Sunday, July 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rick Monday on Vin Scully: 'Vinny brought the game of baseball to me."

Hall of Fame Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully is retiring after 67 years. Among the broadcasters saluting him is Rick Monday, who played eight seasons for the Dodgers and has been Scully's fellow Dodgers broadcaster for 24 years.

"Charley (Steiner) and I form a broadcast team that has seen both ends of the spectrum with Vin. Charley's end was when the Dodgers and Vin Scully left New York. My end was growing up in Santa Monica when Vin and the Dodgers came to Los Angeles. Charley said goodbye. I said hello.

"Vinny brought the game of baseball to me. My mom was a single parent. When we got in my mother's car, the Dodgers were playing and Vin Scully and (announcer) Jerry Doggett were in the back seat of our car. When they were televising, Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett were in our homes. We, along with millions of other people, got a new friend in Vin Scully, even though we had never met him.

"Last night, I turned to our producer/engineer and I said, 'This is like a flashback. Listen.' It was like the first or second inning. The crowd had not yet settled in. The crowd had not totally arrived, late arrivals, traffic in L.A. You could actually hear the buzz of Vinny's voice in the background.

"You see people coming into the stadium now who are bringing radios. They're not on their iPhones with their ear phones on. I think that everyone has now become a sponge and trying to get as much as Vinny as they can possibly get in the remaining time.

"I didn't meet Vinny until I was a major league player, until I was with Chicago with the Cubs. I'd already played six years with the A's, both in Kansas City and Oakland. Even though I'd been in the majors for six years, I don't think it really set in on my mother until she turned on the radio and television and she heard Vin Scully broadcast the game with her son in it.

"Vinny sees it as a magical game. Then you add he fact that he owns the English language. Every word he utters is in Technicolor.

"It's as if the game slows down for Vinny. He's never in a rush. They tell you when you come into this thing that you're rather foolish if you attempt to begin a story with two outs. Vinny can start a story with two outs and two strikes and the game will slow down for his story. Guys will foul off 42 pitches. It's uncanny.

"I don't think there's any question (the final game) it will be emotional. I think he is ready to retire. But you just don't dial down passion. This has been a passion for him, a love. That last weekend, I cannot even comprehend how emotional it will be, or that last day, what the game will be like, what the final inning will be like."

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