Audrey Sandoval Gomez was watching a Dodgers-Giants game with her daughter Tuesday night when the announcer broke down with the news of Vin Scully’s death. Isabella, who was 3 when the legendary broadcaster retired in 2016, could not understand why her mother was crying.
Gomez, 40, tried to explain. A die-hard Dodgers fan her entire life, she wanted to talk about her story, her poetry, the impact she had made beyond describing the ballgame. But she kept thinking about starting her family by coming to this country from Mexico.
Scully’s voice was in the living room day after day on radio and television, drawing generations of her family closer to each other as they cheered and groaned over her play-by-play accounts and were mesmerized by fantastic stories. Used to sit
He called the game so beautifully, he recalled. His voice was magical, but he was also a bridge over time, captivating young and old with life lessons that were easy to understand.
She turned to her daughter. There will be more to be said, but for now the introduction was simple.
“Do you know those famous words?” he said. It’s dodger baseball time.
Isabella shook her head.
“Well, they were his.”
Isabella was astonished – “He said that?” — and Gomez knew she had made the first move, passing a part of Scully’s life onto her daughter, as her parents and grandparents had done her years before.
For nearly 60 years, Scully enthralled Angelenos with stories from Dodger Stadium and the street, but his reach in his life is measured less by the strength of the broadcast signal than by the four generations that have called themselves his voice. and was mesmerized by his cadence. Sudden lyricism.
Other cities were his Red Barber (New York) or Harry Carrey (Chicago), but Scully was from Los Angeles. He came to this city professionally when he was just 30 years old.
The city, if not the region, was rapidly modernizing and developing, and he was there to engage, engage, and educate Dodgers fans through 11 presidents.
He helped lead Los Angeles through its tragedies, and was challenged whenever the city lost its voice – as it was by the riots of 1965 and ’92, earthquakes, wildfires and recessions in Sylmar and Northridge. – could be counted on Scully.
Baseball was his inspiration, and from early days to fall, he let its rules and logic set the tone for an understanding of life that often transcended the game.
“Baseball was much more than just a swing and miss for Vinny,” said former LA city councilor and county supervisor Zaev Yaroslavsky, who remembers him as a boy who challenges his father by listening to the game in his bedroom at night. And falls asleep to the beat of Scully’s voice.” He was poetic and lyrical. He had this innate ability to paint a verbal portrait that was worth a thousand pictures. ,
Yaroslavsky remembers listening to a broadcast in 1959. He was 10, and Scully was calling an exhibition game between the Dodgers and the Yankees.
Before the start of the sixth inning, Scully described how the Coliseum went dark and 93,000 fans held high matches, which he had lights up. Tribute to Roy CampanellaBrooklyn Dodgers star catcher who was paralyzed in a car accident before Spring Training in 1958, the year the team arrived in LA
“I couldn’t tell you five things about 1959,” said Yaroslavsky. “But Vin Scully has etched the Roy Campanella candle-light game into my psyche, and that was the year my mother died.”
The tempo of Scully’s speech and the simplicity of his narratives filled homes with silence when explanations were too difficult and when parents might be short of words.
Lakewood resident Mary Alice McLaughlin, a lifelong Dodgers fan, grew up in Wilmington, and her father worked for Union Oil. During the summer, the radio or TV was always tuned for the Dodgers, so in 1974 when she was 14 and her mother died of cancer, Scully’s voice—”There was a little New York in that Irish tenor”— was reassuring.
“Having Vinny was like, ‘Okay, maybe things are going to be okay,'” she recalled. “Maybe the bottom hasn’t dropped out of the whole world. His voice was so comforting. It made me think things would be alright again.”
As much as Scully was a historian and a journalist—researching every player, even the umpires—he also had something of a parent for young listeners who thought they were listening to a baseball game. But were learning about patience and humility, respecting tradition and appreciating figures and facts.
Don Cardinal, who grew up listening to the Dodgers from his home in Downey during the 1960s, credits Scully with teaching him the long division when calculating ERAs and batting averages. But there was much more that he learned.
He too lost his parents, his father at a young age and being a teenager, he was furious. And Scully—in a voice that was calm and authoritative—guided him to some level, passing along wisdom that was generally shared by older members of the household.
“He wasn’t shy about helping us understand how we should behave,” said the Cardinal, who particularly praised that Scully talked about players on other teams as much as he did about the Dodgers. Of. “He taught me that it’s okay to care about your team – but not at the expense of the other team – and that valuing a good game is more important than political parties or the color of one’s skin.”
Scully was also clear to his audience that baseball was just a sport, the joy of which comes from seeing what players – all players – can achieve. Never preachy or heavy-handed, he allowed the story line to develop from the action, playing it right in the middle, no matter how high the stakes or how frustrating the losses.
McLaughlin began to cry as she remembered Scully. “It’s ridiculous,” she said. “He was 94. We all knew it was coming, but we all expected it to happen sooner rather than later.”
She stopped while explaining the feeling.
“It’s over,” she said. “It’s like your childhood—which, of course, was long ago—is now really over.”
And for Angelenos, it means saying goodbye to the man who has touched so many families over generations.