The Los Angeles Dodgers dedicated Vin Scully Avenue in honor of Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, who is one week into his 67th and final season as voice of the franchise.
Monday’s ceremony was held just over two months after Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a motion to rename the portion of Elysian Park Avenue that runs from Sunset Boulevard to Dodger Stadium Way.
LA City Councilmember Gilbert Cedillo, who filed the motion, Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Dodgers Spanish-language broadcasters Jorge Jarrín and Pepe Yñiguez were in attendance.
So too was Roz Wyman, a former city Councilmember and person primarily responsible for helping the Dodgers move Los Angeles. Dodgers broadcaster Charley Steiner emceed the dedication, with Cedillo, Garcetti and Kasten among those to speak prior to Scully taking center stage at the podium.
“All of us have this personal relationship with the Dodgers and Vin Scully,” Cedillo said. “Vin, this is what you did. You united our city, the various communities and the various generations.” In a city with no shortage of bright lights and celebrities, Steiner points to Scully as the person who perhaps belongs at the top of that list.
“We can make a pretty compelling case that Vin is the biggest and most popular start of all,” Steiner said. “No last name required.” Steiner, who first listened to Scully as a child in Brooklyn, credited the iconic figure for determining a career path; adding, “The path to my career is about to be renamed.”
Meanwhile Kasten, who has been the Dodgers president and CEO since April 2012, could not help but be in awe of the scope of Scully’s career and experience after having a conversation with the Hall of Famer.
“My first year on the job, I was discussing with Vin a nuance about baseball, a point about baseball strategy, and I was sure how I felt about it because I read about it in a book written by Branch Rickey 70-80 years ago,” Kasten began to explain.
“I said I know this is how it should be, because I read about it in a book written by Branch Rickey. And Vin said, ‘That’s exactly right. Branch and I used to talk about that exact thing.’ “Now, before Branch was an executive, he was a Major League player,” Kasten continued.
“He broke into the Major Leagues with the St. Louis Browns in 1905. Vin Scully used to talk baseball with people who had been playing baseball in 1095, and every year since. Is there anyone on the planet who has been talking baseball with people who played in 1905 — and yesterday? So when we say that there is only one Vin Scully, we mean that quite literally.”
After Kasten’s remarks it was Scully’s turn to step to the podium. Scully began with his customary greeting, “Hi everybody…” and said he was “overwhelmed” by the moment. Scully thanked God, and his wife Sandi for her steadfast support throughout his 67-year career.
While the number of years Scully has blessed listeners with his poetic calls, he jokingly rebuffed it as a sign of success. “When you say, ’67 years doing the same job,’ I also think, ‘Sure, sure, but no advancement.'”
As the crowd chanted “one more year” at the end of Scully’s speech, with a chuckle he responded, “I’ve given it a lot of consideration, and no thank you.” Monday’s ceremony was hardly the end for Scully, as a full home-game slate awaits him. However, the finish line wasn’t too far from his mind.
“Maybe on the final day of my final broadcast, I’ll somehow come up with the magic words that you deserve,” Scully said. “As for now, I have only two magic words: Thank you.”