Plaschke: Dodgers honor Vin Scully with a perfect and powerful Blue Heaven homage

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It was deafening. It was inconsistent. it was perfect.

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With the trademark greeting of Vin Scully, Los Angeles bid farewell.

With five words making up Vin Scully’s signature, Los Angeles etched his memory into the skies of Dodger Stadium.

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“So now, 50,000 Dodgers fans, get on your feet,” prompted Dodgers manager Dave Roberts from the middle of the infield early Friday evening. “On the count of three, shout as much as you can so Mr. Win can hear us from Blue Heaven!”

one two Three.

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And then it erupted a cheer straight from the heart of the most powerful connection in the history of this city, from the top of his lungs, from the depths of his sorrow.

“It’s Time for Dodger Baseball!!!”

Looked pretty crazy. It felt great

Overall, it was a fittingly poetic ending to a touching tribute to longtime Dodgers announcer Scully, who died Tuesday at 94.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts suggested his hat while applauding Dodgers announcer Vin Scully after giving a speech during a pregame ceremony on Friday.
(Gina Farazzi /)

Staged during Friday’s opening of the weekend series with the San Diego Padres, it was the Dodgers’ first time since his death to honor Scully in front of his beloved fans. Given that he was consistently private and beyond polite, this probably served as his only public memorial service.

If so, the Dodgers did it right, mixing a moment of silence with an emotional video wrapped around a banner and punctuated by that compelling final cheer.

It was all so sweet, maybe the always respectable Scully would have liked it too. Or maybe he just smiled and endured it. Somehow, he was coming.

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“Vin, as he’s looking down on us right now, hated the spotlight on him,” Roberts said in his pregame address to the crowd. “Well, this is going to be very uncomfortable for him. Because this moment right now, he really deserves that.”

A photo of Vin Scully is displayed on the big screen at Dodger Stadium during Friday's pregame celebrations.
A photo of Vin Scully is displayed on the big screen at Dodger Stadium during Friday’s pregame celebrations. Scully, the voice of the Dodgers for 67 years, died on August 2 at the age of 94.
(Gary Coronado /)

The Celebration of Life began long before the game, covering almost every corner of 1000 Win Scully Avenue.

Outside, the Dodger Stadium welcome sign was covered in flowers, balloons, hats and T-shirts, all clustered under a homemade frame.

“God get Vin Scully from the Los Angeles Dodgers.”

Inside, fans paid tribute to various photographs and memorabilia of Vin Scully, including two dozen deep lining up for a photo in front of a sign marking the Vin Scully press box.

Dodgers fans watch a video honoring the life of Vin Scully before Friday's game at Dodger Stadium.
(Gary Coronado /)

Albert Gonzalez, 52, of San Pedro, stood patiently in that row, his voice thick with memories.

“I grew up with Vin Scully, listening to him since I was 5 years old, listening to him with my father,” Gonzalez said. “Losing him is like losing a voice, it’s like losing a best friend, he was always in your living room, always in your car, he was everywhere.”

Scully was everywhere again on this night.

There were flowers at the entrance of the press box. Flowers hung next to his retired microphone, down the left field line, next to the retired microphone of Jaime Zarine and the retired numbers of 11 other Dodgers.

After the second inning, Videoboard played a recording of Scully singing, “Wind Beneath My Wings”, to fans after his final home game. During the fifth inning kiss cam, there was a cute video of Scully smooching with wife Sandy, who died in 2021.

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The Dodgers suggested their hat to starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin in the press box in honor of Vin Scully.
Dodgers starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin suggests his hat in the press box in honor of Vin Scully before his debut against the Padres.
(Gina Farazzi /)

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner wore a hat paying tribute to the legendary broadcaster Vin Scully.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner wears a hat during Friday’s pregame ceremony as a tribute to the legendary broadcaster Vin Scully.
(Gary Coronado /)

At other times during the night on the videoboards, sad faces of fans were seen telling their favorite Vin Scully stories or answering trivia questions, where Scully was the obvious answer.

It was as if Dodger Stadium had been transformed into a sprawling funeral home populated by jersey-clad, hot-dog chopping mourners.

One popular jersey, of course, was one reading, “Scully 67.”

“That’s the connection, from the clothes, to the outfit, from the fans,” Roberts of Scully said before the game. “You look at 60 years of Dodger baseball, players change, teams are different, but he was a constant. Every night you turned on the game, hearing his voice was constant.”

Dodgers fan Angie Varela holds a replica microphone during a pregame tribute to Vin Scully on Friday.
(Gina Farazzi /)

Angie Varela holds a replica microphone during Friday's Vin Scully tribute.
(Gina Farazzi /)

Roberts continued, “For many people he was a medium to share stories, to paint pictures, to call ballgames. He was kind of a thread.”

At one point during the pregame celebrations, Scully was literally a thread.

You may remember, during his last home game in 2016, Scully hung a banner outside his booth that read, “I’ll miss you!”

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On Friday, the Dodgers finally had a chance to issue an appropriate response with a new banner, unveiled by announcers Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser in the exact same location as the old one.

“Win – We Will Miss You! (Signed) Dodger Fans” it read.

“He understood that the game was about the players, and about the fans in the stands, he didn’t want to be the star of the show,” Roberts said. “The cast of characters is always changing, but that’s about the game.”

Broadcasters Orel Hershiser, left, and Joe Davis unveiled a banner in honor of Vin Scully.
(Gary Coronado /)

But Friday night, for once, it was about Scully, whose place in Dodgers history was created by Roberts and echoed by thousands.

Roberts said, “He was one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Dodgers of all time.”

Interestingly, on separate occasions throughout the night, videoboards showed two Dodger Stadium statues of Jackie Robinson and Sandy Cofax.

Does this mean a Scully statue could be ahead? It should be next. In terms of the massive impact on the franchise and community, Scully is undoubtedly the greatest Los Angeles Dodgers of all time.

Heck, the Dodgers could even save money on their inscription.

They can do it in five words.


Source: www.latimes.com

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