Monday, June 22, 2009

Vin Scully and Me

The multi-dimensional Keith Olbermann posted a pretty cool blog entry recently about Vin Scully. A couple of the anecdotes were about the trepidation of meeting Vin, and it reminded me of my good fortune to encounter the Voice of the Dodgers.

It was May 25, 1993. As a writer for Boston Baseball magazine (then known as Baseball Underground), I scored media credentials. I was really excited to see Tommy Lasorda's famous office, and I just wanted the chance to see legendary Mr. Scully. Alas, the pass only allowed me field and press box access, so I had no chance to get into the clubhouse and see Frank Sinatra's autographed photo on Tommy's office wall.

Still, being on the field at Dodger Stadium is a pretty cool deal. During batting practice, I got to say hi to former Red Sox Jody Reed. Not that I asked, but he didn't want anything to do with an interview, and he pretty much blew me off. When I said I just wanted to say hello, he chatted with me for a second, so it wasn't a total snub. I got the feeling that he'd left his Boston days in the dust.

While I was sitting in the Dodger's dugout, a woman was conducting a player interview
for local radio. I sat a few feet away from the rookie player and pretended to be disinterested. In actuality, I was hanging on every word. The player was Mike Piazza. Wonder what ever became of him...

After batting practice, I made my way up to the press box. I was standing in the chow line, when someone bumped into me. He kept moving, but politely said, "Pardon me." Before I knew what had happened, the shock of red hair (okay… orange hair) had already passed me. I not only got to see Vin Scully, but he bumped into me and spoke to me! I couldn't have been happier, and the game hadn't started.

After eating, I grabbed a chair in the last row of the press box to watch the game. In the top of the 7th inning, I was leaning my chair back against the rail. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed someone was standing behind me, just to my right. Awe-struck only begins to describe the feeling I had when I realized who it was: Vin Scully and Don Drysdale!

So, here was little ol' me from little ol' Baseball Underground, with two Hall of Famers! In the press box at Dodger Stadium! Yikes!

Believe me -- it was hard to keep my cool. I knew I had to talk to them, but I didn't want to make a fool of myself. Vin made a comment about what a weird and poorly played game it was (I may have his exact words scribbled down in one of my many boxes of stuff). I muttered something, and managed to engage both of them in a bit of conversation. When Roger McDowell plunked Derek Bell with a pitch, I turned to Drysdale, who was notorious about drilling batters, and asked him if he thought it was intentional. Drysdale just said, "Nah." He was probably right, since the bases were loaded and it forced in a run.

So, not only did I manage to see Vin Scully, I can legitimately claim that I got to hang out with him and talk baseball! Having Don Drysdale there, too, was icing on the cake.

It was quite a night for a baseball fan. Mission Accomplished. And then some!

©2009 Douglas T. Dinsmoor


At July 2, 2009 at 10:45 PM, Blogger Steve Scott said...

I need a press pass for being a blogger! Wonderful story.


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