Advertisement
Dodgers

Love letters to Vin Scully: ‘You have no idea, Mr. Scully, what you mean to our family’

Vin Scully license plate
Melinda Holcomb, 64, bought a new car in June and got a customized license plate to honor legendary Dodger announcer Vin Scully.
(Melinda Holcomb)

Vin Scully fans, we salute you. We’ve gotten more than 6,000 stories about how the legendary broadcaster has touched your lives. He was an English teacher to immigrants. A best friend and beloved family member. A comforter during times of pain. A masterful storyteller. 

Here are just a few of those stories.

Anne Johnston Brown | Richie Abbott | Diane Stone | Sen. Barbara Boxer | Ron SandidgeMichael Horowicz | Alex Chazen | Michael AmodeiRich Heisen | Jason Barquero | Melinda Holcomb | Andrew Del Toro | Benjamin David Hillman | Julian Rubel | John Doyle | Suzanne Lewis | Teresa Valenzuela | Margaret Winter | Jose Becerra | Michael Lennon


You have no idea, Mr. Scully, what you mean to our family.

— Anne Johnston Brown, 48, San Bernardino

Anne Johnston Brown is shown with her husband, Tom Brown.
Anne Johnston Brown is shown with her husband, Tom Brown.

Anne Johnston Brown

The day my Grandpa died, we made sure that the nurses had the game on so that the last voice he heard was Vin Scully's. That's how important Vin was to my Grandpa and to all of us. Although he couldn't see the television from his hospital bed, he could hear Vin's voice. And because of that, Grandpa was in heaven before he ever got there. 

You have no idea, Mr. Scully, what you mean to our family. Your voice escorted my Grandpa into his eternal rest, and it soothes us every night to hear that voice when the game is on. It connects us to Grandpa again, and it reminds us that this “kid's game,” as you've so often called it, has the power to bring people together in life and in death. Thank you … thank you for that.


This man helped raise me.

— Richie Abbott, 38, Canoga Park, Los Angeles

Richie Abbott has a tattooed tribute to Vin on his arm.
Richie Abbott has a tattooed tribute to Vin on his arm.

Richie Abbott

Like a lot of other young kids who grew up in L.A., I was mostly raised by a single mom. I had great male role models to turn to from time to time, but they weren't always there. You my friend, you were always there. On the radio. The comfort that your voice gave me as a kid, and even still to this day, is something I won't ever forget. You taught so much about the game of baseball and the history of the Dodgers during the games, but you also taught me some valuable life lessons that you would sprinkle throughout the broadcasts. One of my favorites was, when referring to a player being on the injured reserve and listed as day-to-day, you paused and said, “Well, aren't we all.” So true!

I hope you don't mind, but here's a picture of you I had tattooed on my arm. Sometimes people ask me why I got it. I tell them all the same thing. “This man helped raise me.” It's true. Thanks for always being there pal.


Thank you for connecting two strangers on the street.

— Diane Stone, 54, Los Angeles

Diane Stone

One night on my walk home from work in downtown Los Angeles, I heard Vin's voice on the radio. I looked around to see where it was coming from. I saw a homeless man huddled close listening to the radio. It made me smile but then made me sad. I felt blessed to have so much in life. I wondered how this homeless man got batteries for his radio. I wanted to give him tickets and food and money for a game, but thought how do I do that. Well, a couple of nights later I saw him again. This time he looked at me and we smiled at each other. That's all it took.

Fast forward a year: I've given him batteries and food, but most of all, enjoyed many conversations about the Dodgers and other sports teams. It made me realize how we all have a story and baggage, but it's important to show love and kindness instead of judging. Through Vin’s stories and respect for baseball and life, he taught me to reach out to that man with a smile from my heart and eyes.

Thank you Vin Scully for being the voice of Dodger baseball, and for connecting two strangers on the street.


His voice told me that everything was right with the world.

— Barbara Boxer, U.S. Senator

Sen. Barbara Boxer

When I was 10 years old, I lived six blocks from Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn, New York. When I couldn't go to Dodgers' games, I would put on the radio and listen to Vin Scully. His voice told me that everything was right with the world.


At the age of 12 I wrote to Vin Scully, asking for his sage advice.

— Ron Sandidge, 68, Aptos

Ron Sandidge

At the age of 12 I wrote to Vin Scully, letting him know that I wanted to be a sportscaster and asking for his sage advice. I was beyond delighted to get a personal letter of reply with tip-top suggestions for study and preparedness. A busy man for the L.A. Dodgers, he wrote to me from Pittsburgh while the Dodgers were battling the Pirates. Alas the team finished second in the National League, behind the Cincinnati Reds.

