Vin Scully ended his broadcasting career in the home ballpark of the Dodgers’ age-old rivals, receiving an affectionate pre-game visit from Willie Mays, awash in a sea of placards (THANK YOU VIN) and maybe the only known standing ovation ever afforded a Dodger in San Francisco. His final words were as gracious as you might have expected from this excessively modest man who always seemed to believe his gift from God was merely something on loan.
When Bryce Harper was growing up in Las Vegas, where he could watch the Dodgers on television and listen to Vin Scully, he noticed readily what most of the world has known for decades. It wasn’t just about the game to Scully.
There’ll be no more fun, fun, fun for the 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers. Daddy took the T-Bird away in Busch Stadium Friday. And you can spend all winter debating whether or not the Dodgers themselves gave him the ammunition on a platter.
There are times—in cyberspace or otherwise—when stumbling upon something you missed when it first arrived can sting rather than charm. Especially if it’s a fine essay on baseball jargon, and you discover you’re just as guilty as everyone else of making mincemeat out of it.
The essay in question is Allen Barra’s, from The Atlantic, in June. He took a good, long look at what’s become of baseball’s language and was not amused. More saddened than infuriated, Barra decided, with apologies to Yogi Berra (whom Barra admires for his syntax as much as his baseball virtuosity), that he wished baseball people really hadn’t said half the things they’ve said since, oh, around 1980.
You can say the name alone and it becomes a nine-letter synonym for greatness. But it’s always nice to be handed fresh reminders as to why Vin Scully’s name became that synonym in the first place. Monday night, for example.
This reminder came down during the seventh inning, with freshly minted Dodger Shane Victorino at the plate. Just about everyone since has been buzzing about everything Scully said for the at-bat, the play, the argument, and the ejection, except two things he managed to tuck in, one in the middle, and one after the meat of it was digested.