Oct. 14, 2015

There is Someone Missing From Postseason

By Marc Platt

As enjoyable as the 2015 baseball postseason has been, I miss hearing Vin Scully's voice the most.

He has been there for me since I was six years old. This was my 50th baseball season listening to him call the games on the radio and/or television. The Dodgers Radio Network has switched three times since then and the television stations went from channel 5-to-11-to-9-to13-to-cable, but Vin Scully has always been there throughout the transistions.

Scully was also one of the best football, basketball and golf network commentators I ever heard. There was nothing this man couldn't do behind a microphone.

He has been going through some medical problems lately, but I want to keep pounding the point home what he has done to lift Dodger baseball to the highest levels and building fanbase of just about any franchise.

Vin Scully arrived in Brooklyn in 1950 as a very young graduate from Fordham University. He was an appentice of Hall of Famer Red Barber and the very-talented Connie Desmond in the booth.

The Brooklyn squads of 1950-51-52-53-55 were elite, Hall-of-Fame powerful teams who won a lot of games and the latter three played The Yankees in the World Series with players like Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Don Newcombe, Pee Wee Reese and Gil Hodges. These were the teams he covered in his earliest years.

In the 1960's Scully covered the pitching-dominated teams with Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. These were weak-hitting teams who relied on pitching and defense.

In the 1970's and early 1980's they were once again a very powerful squad with Garvey-Cey-Lopes-Russell in the infield, Dusty Baker, Reggie Smith and Mike Scioscia getting them to the postseason year after year. That elite squad finally broke through in 1981 beating the Yankees, just like the 1955 squad beat The Bronx Bombers.

Vin Scully magically brought Los Angeles and the world the exploits of the Kirk Gibson-led 1988 team who defied all the odds to destroy a better Oakland Athletics squad. Scully and Tommy Lasorda are the two most-reverred Dodgers who were NOT known for their exploits on the baseball field as players. Lasorda WAS a player, but not heralded for his pitching skills.

This brings me to my personal connection to Vin Scully.

I was hooked at age six and listened faithfully to most games since. Scully helped me get through the loss of my mother at age 12 all the way through many of my life experiences. He has always been there for me.

My brother Ben has had a professional connection with Vin Scully since the early 1990's. Ben worked for Vin and helped bring Scully into the computer age. My brother has helped Scully for many years with his computers and other things related to the Internet.

In 2003 when Ben got married, Vin quitetly showed up and sat in the back row. Ben (politely) INSISTED that Mr. Scully take a picture with him and his bride and Vin was more than glad to do it.

When Ben and I lived together, Scully called our place many times and I was fortunate to speak with the Hall of Famer myself about baseball and life many times when Ben wasn't around. I cherish those conversations.

A few months after Ben moved out the phone rang one evening. It was Vin Scully. He had called the wrong number, meaning to get my brother at home. For the next 45 minutes it was my great pleasure to talk baseball and life with one of the most important figures in my life. At the end of the call I told Scully just how important he had been in mine and Ben's life during our youth.

His reply: "I'm glad to have been along for the ride."

Get well soon Vin. I am really missing you call these playoffs.