Los Angeles is such a complicated metropolis of disparate neighborhoods that it's hard to imagine a single event truly changing the place. Well, there is perhaps one: the retirement of Vin Scully.
Dodgers fans (and surely many of the team's executives) released a collective sigh of relief when their sainted announcer said last week that he would return next year for his 67th season. But tempering that excitement was a warning by the 87-year-old game caller that next season will also likely be his last. More than a year out from the day that fans knew would arrive but still dread, some readers are already reacting.
Here are their letters.
Barbara Pronin of Los Angeles says it isn't the Dodgers that catch her attention:
For the better part of my 70-plus years, Vin has been the voice of summer, a welcome backdrop to my sidewalk games, picnics in the park, strolls past open Brooklyn windows and many adult years in Los Angeles.
But thanks to the Dodgers' egregious cable television deal, his warmth and wisdom have faded to near obscurity, save for a few radio innings.
A strange and poignant realization washed over me as I read about Vin's decision: It's not the Dodgers I miss anymore. I have learned I can do without them. It's the voice of summer I have loved and anticipated for so many happy summers.
Thanks, Vin, from the bottom of my heart, for so enormously enriching my life.
Pacific Palisades resident Dan Caldwell praises Scully the poet:
A good friend of mine owned a bookstore in Pacific Palisades, where Scully used to live. I asked him if many celebrities came to his store; he said that not many did, but Scully was there frequently. I asked if Scully bought sports and baseball books; my friend said he was mainly into poetry.
We Angelenos who grew up listening to Vinny and who consider Scully and the Dodgers as synonymous are going to miss his poetry.
Mark Judy of Laguna Beach wants to hear Scully call games on TV:
If you want to hear a Southland ovation that would drown out the cheers at Dodger Stadium in reaction to Scully saying he will return next season, the team owners should announce that we can all hear him next season on television.
San Diego resident Dennis Rohatyn suggests the Dodgers break new ground in replacing Scully:
With Scully retiring, the Dodgers should hire a woman to call the games. Not only would this break new ground in sports, reminiscent of Jackie Robinson's achievement breaking the color barrier in a Dodger uniform (although neither as dangerous nor as dramatic), but it would ease the pressure on his successor.
We all have Scully's voice wired into our souls, available for continuous replay. But that is unfair to whomever replaces him. So let's give an alto rather than a tenor sax a chance to play the music of the game and record its rhythms for the Bums' history and baseball blues' posterity.