Vin Scully begins final homestand

As Vin Scully began his final homestand this week, he acknowledged there will be emotions surrounding his last seven games at Dodger Stadium.

The Hall of Fame broadcaster is nearing retirement after 67 seasons as the voice of the Dodgers. The team has a three-game series with the San Francisco Giants through Wednesday, then finishes the home schedule with a four-game series against the Colorado Rockies.

“As far as emotions are concerned, I think I’ve got them in check, but you never know. You never really know,” Scully, 88, said Monday in a conference call with reporters. “And I don’t think I’m going to stress anything about me. I will try to just do the game. I mean I really will. I will concentrate on Denver as if they are challenging the Dodgers for first place and the game will take its place and hopefully carry me along with it to the very end. So I think I’ll be OK.”

The Dodgers plan to honor Scully several times this week. The most elaborate will be Vin Scully Appreciation Day on Friday with pregame ceremonies starting at 6:30 p.m.

Scully, who began with the Dodgers in 1950, has said from the start this season that he’s been uncomfortable with all the attention paid to him.

“First of all, I attribute it to one thing and one thing only, God’s grace to allow me to do what I’ve been doing for 67 years,” he said. “To me, that’s really the story. Not really me, I’m just the vessel that was passed hand to hand down through all those years. So I don’t take it to heart as some great compliment. I just realize that because I’ve been doing this for 67 years, that’s why everybody wants to talk about it. So I think I’ve kept it in proper perspective.

“It is a little embarrassing, to be honest about it. I’m uncomfortable with it. I’ve never wanted to get out in front of the game. I mean, gee whiz, Giants and Dodgers tonight. I don’t want people to think ‘This is Vin’s last whatever.’ I just want them to enjoy the Giants and the Dodgers.”

Scully plans to call his final games in the Dodgers’ final regular-season series, Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at San Francisco. He said last week he will not do any playoff games.

“I didn’t want to say goodbye like they do in grand opera,” Scully said Monday, “and they say goodbye 25 times in 15 minutes. I’ll be saying goodbye to the people here at Dodger Stadium. I’ll be saying goodbye to baseball in general when I leave in San Francisco and I couldn’t possibly think ‘and then I’m going to say goodbye from, let’s just say Washington or New York, doing radio in the playoffs.’ It just didn’t work right for me.

“So to me, we’ll tie the ribbon on the package in San Francisco and that’ll be that.”

Scully wasn’t even sure he would attend if the Dodgers were to advance as far as the World Series.

“Probably not,” he said. “First of all, I’ve certainly had experience with large crowds, so probably not. I’m not sure because, what, the last time they won was in 1988? I would probably watch, however, for sure. And maybe if I was invited to the last game or whatever, maybe I would go. But basically, once I call it an end, which will be Oct. 2, I’ll try very hard to kind of just stay back and be the very normal guy that I am.”

That’s not to say he won’t miss doing what he has done for so long.

“It would be only very human to miss something that I’ve been doing for 67 years. It’s really been a major portion of my life,” Scully said. “It’s not been my life, but it’s certainly been a major portion of it. I think more than anything I will miss people. When I come to Dodger Stadium, for instance, I know the lady on the elevator, and when I get off the elevator, I know the men who run the press box, and then I see all my pals who are writers and fellow broadcasters and people who are all assigned to cover the game, and I really love all of that. And then, the thrill, the opportunity to sit there and try to describe what I’m looking at, the challenge is great as well. And I sure will miss all of that and I know I will and I will just try to do the best I can to live with it.

“I’m fortunate I have a wonderful wife, I have 16 grandchildren, we have three little great-grandchildren and I’m going to spend some time watching ballgames, I think, because a couple of the grandboys are good players, they really are. That’s what I’m looking forward to. But I will miss it. Oh, I know that, dramatically. Sure.”

KTVB


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