Los Angeles Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully thrilled fans last August with the announcement he would return for the 2016 season — his 67th with the franchise. The happiness turned to some sadness the following afternoon as The Golden Voice of the Dodgers revealed this season will be his last.
Ever so humble, Scully said at the time he hoped to avoid becoming a distraction or major talking point throughout his final season; he spoke confidently of the game moving on just fine without him.
With Time Warner Cable working to gain wider distribution of SportsNet LA, the Dodgers’ exclusive network, Scully’s name has been at the center of attention. His decision to retire, which will come in October or November, is serving as a bargaining chip and further reason to end the TV impasse.
Such reasoning is one Scully admitted to not being completely comfortable with, but added he will take some solace if it leads to carriage agreements being reached.
He called his first and only Spring Training came on Friday, and prior to manning the booth at Camelback Ranch reiterated he hopes the Dodgers will be the main attraction this season, via ESPN’s Doug Padilla:
“I hope not,” Scully said Friday to a question that was really more of a statement about all the attention he will receive this season. “I mean, really, I hope people come to see the Dodgers play. They listen to me if they don’t come. I love this game and I don’t want to get somehow out in front of it just because it’s my last year. I would be very happy to have people come out and love every minute of an exciting game, period. That’s enough for me.”
Scully will be on the call for the Dodgers’ two home games in the exhibition Freeway Series on March 31 and April 1. Scully will then head down Interstate 5 for to call the Opening Day game in San Diego on April 4.
The legendary broadcaster also intends to add a few games to his travel schedule in 2016, most notably the Dodgers’ final regular-season series — a three-game set against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.