Before I had the fine pleasure of writing at this establishment, I had my own personal blog where I wrote about the Twins and baseball. I opined some six years ago the following:
Back when I had Extra Innings (or even any cable at all), I used to try and watch as many of the last games as I possibly could. The very last games were, understandably, usually on the West Coast. I remember a few years back, watching the very last regular season game in all MLB—a Dodgers game—and both teams were totally out of the race. But then the Dodgers scored a run, and the camera panned around to show all the cheering fans. "And for one brief moment," Vin Scully orated, as the camera zoomed in on a small boy, sitting on his father's shoulders, barely holding on to an ice cream cone as his dad jumped up and down, "it's Camelot in Dodgers Stadium."
"But then," Vin Scully went on, as the boy and his father still cheered, "reality sets in."
I’m not even sure how I am supposed to start this. I’m not sure what I am about to say. I’ve been thinking about this post for at least two weeks, and I’m still clueless.
The last day of regular season baseball is always kind of sad to me. A little bit triumphant—after all, we made it—but sad. As far as the 2016 Twins go... I’m sorry to say I’m not sad at all about the season ending. The Twins sucked. I will always love them, but they sucked. This was, for the most part, a horrible season no one ever wants to remember. 103 losses for god’s sake.
I honestly have not been thinking that much about the Twins’ season ending, though, because I’ve been thinking so much about Vin Scully. Vin Scully is my favorite person in the world. My Mom was the one and introduced me to Vin Scully, and birthed me or whatever, and I’m sorry about that, Mom. Vin Scully is my favorite person in the world. The best part about this is that I’m just my Mom’s daughter, so I know she understands. She probably likes Vin Scully more than me too, and that’s okay.
Well, okay. I feel like this article, or whatever this is, up until this point has all just been delaying the inevitable. Maybe that’s true. So here it is: I fucking love Vin Scully. I fucking love him to death. Vin Scully has been the broadcaster for the Dodgers for 67 years. He was a little redheaded kid who saw a box score once on the window of a Chinese laundry shop in Brooklyn, and fell in love with baseball. He went on to become the greatest sports broadcaster of all time.
Today, he called his final game.
I’ve told the story here, I think, several times about how my Mom bought MLB Extra Innings just to watch David Ortiz in Boston in 2003. I love David. I didn’t even watch his final game today. I didn’t even watch the final Twins game. I had my TV set, ready, to hear that “It’s time for Dodgers baseball!” because I knew it was the last time I would ever hear it, and that was more important to me than 20 David Ortiz retirement celebrations put together.
I have listened to Vin while falling asleep for over 15 years, which doesn’t sound like a huge amount of time in the spectrum of his career, but is a pretty big chunk of time in the spectrum of my life. I remember prompting this post by Jesse about Justin Morneau, which I love because I somehow got someone in the comments to go on a long MST3K Space Mutiny tangent with me out of the blue. If that person is reading this today: Thank you. You rule.
Vin Scully is such a professional. He actually called two of the three Twins’ World Series appearances. 1965, obviously, since the Twins played the Dodgers, and 1991, because he worked for CBS radio.
There was actually a little stand in Target Field this year with the seat Kirby Puckett hit in 1991 and buttons you could press to hear the various calls. Vin Scully’s is not my favorite for that particular play, nor Jack Buck’s, but I’d be lying if I said i didn’t go up there and press the button to hear Vin Scully at least 38 times this year.
When I’m trying to explain Vin Scully to someone who doesn’t watch baseball, I usually ask if they ever watched the X-Files. “Scully was named Scully after Vin Scully,” I explain, which is a 100% fact, and they’d be like “oh.” But seriously, this was a TV show made some 20 years ago, that someone named the main character after Vin Scully. And Vin just retired now, as in, today. Vin Scully was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1982. He’s been in the MLB Hall of Fame for well over 30 years, and he just retied today.
Scully didn’t need the help of a color-man or a play-by-play guy—he did both. He did both seamlessly, without missing a beat. He’d come up with sayings I’d never heard of or dreamed of before. “It’s not all beer and skittles,” Vin said certainly more than once. “Here comes to the butter and egg man,” Vin said often, of the big hitter in a team’s line-up. Of course, Vin was best known for letting the big moments in history (because he saw so many) speak for themselves. He is—excuse me, was—so very great at that.
Honestly, I don’t know what else to say. Someone else has probably already said it. I listened to hundreds of games called by Vin, and I loved every second.
Thank you Vin. Thank you for all the joy you have brought me over the years. Thank you for making me fall even more in love with this game. Thank you for helping me fall more in love with my Mom. Thank you.
I am that kid in Camelot. I just don’t want reality to set in.