For many people in Southern California, Vin Scully was the voice of a transistor radio hidden under a pillow on warm summer nights or floating in the air from every car or house.
He was also much more.
The soundtrack to their lives.
Here’s what some of our readers had to say about the legendary Dodgers broadcaster after he died Tuesday at age 94 (some responses have been edited for length and clarity):
To a five-year-old at Dodger Stadium, hearing Vi’s voice coming from all directions was like the Almighty playing a game. I always tell fans of other baseball teams that the reason Dodgers fans leave games early is so we can listen to Vin on the way home.
Scott Wilson, Downey
I became a baseball fan in 1981 as a 7-year-old when I discovered the magic of Vin Scully’s Dodger broadcasts. Many a summer night I would go to bed with a transistor radio next to my ear, loud enough to drive me to Dodger Stadium. The buzz of the crowd, the crack of the bat, and the intricate details of that game are all woven together with Scully’s narrative. He was a master storyteller. Baseball’s Poet Laureate. As I drifted off to sleep, the line between dream and reality became blurred.
Jason Leong, Chino Hills
Picture this: my Mexican-American family, lounging in the living room in the middle of July, listening to Vin Scully tell old Dodgers tales.
Vin Scully was my childhood, his voice filling the air every summer. He made the young daughter a baseball fan. I met him when I was 12 years old. I met the legend.
I was in the press box, Jr. I was playing an MLB game for the Dodger broadcasters. Next up on the stand was Vin Scully. We got to go and say hello to Vin in the booth in the 7th inning. The meeting was short – he hugged us and said “tell the audience a story in your own words”, they could not see the game on the radio, paint it for them. That’s what I did.
11 years later, thanks to Vin Scully, I work in sports journalism. He inspired me to be humble, smart, intelligent and a storyteller like him. Thank you, Vin.
Skyler Rivera, Rancho Cucamonga
After my father passed away, I found this handwritten letter from Vin Scully in his papers. What a surprise! Who knows what my father wrote to Vin to get such a response. It was supposed to be after the Dodgers won the 1981 World Series.
What I do know is that my dad and I loved watching Dodger games together. My dad kept a transistor radio in the bathroom so he could listen to Vin while he showered.
When they say baseball saved us, it’s partly true for my dad. He was a child imprisoned in Manzanar. Reading boxing scores and playing baseball kept him sane. Later in life, I think Vin Scully’s voice was the music that soothed his soul, his favorite sport, and the music for his team.
I hear Vin’s voice in all these TV tributes now and it brings me back to my own childhood and it makes me sad.
Gavin Tachibana, Torrance
As a Red Sox fan, I have always envied Dodger fans. They should listen to the best of all time every day. The few times I’ve heard Vin Scully call a Sox/Dodgers game, I’ve never been happier.
The most memorable Scully call for me is Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, probably the most painful sports call of my life. I know this by heart:
“First roll small. Behind the bag! Go through Buckner! Here comes the Knight and the Mets win!”
Destructive, but being Vin, his voice makes him (almost) unbearable.
I’ll never forget the next game either, as it ended in another loss, the camera panning to the Red Sox dugout, Wade Boggs visibly sobbing, hearing Vin encourage the Red Sox to keep their heads up and be proud of what they had accomplished. . I will always be grateful for that. The class moves all the way. Thanks Vin!
John Morrison, Beaumont, California.
I remember going to the neighborhood store in South Central LA as a kid. My mom needed something urgently, so she sent me a block and a half to get it. Dodgers-Giants was on TV. This was very special because in the early 60’s we only got to see them 9 times a season. I remember begging my mom not to send me because I would miss the game.
With that all-knowing half-smile that mom has all over the world, she told me, in Spanish no less, “Don’t worry, you won’t miss a show there and back, Mr. Scully’s voice will be everywhere.” He was right, its bells wafted through your mind and heart like a troubadour’s serenade on a summer evening.
Alberto Franco, Whittier
My mother was an ardent Dodger fan. I can still see him on his transistor radio, Vin Scully’s voice is more familiar in our house than even my father’s because Vin talked to us all day and into the evening until my father came home from work.
At one point, he was able to meet Vin Scully and, of all things remarkable, asked him to autograph his transistor radio. Of course, he graciously and humbly agreed. I lost track of that radio somewhere and wish I still had it to this day. Vin Scully’s voice will always ring in my ears and speak of the freedom of summer days.
Kathleen Clary Miller, Fallbrook, California.
From Vin, I learned the history, yes, the rules and ins and outs of the game. But I learned from him world history, show tunes and opera, art and literature, Toulouse-Lautrec, and if calling 2 and 1 was good enough, 3 and 1.
I learned about the sacrifices of D-Day and when a batter pulls a ball down the line, a strike is sure to follow. I learned that Jackie learned to ice skate competitively and that Gil Hodges belongs in the HOF, as well as the right and wrong way to live.
Paul Goodwin, Culver City
While visiting close friends in Northern California, we attended the Dodgers/Giants game at ATT Stadium (I felt like the only Dodger fan in attendance).
I was sitting just below the Dodgers press box and just before the game I stood up, turned and waved to Vin. He saw me and waved his hand. Then I blew her a kiss and she immediately did the favor.
I had never been star struck before that moment and never have been since. But it is a memory I will never, ever forget.
LeAnn Wills, Stephenville, Texas;
I remember as a kid in the 60’s when our car ran a red light we could hear Vin Scully’s voice on the radios of other cars besides the one on our dashboard. Back then most people didn’t have air conditioning and you would drive with the windows down. His voice was everywhere.
Peter Sanders, Claremont
My mother, a retired English teacher, lost her eyesight and was often ill late in life, but she retained an active, intelligent mind. Mom’s favorite pastime was listening to Vin Scully announce the Dodger game that evening.
“He’s photographing the game,” he would say. “When he describes the action, I see it!” Vin certainly got extra points from my mom when she referenced a Dylan Thomas poem or compared, say, David Wells to Shakespeare’s Falstaff.
For me, Vin’s shows and my mother’s love for them illustrated how one can profoundly touch the lives of others simply by a commitment to an art and a sense of service.
John Sotos, Leesburg, Washington
1982. Me and two USC friends, Chris Wildermuth and Terry Marks, drive from campus to Dodger Stadium on surface streets. We get to Sunset Boulevard and Chris cuts off the car, then yells, “Oh my God, I just cut off Vin Scully.” Terry and I waved at him to show that we didn’t mean it. Scully literally gave us the sign of the cross like the Pope and forgave our sins.
Stephen Travers, San Anselmo, California.
Many years ago, shortly after the tragic death of Vin’s son, I saw him sitting in a barbershop in Brentwood with one of his grandsons. I approached him and introduced myself, apologizing for the intrusion. He greeted politely and I said, “When I was a kid, I used to fall asleep listening to your shows.” He replied, “Joe, I put a lot of people to sleep with my broadcasts!” We both laughed.
Joe Hilberman, Westwood