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Letters to the Editor: How Vin Scully touched the lives of readers: ‘You changed my life’

Vin Scully puts his headset on prior to a baseball game
Vin Scully in the broadcast booth at Dodger Stadium in 2016. Scully, the Dodgers’ play-by-play announcer for 67 years, died Monday at age 94.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

To the editor: When I was 12 years old, I had the opportunity to be a bat boy at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the Dodgers played for four seasons prior to Dodger Stadium opening in 1962.

When I showed up in the locker room, I realized I had my little brother’s baseball cleats instead of mine and therefore could not go on the field. I was heartbroken.

Vin Scully was across the room interviewing Sandy Koufax, and he noticed my disappointment. He came over to me and asked me if I would like to have my picture taken with Mr. Koufax. Then he asked me if I would join him in the broadcast booth to watch the game.

Afterward I wrote him a thank you note, and typical to his character he wrote back. As a teen I worked at Dodger Stadium; he was always gracious and called me Kimmy.

When I was about 25 years old, I was working in Mission Viejo on a TV production. The producer asked if I could help him fix the toilet in the motorhome of the star of the show. As I was washing my hands, in walked Vin Scully.

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I greeted him and said, “You won’t remember me, but you changed my life.” He said, “Kimmy, I do remember you,” and he proceeded to recommend me to the producer as a hard-working young man.

That happened almost 45 years ago, and I’m still working in the entertainment industry as a result of Vin Scully’s kindness. If you ever have an opportunity to pay it forward or do something kind, it will leave an indelible mark on the recipient of your kindness. Such was Vin Scully’s effect on me and so many others.

Cameron Kim Dawson, Orlando, Fla.

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To the editor: In spring 2006, I was in treatment for Stage 4 blood cancer, receiving a challenging chemotherapy regimen. Dealing with the physical and emotional challenges was not easy and I wondered if things would ever be normal again.

And then my young son, in kindergarten at the time, turned on the Dodger game, and I heard Vin Scully say, “Hello everybody and a very pleasant good evening to you, wherever you may be.”

I will never forget how the sound of his voice and all the words he spoke soothed my frightened soul. I became a dedicated listener and relished his wisdom through very difficult times.

Laurie S. Adami, Los Angeles

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To the editor: When I lived in San Diego, in 1955, my fifth-grade class had the opportunity to watch the Dodgers-Yankees World Series in the auditorium. I asked my mom who I should root for, and she said go for the underdog, which was the Dodgers.

The first thing they did when the game was on was to turn down the TV volume and turn on the radio, with Vin Scully calling plays — yeah, even back then.

Years later I moved to Los Angeles and went to my first Dodger game at the Coliseum. I still have the program, with Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett on the cover.

In the early 1980s I was in an elevator at Dodger Stadium, with Vin, and I asked him if he could sign the vintage program, which he did. You have to look hard to find it. He always just signed “Vin.”

Patricia Soul, North Hollywood

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To the editor: On Monday, some friends and I were debating who would go on the Mt. Rushmore for L.A. sports. We all agreed on John Wooden, Sandy Koufax and Magic Johnson, and couldn’t decide on the fourth.

Later that day, it came to me: Vin Scully. Of course.

We got Vinnie onto Mt. Rushmore before Tuesday’s news, proving that we are all, in fact, “day to day.”

Lee Dresie, Culver City

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To the editor: I grew up on Edwards Air Force Base in the 1960s and early ’70s. Like a lot of kids, some of my best memories of my father involved listening to Vinny call Dodger games. When my dad died in 1971, we moved to east Tennessee to be closer to my mom’s family.

I looked forward to whenever the Dodgers played the Reds, Cardinals or Pirates, because I could tune into their radio stations. But I discovered something really amazing when those teams visited Dodger Stadium.

If Marty Brennaman, Jack Buck or Bob Prince paused their commentary for a few seconds, I could hear Vinny’s voice booming through the stadium, with those thousands of transistor radios tuned in to his broadcast, and into my bedroom in Appalachia. It was a siren song of hope for the day when I would return to California.

In 1974, I arrived for freshman orientation at UCLA. That evening I got out my transistor radio and tuned it to the Dodger game. I think they were playing the Reds. When I heard Vinny’s voice, I knew I was home. I’ve never left.

Steve Conklin, Cathedral City

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To the editor: The Dodgers broke my heart when they left my hometown of Brooklyn after 1957.

After moving to Northern California, guys in high school said I could get Dodger broadcasts at night by searching for KFI, near the civil defense logo on the radios at the time. After fiddling with the dial and some static, a chill went up my spine when I heard Vin’s unmistakable voice for the first time in four years.

My favorite Vin Scully call came with speedy Willie Davis on first: “There goes Willie. The pitch is high. The throw to second, even higher!”

Nick Rizza, Berkeley

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To the editor: When we moved to Southern California in 1959, I was already a baseball fan. I grew up here listening to Dodger games on my little transistor radio into the night, using the huge earplug so my folks wouldn’t know.

We all brought our radios to school during the World Series. We collected baseball cards and memorized the stats. We were Duke Snider at bat and Sandy Koufax on the mound. We played Little League when it was mostly for fun, dressed in team T-shirts and our jeans. Our mitts were half the size of today’s bushel baskets. We used a ball until the cover came off.

Though all this, our soundtrack was Vin Scully. He was the cool uncle who told us stories.

Steve McCarthy, Monrovia

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To the editor: A young fan was interviewed about Vin Scully. He said, “You could watch his voice.” We know exactly what he meant.

Karen Marks, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Little boys are crying all over Los Angeles — they just happen to be 60, 70 or 80 years old.

Michael Salter, Santa Monica

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To the editor: Back goes Vin, way back, to the wall, he’s gone.

We will surely miss you.

Mark Sharzer, Los Alamitos


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