Vin Scully will be back next season.
For a team and fanbase in desperate need of some good news, this is at least one small reason to smile today.
I'll confess, I'm not even a Dodgers fan, but I have enjoyed listening to Vin for as long as I can remember. Even though I grew up in New York on the opposite side of the country, I still managed to spend every summer Saturday afternoon with Vin serving as the play-by-play man for the NBC Game of the Week during the better part of the 1980's.
His voice, his humor, his timing, and sense of the moment were and still are impeccable. I enjoyed listening to Vin as much as watching the game itself. We didn't have cable growing up so this one of the few times I could watch and listen to a world beyond the reach of the rabbit ears. It's funny and perhaps a bit odd that Vin of all people ended up being my favorite given the number of options available.
Unfortunately the hometown options were uninspiring at best. As a Mets fan, Ralph Kiner and Tim McCarver were terrible. In fact they were so bad that we would often turn off the sound and listen to Bob Murphy on the radio. Across town things were a bit better in listening to the Yankees as I actually enjoyed hearing Phil Rizzuto and Bill White joust. At the same time they always came across as a bit of a comedy act and could prove hard to take seriously on occasion.
Later on through my travels I would get the opportunity to enjoy the sounds of Harry Carey in Chicago and Dave Niehaus in Seattle, but Vin was that first truly special announcer for me who helped bring the game to life and was there during so many important moments during my formative years like Game 6 of the '86 Series and Game 1 of the '88 Series. (For anyone unable to enjoy Vin today or is feeling a bit nostalgic, I suggest checking out the Baseball's Best series on iTunes where for .99 cents you can rent some of these classic games.)
Having a truly great broadcaster makes all the difference while watching or listening to a game, especially when times are tough. Dodger fans, I'm sure you can sympathize. Being able to rely on Vin to bring you the game and perhaps a little humor at a time when it seems like your team doesn't have much to hope for is of invaluable comfort. If you can't enjoy the Dodgers on or off the field, at least enjoy Vin for this year and hopefully many more to come!