In his words: Vin Scully shares his ‘Thanksgiving’ with Dodger Stadium crowd
At exactly 7:19 p.m. on Sept. 23, 2016, Vin Scully did what he has done for 67 years: He leaned into a microphone.
Scully wore a dark-blue suit, light-blue shirt and a striped blue tie. He thanked the roaring crowd repeatedly. He stood some 40 feet in front of the Dodger Stadium mound — the same mound he said “must be the loneliest place in the world” while Sandy Koufax finished off a perfect game in 1965 — on an elevated platform surrounded by thousands of his closest friends.
And after a 30-second ovation, here is what Scully told family, friends and fans:
“That’s not fair, you made me cry once tonight.
“Hi everybody, and a very pleasant good evening to you. I thought I’d get that out of the way right away.
“Welcome to my Thanksgiving, because that is what this is all about. I should be on my knees today, to pray in Thanksgiving, for all the wonderful things that have happened to me. I had a child’s dream, and the grace of God not only gave me the fulfillment of my dream, he gave it for 67 years.
“I’ve loved this game for 80 years. That’s a lot of years. But at no time did I ever waver in my allegiance to the greatest sport we have in this world. I have tremendous respect for every single man who ever wore a major league uniform, going all the way back to my first year of broadcasting in 1958. I know how hard it has taken you to get where you are, and I know how hard it is to stay where you are. And please God let you all stay, let you all have great careers, now wouldn’t that be nice?
“I will certainly like to thank his honor the mayor and Commissioner [Rob] Manfred. I have so many friends in the business, from the playing fields, to the executive offices to the commissioner’s office. To the media in the press box, and my friends, the sportswriters across the country. But there is one group I really feel I have to thank: You people, sitting in the stands.
“Your enthusiasm, your passion for the game. When I was 8 years old I fell in love with the roar of a football crowd coming out of the speaker of a four-legged radio. When you roar, when you cheer, when you are thrilled, for a brief moment I am 8 years old again.
“What you have done is the reason why, despite the fact that I am 89 years old, you have allowed me to have a young heart. You really and truly have been the wind beneath my wings. I owe you everything.
Vin Scully, with wife Sandi at his side, waves to the crowd during a ceremony honoring the Dodgers broadcaster before the game Sept. 23, 2016, at Dodger Stadium.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Vin Scully and Hall-of-Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax embrace during the pregame ceremony honoring the Dodgers broadcaster on Sept. 23, 2016.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts (30) joins MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, right, in presenting a check to Vin Scully to be donated to the Dodgers broadcaster’s favorite charity during a pregame ceremoney Sept. 23, 2016.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Fans wipe away tears during the pregame ceremony honoring Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Vin Scully with Jerry Doggett in the announcer’s booth at Dodgertown during spring training in Vero Beach, Florida on April 8, 1985.(Jayne Kamin / Los Angeles Times)
Vin Scully has broadcast Dodgers games since before the team moved to L.A. in 1958.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Hall of Fame Dodger announcer Vin Scully before the start of a Dodgers - Reds game at Dodger Stadium on August 22, 2010.(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers announcer Vin Scully takes the stage to speak about his decision to come back for a 66th season in the broadcast booth during a news conference at Dodger Stadium on July 30, 2014.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Vin Scully is applauded on the field at Dodger Stadium, by family members, as he is recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as the “longest tenured sports team employee” on September 23, 2015.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
“Now people say to me, ‘Well now that you’re retiring, what are you going to do?’
“Well you know if you’re 65 and retired, you may have 20 years of life or more, you better have some plans. When you’re 89 and they ask what your plans are... I’m going to try to live.
“I have a great wife whom I adore, I have five wonderful children, I have 15 grandchildren and I have three great-grandchildren. I guarantee if I don’t know what to do, they will find something for me to do.
“I want you to know from the bottom of my heart how much I appreciate what the Dodgers have done to put this festive night together. I will never, ever forget it, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
“And one more thing, for those of you who wonder what I will do, I am looking for a much smaller house and a much larger medicine cabinet. Goodnight, everybody.”
Another drawn-out ovation followed.
As is his custom, Scully stepped back from the microphone and let the crowd noise take center stage.
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