Like so many young people growing up in Southern California I listened to nearly every game, home and away, for years. I was so proud to tell anyone who asked, especially teachers and school counselors, that my ambition was to go into broadcasting, if possible. Everyone was so supportive but this would not have been the case had Mr. Scully not responded so kindly.


Vin made it OK to resume our lives.

— Michael Horowicz, 55, Los Angeles

Michael Horowicz poses with Vin Scully in the broadcaster's booth in San Diego.
Michael Horowicz poses with Vin Scully in the broadcaster's booth in San Diego.

Michael Horowicz

When he talks, he's talking directly to me. I've never seen or heard another broadcaster do that. 

My fondest memory is tinged with sadness. On the first day back after 9/11, there was a weird feeling in the stands. Should we even be here? But then Vin came on the Dodgervision screen with words of comfort. Hundreds of first responders came onto the field along with the biggest American flag I've ever seen. Vin made it OK to resume our lives. 


Vin Scully has been the narrator for every summer of my life.

— Alex Chazen, 30, Newport Beach

Alex Chazen takes his daughter, Coco, to her first Dodgers game in July 2016.
Alex Chazen takes his daughter, Coco, to her first Dodgers game in July 2016.

Alex Chazen

Vin Scully has been the narrator for every summer of my life. My parents used to tell me that whenever I refused to go to sleep, or couldn't fall asleep as a baby, they would put me in the car, and put on a Dodgers game – Vin's commentary would be my lullaby, and his voice would soothe me to sleep.

But this season, his last, being able to share it with my daughter, now 2 years old, has been the greatest joy of my life. When she hears his voices, she shouts, “Vin!” We can lay in bed or on a sofa and I watch her little eyes start to droop while listening to the exact same lullabies, sung by the same masterful artist, 30 years later.


On August 8, 1996 our fourth child was born. We named him James Vincent Amodei. The middle name is for you.

— Michael Amodei, 59, South Bend, Ind.

Michael Amodei with his daughter, Ellen Amodei, during his 50th straight year seeing the Dodgers play in person.
Michael Amodei with his daughter, Ellen Amodei, during his 50th straight year seeing the Dodgers play in person.

Michael Amodei

Vin,

On August 8, 1996, our fourth child was born. We named him James Vincent Amodei. The middle name is for you. On August 9, 1996, I left my wife and James Vincent at the hospital and drove 270 miles from Northern Indiana to Cincinnati to see the Dodgers play the Reds. You were there doing the game. We waited well after and as the ballpark quieted down we yelled up at you from the field level: "Hey, Vin, we just had a new baby. And we named him James VINCENT." After you processed this unusual message, you gave us all a big thumbs up!

James Vincent turned 20 last month. He lays in the back room late at night and watches the Dodgers with me and listens to you.


No one with your ability and control of your craft has ever been so approachable.

— Rich Heisen, 52, Rolling Hills Estates

Rich Heisen and his wife, Kerry, attend a Dodgers game in September.
Rich Heisen and his wife, Kerry, attend a Dodgers game in September.

Rich Heisen

How do I sum up 49 years of memories?

So many good memories of time spent with Dad cheering, yelling, pleading for the Dodgers to win. My Pop died three years ago, so our time of listening to and watching games together ended, but those memories of so many Sundays in summertime will never fade.

You are the most humble and grounded of virtuoso performers — ever. No one with your ability and control of your craft has ever been so approachable. I have never been lucky enough to meet you, but I feel like I know you. You are an artist — a Monet of the spoken word. With your voice, you have transported millions of people over your lifetime to a safe place — the smell of green, freshly cut grass, summer picnics, pick-up baseball games. And it all started with, “Wherever you are, and wherever you may be, a very pleasant good afternoon to you.”


He was a mentor to the mentee he never knew he had.

— Jason Barquero, 35, Downey

Jason Barquero covers a Dodgers game as a freelance reporter in 2013.
Jason Barquero covers a Dodgers game as a freelance reporter in 2013.

Jason Barquero

I'm not one to normally get emotional over a lot of things. In fact, my wife gives me grief because I didn't cry at the birth of either of my two daughters — whom I adore very much. When I think of what Vin Scully has meant to my 35-year-old life, well, let's just say that my wife better not be next to me during Vin's final game.

When my father immigrated to Los Angeles from Costa Rica in 1963 at the age of 18, like most immigrants, he knew very little English and faced the challenge of assimilating to American culture. When I ask him how he learned to speak English, he credits radio and television, but more importantly — Vin Scully.

As a child, I spent years annoying my mother while on my Nintendo and Sega Genesis, pretending to call games like Vin Scully while playing RBI Baseball or Bases Loaded. I went on to do college radio, voice overs, freelance reporting, earn a communications degree and now — announce professional basketball. 

