Morrison, Beaumont, Calif.
I remember walking to the neighborhood store in South Central LA as a kid. My Mom really needed something and she drove me the block and a half to get it. The Dodgers-Giants were on TV. It was so special because we only got to see him 9 times a season in the early 60’s. I remember begging my Mum not to send me because I would lose the game.
With that all-knowing half-smile of Mom in the world, she told me in Spanish no less than “Don’t worry, you won’t miss a play there and back, Mr. Scully’s voice will be everywhere.” She was right, his calls flowed through the summer evening like a troubadour serenade reaching out to your mind and soul.
Alberto Franco, Whittier
My mother was an avid Dodger fan. I can still see her with her transistor radio, Vin Scully’s voice more familiar in our house than even my own father’s, as Vin talked to us all day and in the evening before my father came home from work.
At some point, she was able to meet Vin Scully, and for all intents and purposes, she asked him to sign her transistor radio. Of course, he graciously and humbly submitted. Somewhere I lost track of that radio and I wish to this day I still had it. Vin Scully’s voice will forever ring in my ears and speak of the freedom of summer days.
Kathleen Clary Miller, Fallbrook, Calif.
From Vin I learned the history of the game, oh yes, and the rules and subtleties. But I also learned from him world history, about show tunes and operas, about art and literature, about Toulouse-Lautrec and if it was good enough to call with a count of 2 and 1, it is good enough for a count of 3 and 1 count.
I learned about the sacrifices of D-Day, and when a batter pulls a ball down the line, a strikeout is sure to follow. I learned that Jackie learned to ice skate by racing, and that Gil Hodges made it to the HOF, and also that there is a right way and a wrong way to live.
Paul Goodwin, Culver City
While visiting my close friends in northern California we attended a Dodgers/Giants game at ATT Stadium (I felt like the only Dodger fan in attendance).
I was sitting right below the Dodgers press box, and right before the game I stood up, turned and waved to Vin. He saw me and waved back. I then blew him a kiss, and he immediately returned the favor.
I had never been star struck before that moment, and haven’t been since. But it is a memory I will never forget.
LeAnn Wills, Stephenville, Texas
I remember as a kid in the 60’s when our car was at a red light we could hear Vin Scully’s voice from other car radios as well as the one to our right. Back then, most people didn’t have air conditioning and you drove with the windows down. His voice was everywhere.
Peter Sanders, Claremont
My mother, a retired English teacher, lost her eyesight and was often ill later in life, but she maintained an active, intelligent mind. Mom’s greatest pastime was listening to Vin Scully present at the Dodger game that evening.
“It paints a picture of the game,” she would say. “When he describes the action, I can see it!” There is no doubt that Vin got extra points from my Mum when he would weave a reference to a Dylan Thomas poem into his performance or compare, for example, David Wells and Shakespeare’s Falstaff.
For me, Vin’s broadcasts, and my Mom’s love for them, showed how a person, simply through dedication to a craft and a sense of service, could have a profound impact on the lives of others.
John Sotos, Leesburg, Va.
1982. Me and two of my USC friends, Chris Wildermuth and Terry Marks, are driving from campus to Dodger Stadium on surface streets. We get to Sunset Boulevard and Chris cuts off a car, then says, “Oh my God, I just cut off Vin Scully.” Terry and I gave him a look to show that we didn’t mean it. Scully literally gave us the sign of the cross like the Pope and absolved us of our sins.
Steven Travers, San Anselmo, Calif.
Many years ago, shortly after the tragic death of Vin’s son, I saw him sitting in a barber shop in Brentwood with one of his grandchildren. I approached him and introduced myself, apologizing for the interruption. He said hello graciously and I said “When I was a child I fell asleep listening to your broadcasts.” He replied, “Joe, I put a lot of people to sleep with my broadcasts!” We both laughed.
Joe Hilberman, Westwood