It was probably nothing—the tail end of an otherwise forgettable press conference yesterday in which Magic Johnson and the Guggenheim Baseball Management group officially took control of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Our beloved Vin Scully, now in his 63rd consecutive year as the voice of the Dodgers, served as emcee of the event and, per usual, was magnificent. And it was probably nothing. But in closing, Vin seemed to go off-script for a moment—almost as though he were finally speaking out on something that had been eating at him for years.

“I’m fed up,” Scully began. “I’m fed up to here.”

“I go back to the so-called changing of the guards. When Branch Rickey handed the franchise to Walter O’Malley. And I was there when Peter O’Malley handed the franchise to Fox. And I was there when Fox handed it to Bob Daly and Fox. And I was there when Fox then handed it to Frank McCourt. And it has now been handed to the Guggenheim Baseball Management group. And I am telling each and every one of you right now, this is the last new ownership press conference I will ever attend.”

Yeah, it was probably nothing. After all, at the age of 85, it’s safe to say that Vin won’t be around for too many more ownership changes anyway.

Then again, Dodgertown—of which Vin is mayor, communications director, priest, therapist, historian and, come Christmas, Santa Claus—is still recovering from the cancerous (mis)management of the club’s previous owners, Frank and Jamie McCourt.

Then again (again), the obtuse face of the new owners, Magic Johnson, got Vin’s name wrong at the press conference, referring to him as “Vince.” Twice.

This is the man who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame 21 years ago and who has been with the Dodgers since the Eisenhower administration—company man, if there ever was one. He’s called three perfect games, including Don Larsen’s in the 1956 World Series. When Bill Buckner muffed the ground ball, when Kirk Gibson hit the home run, when Hank Aaron beat the record—he was in the booth. And his name’s not “Vince.”

Only time will tell if we’re reading too much into yesterday’s press conference. We hope that’s the case. For now, though, we’ll let Vin take us out with a quote from a broadcast in 1973 in which he reminds us why we fell in love with the game in the first place to begin with.

”Football is to baseball as blackjack is to bridge. One is the quick jolt. The other the deliberate, slow-paced game of skill, but never was a sport more ideally suited to television than baseball. It’s all there in front of you. It’s theater, really. The star is the spotlight on the mound, the supporting cast fanned out around him, the mathematical precision of the game moving with the kind of inevitability of Greek tragedy. With the Greek chorus in the bleachers!”

Now let’s get back to this one…

Magic Johnson gets Vin Scully’s name wrong twice (6:25 mark)

—C.B.S.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • C. Brian Smith