He was a mentor to the mentee he never knew he had. And I think that's what Vin Scully is to a lot of people — an educator. Someone who taught us so many of life's great lessons through the game of baseball.


I will never be able to thank you enough for keeping a lonely little girl company all those years.

— Melinda Holcomb, 64, Monrovia

Melinda Holcomb dedicated her license plate to Vin Scully.
Melinda Holcomb dedicated her license plate to Vin Scully.

Melinda Holcomb

It all began at the age of 10, when my parents gave me a transistor radio for Christmas. My parents were always working and as a child I became very lonely, so that's when I fell in love with the Dodgers and my Vinny. Everywhere I went, my radio and Vinny went, riding my bike, long walks, playing in the backyard.

I will never be able to thank you enough for keeping a lonely little girl company all those years.


You’ve seen me through deployments to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf, time in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Guam, and now Bahrain.

— Andrew Del Toro, 33, Manama, Bahrain hailing from Long Beach

Andrew Del Toro with his son at Dodger Stadium before deploying to Afghanistan.
Andrew Del Toro with his son at Dodger Stadium before deploying to Afghanistan.

Andrew Del Toro

Thank you for so many memories! You’ve seen me through deployments to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf, time in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Guam, and now Bahrain. All of that time away from home, my family, and my friends was made easier by hearing Vin thanks to AFN and my MLB subscription. It never failed that I would be starting to get homesick and a Dodger game would be on with Vin's voice teleporting me from wherever I was in the world across all those miles back home to my grandparents’ couch.

I've sacrificed sleep and woken up in the middle of the night to hear you call games since my first deployment in 2003 to the opener in Sydney, and most recently to see your last game in L.A. I'll do it at least one more time on the 2nd, and maybe I'll be able to get through that night without tears in my eyes.


If I'm stuck deciding between right or wrong, I think to myself, 'What would Vin say?'

— Bejamin David Hillman, 22, Boston

Benjamin David Hillman poses with his mother, Nadia Lindstrom Hillman, after completing the Dodgers 10K run.
Benjamin David Hillman poses with his mother, Nadia Lindstrom Hillman, after completing the Dodgers 10K run.

Benjamin David Hillman

Growing up, I only had one grandfather, and he passed away a few years ago. I have always looked to Vin Scully in a similar way. He has always been there, preaching the same message over and over again. In a place where it is so easy to be a homer and biased, Vin has maintained a balanced approach. A wise man indeed; never has he been hurtful or callous toward anyone.

Mr. Scully, you have inspired me to be a better person. If I’m stuck deciding between right or wrong, I think to myself, “What would Vin say?” I have looked forward to hearing your voice and seeing your face on my television whenever I get the chance to watch a game. I live in Boston now and you have helped me visit home without leaving the comfort of my couch. It has been an honor and a privilege to have shared this time with you on Earth. You have had a part in defining who I am as a man. 

Thank you. 


It was a brilliant call that encapsulated everything about that moment and has stuck with me ever since.

— Julian Rubel, 27, Los Angeles

Julian Rubel smiles with his father at a Dodgers game in 2013.
Julian Rubel smiles with his father at a Dodgers game in 2013.

Julian Rubel

During the height of [Yasiel] Puig-mania in 2013, the call that I remember the most from that year was the Puig grand slam. I remember my dad calling me over to tell me that Puig was up with the bases loaded. When he hit it out, we both lost our minds. I'm pretty sure every Dodger fan watching did that night — it felt like it was out of a movie. 

I remember Vin's call so clearly. It was a moment and he knew it. He just let the roar of the stadium wash over everything, not saying a word for a good minute before remarking, “I have learned over the years that there comes a rare and precious moment where there is absolutely nothing better than silence ... to be absolutely speechless, to sum up the situation.” It was a brilliant call that encapsulated everything about that moment and has stuck with me ever since.


I hope you know that your game, that wireless radio voice, has reached far and wide beyond the U.S.

— John Doyle, 55, England

An English Dodger family: John Doyle with his son Anthony and daughter Esme.
An English Dodger family: John Doyle with his son Anthony and daughter Esme.

John Doyle

As the players took their field positions at game time I turned to my American cousin and said, “You know, no matter how hard they try, it still looks a group of people who just turned up at the park to play a game with their family and friends watching.” Only baseball can seem like this.

I hope you know that your game, that wireless radio voice, has reached far and wide beyond the U.S. and in this case to England. Even after your retirement, when people watch baseball, they will ask themselves, “What would Vin have said about that?”


My 86-year-old dad has never missed a game you have called in 67 years.

— Suzanne Lewis, 56, Los Angeles

Suzanne Lewis poses with her father, Louis Avila, and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti at a Dodgers game in 2015.
Suzanne Lewis poses with her father, Louis Avila, and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti at a Dodgers game in 2015.

