Vin Scully: The Man, The Legend, The X-File
ACCORDING TO MY CALENDAR, the Julian calendar, the Aztec calendar, the Hebrew and the Chinese calendars it is not long until Baseball Spring Training begins. It will be a time of magic, creation and resurrection. The rhythmic smack of horsehide on leather will begin and of beautifully lathed Ash and Maple bats diving through the warm air and lifting the ball into the clouds. And Vin Scully will be taken from his hermetically sealed vault, rethatched his personal shade of orange, and propped up before a live microphone.
Mr. Scully began his stint as the “Voice of the Dodgers” in 1950. Harry Truman was President, a gallon of gas cost 18 cents, a new home cost $8500, and Vin was 23 years old. I was four. This year will be his 65th season on the air.
Personally, I think that he died years ago and has been replaced by one of those Walt Disney Animatronic robots like you see at Disneyland. It wouldn’t take much to have Abe Lincoln doing the play-by-play from Dodger Stadium.
I think that Vin is no longer a real person because of his hair. Over the years it has moved through a spectrum of shades. It is currently a color somewhat akin to what one might see on an orange Popsicle. He swears that he does not wear a hairpiece. I believe him. What company would ever create a toupee that color?
Another thing that makes me doubt that Vin is still organic matter has to do with his story telling during the game. At some point in the third inning or so he will relate an anecdote somehow related to the game presently being played. Later on, in the seventh or eighth inning, he will tell the same story again. I think there is a bug in his memory core processor. Glitches can happen. He might need to be defragged. There is anecdotal evidence that the character of Dana Scully on the TV series “X-Files” was so named in tribute to Vin.
Perhaps the Dodger organization should just own up to the fact that Vin Scully is really a robot: “Vin Cyber-Scully.” I suspect that during the seventh inning stretch Vin gets his fluid levels checked. It would be a first for the Grand Old Game.
There have been a number of players over the years, whom I suspect, were non-carbon based life forms. How else can Major League Baseball explain Pittsburgh Pirate Dick Stuart, aka “Dr. StrangeGlove,” Moises Alou, who “toughened up” his hands by urinating on them before the game, or Dock Ellis, who threw a no-hitter while tripping on LSD, and Dodger relief pitcher Brian Wilson who is generally regarded by teammates and fans alike as just freaking nuts.
Unless there is some sort of cosmic intervention I would not be surprised if Vin Scully continues to broadcast Dodger baseball well into the next century. People may stare as his hair continues to evolve and his repertoire of anecdotes continues to replay, but being a robot he’ll never need a day off, except for trips into the shop for an oil change and a comb over.
Spring – the time when this old man’s fancy turns to thoughts to Baseball.