Vin Scully Remembered by Los Angeles City Council as a Uniting Force
Los Angeles City Council members took turns Wednesday trading stories and memories of Vin Scully, the legendary Dodgers broadcaster who died Tuesday at his home in Hidden Hills at age 94.
The council adjourned Wednesday’s meeting in honor of both Scully and Julian Nava, the first Latino to serve on the board of Los Angeles Unified School District. Nava died last week at age 95.
Councilman Gil Cedillo, whose district includes Vin Scully Avenue — which was renamed from Elysian Park Avenue in 2016 — said that Scully served as a “bridge and a voice of the city.” Cedillo, like so many Angelenos of a certain age, grew up listening to Scully on a transistor radio.
“You could hardly find a more decent man,” Cedillo, 68, said. “A man so humble, so just genuine and caring. A man who loved what he did. He lived his life loving what he was doing, exactly what he wanted to do. Everybody has their own story regarding Vin Scully.”
Scully broadcast Dodger games from 1950 — when the team was based in Brooklyn — through his retirement in 2016 at age 88. His 67-year tenure as a Dodger broadcaster is the longest for a broadcaster with a team.
“When I was a little kid, I thought there must be some broadcasting system because this voice is coming from every direction,” Councilman Paul Koretz said. “But it was because thousands and thousands of people all brought their transistor radios. Because they don’t want to come to a game and then be deprived of Vin Scully, which was the best part of every Dodger game.”
Fans paid their respects to Scully with a memorial outside Dodger Stadium in Elysian Park in front of the street sign that bears his name. They left flowers, candles and shared memories of the moments in Dodger history that Scully delivered on the radio and TV.
“I just remember laying on the floor in the living room, listening to the ballgame,” Councilman Curren Price said. “The house would be dark, yet the transistor radio or the larger radio with the tubes in it were blasting out the game and we were just following right along, word for word.
“I remember to this day, his words ringing out when a ball was hit: `And it was hit high and wide and out!’ ”
Councilman Joe Buscaino, who used to work security for Dodgers games when he was a police officer, would treasure the days when he was assigned to Scully’s postgame escort.
“That walk along the corridor into his car, we reminisced about just life and baseball and family,” Buscaino said. “He brought the city together. Aside from how you stood politically, that was all out the door. It was about baseball.”
Scully’s passing felt like a family member dying, according to Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez.
“I don’t know that there’s an Angeleno that isn’t heartbroken,” she said. “My phone blew up last night from so many friends who were devastated with this loss.”
Councilman John Lee wore a black suit with a blue tie, because “I am in mourning for who was that icon of the City of Los Angeles.”
“Watching the game with your dad, the Game of the Week — before cable TV, you had to wait until the weekend to get that one game, and if it was a game that Vin Scully was broadcasting, my dad and my brother and I would always sit and listen to him,” Lee said.
City Hall will be lit up in blue Wednesday night in honor of Scully.
For Councilman Paul Krekorian, Scully was more than just the Dodgers announcer. With his voice, Scully brought the city together like no one else could.
“When you think back to the arrival of the Dodgers in 1957 and all that the city has gone through,” Krekorian said. “The tumult, the turbulent divisions, the times that we have too often turned against one another, the times when we have been uncertain about our own future here in Los Angeles.
“And the one common element that most Angelenos shared was that … consistent, reliable ability to have the little joys of a summer baseball game in your backyard, barbecuing with your family, and Vin Scully’s voice through all of that. Through all of those years, through all of those divisions.”