Suzanne Lewis

My dad is a die-hard L.A. Dodger fan. He is a Vin Scully fanatic! He took me and my two brothers to the 1959 and 1963 World Series where the L.A. Dodgers won the pennant. And in 2015, I took my dad to a Dodger game where he met Tommy Lasorda and Mayor Eric Garcetti. The Dodgers won that night! What a game. What a memory.

Thank you for being a huge part of our lives and L.A. Dodger history. My 86-year-old dad has never missed a game you have called in 67 years. He listens to you on the radio because he prefers to hear your play-by-play over watching the TV. My entire childhood is filled with fond memories of watching the Dodgers on TV as a family.


It was the fall of 1988. My family and I were watching THE game that changed it all.

— Teresa Valenzuela, 46, Los Angeles

Teresa Valenzuela says Vin Scully's voice is an integral part of her fond Dodgers memories.
Teresa Valenzuela says Vin Scully's voice is an integral part of her fond Dodgers memories.

Teresa Valenzuela

It was the fall of 1988. My family and I were watching THE game that changed it all. Kirk Gibson was my favorite player on the team and though he was injured, he was coming up to bat. I said it in a low voice: “Just hit it out of the ballpark so you won't have to run the bases.”

Then it was all about Vin Scully calling the game “...the impossible has happened...” as my dad looked at me in astonishment then laughed at me and my siblings jumping around the living room celebrating.

To me, memories like these, with family, with the game, with Vin Scully's voice, are what baseball is all about.


You make it seem so ordinary to be educated.

— Margaret Winter, 65, Ventura

“Thanks to Vin's sage advice, I saved this ticket to prove I was really there.”
“Thanks to Vin's sage advice, I saved this ticket to prove I was really there.”

Margaret Winter

Vin, I know you think you're just a regular guy doing his job, but with all due respect, you're wrong, sir. You're a smart, well-educated man who has held the line against dumbing down better than anyone I know. Every time you effortlessly weave the story of Socrates and the Oracle of Delphi or a poem or a word like “epistemology” into your narrative, my heart sings and breaks at the same time. Sings, because you make it seem so ordinary to be educated. You respect us enough to assume we know what you mean. At the same time, my heart breaks thinking of kids who never hear anyone else talk that way, and I am so sad they're losing you. 

You've elevated our discourse and I'm so grateful. I wish you all good things in your retirement.


I know that voice.

— Jose Becerra, 49, La Puente, quoting his mother

Jose Becerra, top, with his wife Maria Vallejo-Becerra and their two sons, Joshua and Julian, celebrating his 49th birthday with a stadium tour.
Jose Becerra, top, with his wife Maria Vallejo-Becerra and their two sons, Joshua and Julian, celebrating his 49th birthday with a stadium tour.

Jose Becerra

My mother is very ill, suffering from two strokes and dementia. She frequently forgets who we are and where she is, but when I am home with her on a summer afternoon or evening and I turn on the radio, she immediately recognizes that sweet soothing sound and smiles and says, “I know that voice.”

Thank you for being the catalyst between my mother's fading memories and putting a smile on her face once again.


Vin, thanks for being a great announcer. But mostly, thanks for being an exceptional human being.

— Michael Lennon, 45, Stevenson Ranch

Michael Lennon with his daugther, Emily Lennon, catching the Dodgers' last spring training game in Arizona this past March.
Michael Lennon with his daugther, Emily Lennon, catching the Dodgers' last spring training game in Arizona this past March.

Michael Lennon

This past season, I reflected on what you have meant to me and my family and why we love you so much. Yes, you are an amazing announcer, but that's not it. It boils down to your humbleness. You are a man that has been almost universally considered the absolute best that has ever lived. There is nobody in history that I know of who could remain so humble with those kinds of accolades. What you have taught me is that everyone is afforded certain gifts in life, but that is not a reason to venture from who you are as a human being. Your true gift to me has been the way you have conducted your life. I will never be as good in my profession as you are in yours, but as I continue to experience success, I will think of you and it will keep me grounded.Vin, thanks for being a great announcer. But mostly, thanks for being an exceptional human being.


Some submissions have been edited for clarity and length. 

What’s your Vin Scully story? We’re hand-delivering a book of love letters to him, and we want you to be a part of it.

Twitter: @anniezyu

MORE:

An appreciation: Vin Scully is a voice for the ages

Voice of Dodgers announcer Vin Scully is sweet music to the ears

How Vin Scully helped me learn English and kept my Mexican American family together



UPDATES:

Oct. 1, 2:30 p.m.: This article has been updated with more fans' memories.

This article was originally published at 1:55 p.m., Sept. 28


Advertisement