“Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good evening to you.”
Vin Scully was home Wednesday, and much to his chagrin found himself in the spotlight at Dodger Stadium. The Hall-of-Fame broadcaster became the 11th member of the Dodgers Ring of Honor, which also includes eight former players and two of the club’s previous managers.
To the fans in attendance and thousands watching at home, the plaque of a microphone and Scully’s name that’s now in place on the club level down the left-field line was long overdue. But to someone as modest as Scully, the recognition is more than he deserves.
“To be with Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider and Roy Campanella, there’s a sense of looking back on my graduating class,” Scully explained prior to the pregame ceremony.
“Those were the ones who started me on my career. It’s very emotional to look up and say, ‘I don’t belong up here,’ because I’ve always sat back and admired every single thing they did. Including Alston and Lasorda as managers.”
Scully’s hope for a quick ceremony was met, though in no way did it feel rushed. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts walked Scully into shallow left field, and they were followed players and coaches.
Sandy Koufax and Tommy Lasorda did the honor of removing the blue curtain to officially unveil Dodger Stadium’s newest addition.
At that time it was Scully’s turn to address the crowd. He opened with his customary greeting and admitted to being overrun by emotion. “I’m trying very hard to keep a stiff upper lip,” Scully said.
While the Dodgers Ring of Honor is comprised of jersey numbers, with the exception of Scully, to honor its members, the legendary broadcaster has a different view. “Those are numbers to many,” Scully began.
“But to me, they are friends of mine throughout my baseball life. With all of those numbers, I see faces, I hear voices.”
His humility an admired trait, Scully attempted to convince his admires of his feeling that inclusion into the Ring of Honor was much too deserving.
“Just between you and me, and don’t tell management, I don’t deserve to be up there with them,” Scully said. “Anyway, I’m there, and I’m eternally grateful to the Dodgers.” The crowd responded with an audible protest, hoping to convince the iconic voice of his standing in the organization.
Many presume Scully will next be honored in the form a statue. The Dodgers unveiled the first of its kind at Dodger Stadium on Jackie Robinson Day, in tribute to the man responsible for breaking the color barrier.
But don’t ask about a possible Vin Scully statue. “I couldn’t even think about that,” Scully said. “As I say, they have been so generous, given me so much, I don’t even think about a statue. I’m fine, I really am.”