Image Courtesy of Vin Scully
The Los Angeles Dodgers finished their last homestand of the regular season on a bittersweet note. Charlie Culberson’s extra-inning walk-off home run led the Dodgers to the final victory necessary to clinch the National League West Division Championship, leaving Dodger fans elated. However, Dodger fans also had to say goodbye to their Hall of Fame broadcaster, Vin Scully, as he called his final Dodger home game. After the celebrations of Culberson’s home run had died down, the Dodger faithful turned their attention to the Vin Scully Press Box for a final message from the legend himself. Among his remarks, Scully thanked Dodgers fans, stating that “I needed you far more than you needed me.” It seemed like a fitting ending for Scully, but fans weren’t quite ready to say goodbye.
Among the millions of baseball fans who begrudgingly bid farewell to Scully are many Milken students and faculty members. Milken’s location in Los Angeles makes it home to many passionate Dodgers fans, including Billy Kaplan, a math teacher and lifelong Dodgers fanatic. Mr. Kaplan explained why Scully is so unique, saying, “He makes it feel like home. When you have his voice coming through the TV, it’s as if he’s just in a rocking chair with you as he narrates the game.” When asked about what baseball loses with Scully’s retirement, Kaplan answered, “They lose a storyteller. They lose a poet. They lose the person who was able to get you through the silence of a baseball game and still keep you entertained.”
But not only the Dodgers fans at Milken feel impacted by Scully’s retirement. Ross Mankuta, Milken’s Director of College Counseling & Academic Planning and die-hard New York Mets fan, wrote that despite his passion for the Mets, he “respected and admired him,” and added, “His voice, his passion for, and his knowledge of the game, were unmatched. A piece of baseball will now become history. Young fans will miss the opportunity to learn about players in a way unlike any announcer — in any sport — has ever painted a picture of them before. I consider myself lucky to have moved to Los Angeles when I did, so I had the privilege to hear Vin before he called it quits.”
Vin’s talents are widely acknowledged across the many areas of pop culture. Athletes, actors, and even some fellow sports broadcasters shared their thoughts about Scully in a tribute video produced by the Dodgers. Los Angeles Lakers legend and Milken favorite Kobe Bryant said, “I think it’s important to appreciate him, his legacy, and what he means to sports as a whole. And I hope he feels that love, and he feels the embrace of how much the city of Los Angeles and the sports community loves him.” In the entertainment industry, actor George Lopez said, “He’s always there. And when you’re having a tough time in life, he’s always there. And he’s been the good uncle to all of us who love baseball.” Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston added, “I was always able to listen to Vin call a game, and even if it was just for the three hours, he just seemed to make everything alright.”
With so many people thanking Vin Scully for his 67 years behind the microphone, it is easy for Scully’s legacy to seem like a distant memory. However, Vin continued to make legendary calls until his very last day at his Dodger Stadium office. Perhaps Scully’s legacy is best summarized by the words of Milken student, Jordan Brenner ‘16: “It is remarkable how many great moments Vin Scully has called. From Sandy Koufax’s perfect game, to Kirk Gibson’s famous home run, and all the way up until his final call of Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run, Vin Scully has seen it all happen. He will be missed.”