It was deafening. It was discordant. It was perfect.
With Vin Scully’s signature greeting, Los Angeles said goodbye.
With the five words that formed Come on ScullyLos Angeles etched its memory in the sky of Dodger Stadium.
“So now, 50,000 Dodgers fans, stand up,” he urged. Dave Roberts, Dodgers coach from the middle of the infield early Friday night. “On the count of three, shout as loud as you can so Mr. Vin can hear us from Blue Heaven!
One two three.
And then there came, from the depths of their grief, from the top of their lungs, a cheer straight from the heart of the most powerful connection in the history of this city.
“It’s time for Dodger Baseball!!!”
It sounded pretty crazy. It sounded quite wonderful.
All in all, it was a fitting poetic ending to a poignant tribute to longtime Dodgers announcer Scully. died Tuesday at age 94.
Held during Friday’s opener of a weekend series with the San Diego Padres, it was the Dodgers first chance to honor Scully in front of his adoring fans since his death. Considering he was staunchly private and beyond humble, this was probably his only public memorial service.
If so, the Dodgers got it right, mixing a moment of silence with an emotional video wrapped around an unveiled banner and punctuated by that convincing final cheer.
Everything was so sweet, maybe even the ever deferential Scully would have liked it. Or maybe he just smiled and endured. Anyway, he had brought her.
“Vin, while looking down on us right now, hated the spotlight on him,” Roberts said in his pre-game speech to the crowd. “Well, it’s going to be very uncomfortable for him. Because this moment right now, I really deserve it.
The celebration of life began long before the game, covering virtually every corner of 1000 Vin Scully Ave.
Outside, the Dodger Stadium welcome sign was covered in flowers, balls, caps and t-shirts, all grouped under a homemade framed sign.
“God acquires Vin Scully from the Los Angeles Dodgers.”
Inside, fans wandered the halls paying tribute to various Vin Scully photos and memorabilia, including lining up two dozen deep to pose for a photo in front of the sign for Vin Scully’s press box.
Albert Gonzalez, a 52-year-old man from San Pedro, patiently stood in that line, his voice heavy with memories.
“I grew up with Vin Scully, listening to him since I was 5, listening to him with my dad,” Gonzalez said. “Losing him is like losing a voice, it’s like losing a best friend, he was always in your living room, always in your car, he was everywhere.”
Where that night Scully was everywhere again.
There were flowers adorning the entrance to the press gallery. Down the left field line were flowers hanging next to his retired microphone, which sits on the facade next to Jaime Jarrín’s retired microphone and the retired numbers of 11 other Dodgers.
After the second inning, the video card played a recording of Scully singing “Wind Beneath My Wings” to the fans after his final home game. During the fifth round kiss camera, there was a nice video of Scully smooching with his wife Sandi, who died in 2021.
On the video board at other times throughout the night appeared the nostalgic faces of fans telling their favorite Vin Scully stories or answering trivial questions where Scully was the obvious answer.
It was as if Dodger Stadium had been transformed into a giant funeral home populated by mourners wearing jerseys and hot dogs.
A popular jersey, of course, was one that read “Scully 67”.
“He’s the tie, the fabric, from the fans to the organization,” Roberts said of Scully before the game. “You look at 60 years of Dodger baseball, players change, teams are different, but he was the one constant. Every night when you turned on the game, hearing his voice was the constant.
Roberts added: “He was the conduit for a lot of sharing stories, painting pictures, calling a ball game. He was kind of the common thread.
At one point during the pre-game ceremony, Scully was literally a thread.
You may remember that during his last home game in 2016, Scully hung a banner outside his stand that read, “I’m going to miss you!”
On Friday, the Dodgers finally had a chance to give the correct answer with a new banner unveiled by announcers Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser at the exact spot where the old one was.
“Vin – We will miss you! (signed) Dodger Fans,” it read.
“I understood that the game was about the players and the fans in the stands, I kind of didn’t want to be the star of the show,” Roberts said. “The cast of characters always changes, but that’s about the game.”
But Friday night, for once, it was Scully, whose place in Dodgers history was carved by Roberts and echoed by thousands.
“He was one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Dodger of all time,” Roberts said.
Interestingly, on different occasions throughout the night, the video map showed the two Dodger Stadium statues of Jackie Robinson and Sandy Koufax.
Does that mean a statue of Scully could be next? It should be next. In terms of franchise and community impact, Scully is arguably the greatest Los Angeles Dodger of all time.
Heck, the Dodgers might even save some money on signing him up.
They can do it in five words.