He was the Dodgers. Players and staff mourn the loss of Vin Scully

Joe Davis told the audience at the bottom of the fifth inning from a guest TV booth in Oracle Park, where the Dodgers and Giants played, as you would expect.

“Well, it’s with a heavy heart that we break some really tough news,” Davis began. “At the age of 94, Vin Scully passed away“.

Silence.

“Hard. Hard,” Davis said shortly after finishing his SportsNet broadcast in Los Angeles at the same stadium that Scully called her last game. “But I think it was my duty to follow him and do my best to honor his memory by sitting in that chair telling stories and calling the Dodger baseball.”

Davis replaced Scully in 2017. Scully has been the voice of the team for 67 seasons. He oversaw the franchise’s move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. His stories played on transistor radios in the crowd at the Coliseum when the team moved west in 1958, and on flat-screen TVs when he said goodbye to him in 2016. for generations.

It was impossible to replace the icon. Scully’s advice to Davis was the same advice Red Barber had given him in 1950: be yourself.

“I was just trying to do my best to pay tribute to the guy who I think is the greatest person to ever do that,” Davis said. “And I said on the air tonight and I will always say: there will never be another like him. The greatest that has ever been and the greatest that will ever be.

“So we just tried our best to convey the stories that we think Vin, Vin did and just tried to take a difficult situation for everyone I know who felt like they knew Vin after listening to him for so long. and make some people smile on a difficult night.”

In the Dodgers dugout in the middle of the game, rumors began to circulate about Scully’s demise.

“I knew he was sick,” the Dodgers manager said. Dave Roberts said. “But as for the ending, I was still shocked.”

Justin Turnerthe team’s longest-serving player, found out when he returned to the cages after the fifth inning.

“He was the Dodgers,” Turner said. “I think there are a lot of heavy hearted people here tonight after hearing this news.”

The Lakewood native Turner immediately recalled his first meeting with Scully, when the third baseman was still playing for the New York Mets early in his career.

“We were in town playing the Dodgers and he went down to the away club to say hello,” Turner said. “He told me that he is also a redhead, and we redheads should stick together. I thought it was crazy that Vin Scully came into the club to find me and say hello.

Catcher Austin Barnes recalled listening to Scully games on call while growing up in Riverside.

“The way he called the games made you feel right at home, like he was in your living room,” Barnes said. “Very sad. Obviously it will be missed. It’s like my childhood when I grew up listening to it.”

Clayton Kershawwho spent more of Scully’s career than any other current Dodger, liked to reminisce about his own Tuesday night.

The pitcher was watching Scully’s tribute on TV after a clubhouse game when highlights of his 2014 know-hitter flashed on screen. Scully’s voluptuous voice spoke of the game, just as it did half a century ago when the TV presenter called Sandy Koufax’s Perfect Game.

“All the people he called, no hitters, perfect games, the World Series, all those things, for me to be a very tiny, tiny part of that is very cool,” Kershaw said. “His voice never changed. ‘It’s time for a Dodger baseball’, ‘Good evening’, it will all resonate with me. It was a special opportunity to have him around and we will definitely miss him.”

The news of Scully’s death resonated with the rest of the sport.

In Anaheim, Angels manager and Fullerton native Phil Nevin recalled his interactions with Scully, from when he kept score of games listening to him as a child, to the first time he heard Scully call his name on air, when he reached the major leagues.

“It was like, ‘Wow,'” Nevin said, “I’m in the big leagues.”

During Scully’s final season in 2016, Nevin was the Giants’ third base coach. During a game against the Dodgers that year, he went to the press box to take a picture with the retiring broadcaster.

“It was one of my favorite baseball moments,” Nevin said.

Perhaps the most memorable event of that year: Charlie Culberson’s home run in Scully’s last home game at Dodger Stadium, a victory that secured the Dodgers NL West and was marked by Scully performing “Wind Beneath my Wings” sold-out of the crowd.

“We [were] everyone is celebrating and we’re all just turning our attention to Vin and his wife Sandra,” Culberson, who now plays for the Texas Rangers, told reporters after their game on Tuesday. “It was a pretty cool moment… People will talk about Vin forever.”

Online, memories of Scully also flooded social media on Tuesday.

Longtime Dodgers Spanish language TV presenter Jaime Harrin wrote in Spanish that he “lost the architect of his professional life; dear friend”.

Lakers great and Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson said that “he had a voice and a way of telling stories that made you think he was only talking to you.”

The rawest emotions were on the TV and radio broadcasts of the Dodgers.

Former Dodgers outfielder and longtime radio analyst Rick Monday’s voice broke as he broke the news during a radio broadcast.

“For those of us who were touched by him, listened to him and learned from him,” Monday said, “this is a deep loss.”

During the SNLA post-game show, former Dodger pitcher and current television analyst Eagle Hershizer held back tears.

“It’s very hard,” he said, “because it’s a part of your life that you don’t want to lose.”

When the Dodgers beat the Giants 9-5 on Tuesday, Davis spent the last few innings telling stories about Scully. He talked about how Scully fell in love with the sport, how he became the voice of the Dodgers, and how he influenced other broadcasters. He recalled his first interaction with Scully in 2015, how he ignored two of his calls because he didn’t get the phone number. Then he listened to the voicemail. It was Scully who introduced himself.

“Everyone feels like they knew him and so many people grew up listening to him and learned baseball from him,” Davis said. “So I felt a responsibility to all these people to make sure, as hard as it is, to understand that it’s just as hard for them and try to be, I think, the sustainable voice that Vin has been to so many people over the years. long time. so long.”

Eventually, after the Dodgers made it to the Finals, they lined up for a handshake on the field with the sobering graphics on the video board above. It was a picture of Scully in the booth. 1927-2022