If you’re a Dodger fan, things are looking up. Manny Ramirez is still hitting the cover off the ball and hasn’t asked for a trade yet. The team just completed a three-game sweep of the flailing Arizona Diamondbacks to surge into first-place in the (lousy) NL West. And now this news from the LA TIMES: legendary announcer Vin Scully says that he’ll be back next year for his 60th season of Dodger broadcasts.
I guess no one consulted Jeff Kent about the Dodgers’ broadcasting plans, although with the way things are going it’s pretty unlikely that Kent’s going to be around next season to have to listen to Scully drone on and on and on…
To understand just how important Vin Scully is to the fabric of life in Los Angeles, let me relay a personal story. My wife worked in public affairs for several years, and one of her clients commissioned a survey to see who the most trusted figure in Los Angeles would be. Specifically, who would Angelenos most want to hear giving them information about a huge emergency (earthquake, nuclear attack, etc.) The answer wasn’t a politician or a news anchor but Vin Scully, and it wasn’t even close.
Scully is going to keep the same schedule he’s had the past few seasons: home games and road games west of the Rockies, and he (of course) cleared it with his wife before making the final decision. However, he’s made no commitment past next year, meaning that 2009 might be the last season to hear perhaps the greatest voice in baseball history.
To understand just how closely linked Scully is to the Dodgers, consider this: Dodgers fans named him the “Most Memorable Personality” in Los Angeles Dodgers history. And that was back in 1976 - 32 years ago. Some day there will be Dodger games without Vin Scully, and that’s going to be a weird world.