Aside from the Los Angeles Dodgers looking to extend their franchise record of consecutive National League West division titles to four and end a World Series drought, the 2016 season carries plenty of weight with it being Vin Scully’s final in the broadcast booth.
Scully announced last August he would return for one more year, elating fans throughout Los Angeles and across Major League Baseball, but also setting a finality to a Hall of Fame career many never want to see end.
Naturally, it set the wheels in motion for the Hall of Fame broadcaster to be honored prior to and during his final season.
Chief among them was the portion of Elysian Park Avenue that runs between Sunset Boulevard and Dodger Stadium Way being renamed to Vin Scully Avenue during a formal dedication ceremony in April.
The Dodgers distributed a ‘Vin Scully Avenue t-shirt’ to the first 40,000 fans in attendance on May 10, and added Vin Scully Appreciation Night, scheduled for September 23, to their 2016 promotional schedule.
Scully said prior to the regular season beginning he was open to slightly expanding his travel schedule, but he did not want a farewell tour. He called the pair of Freeway Series games in Anaheim, and was honored by the Angels prior to Thursday’s matchup, via Fabian Ardaya of MLB.com:
• A shadow box containing several pieces of memorabilia from the 1989 MLB All-Star Game in Anaheim, which Scully called. It included the scorecard from the game, a photograph with former President Richard Nixon (who was in the booth with Scully for the first inning of the game) and a baseball autographed by the game’s MVP, Bo Jackson.
• A microphone from his first job as a part of CBS Radio with WTOP in Washington, D.C., which included an inscription of the score from the first game Scully called for the network.
• A letter from the Angels organization, thanking him for his contributions to baseball.
“Your passion has elevated a career that’s spanned 67 years and made you one of the most memorable personalities in sports history,” the letter read. “Your dedication has impacted not only Dodger fans, not only fans throughout Southern California, but across the country.”
• A silver platter displaying the letterhead from Scully’s first job in New York in the “silver room” at the Hotel Pennsylvania, when he was 16.
• Hats and sweatshirts from Scully’s time at Fordham Prep, each of which was autographed by Trout and Weaver.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia, hitting coach Mickey Hatcher, and center fielder Mike Trout were among those who presented the gifts to Scully. Hatcher and Scioscia of course has longstanding history with the voice of the Dodgers during his time as a catcher with the franchise.