I haven’t written an introduction to one of Ryne’s posts in a long time. But I feel compelled to chime in on the subject of Vin Scully who died this week at the age of 94. Ryne, however, is still with us.
I’m a hardcore San Francisco Giants fan. Vin Scully was the voice of the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers for a remarkable 66 years. My Giants and the Dodgers are bitter rivals, but I always admired Vin Scully. He was the best at what he did.
Vin Scully’s favorite baseball player was Willie Mays, the greatest player in New York/San Francisco Giants history. Vin’s final day as a baseball announcer was a 2016 game between the Dodgers and Giants. He met with Willie before the game and said, “You’ve always been my favorite player, even though you wore the wrong uniform.”
That’s how I feel about Vin Scully. He was my favorite broadcaster even though he worked for the wrong team.
Play ball, Ryne.
Vin Scully Brought Out Our Inner Child by Ryne Hancock
Years ago, one of the biggest missed opportunities I had was an interview with famed LSU football coach Paul Dietzel for a show I was doing based in Memphis.
At the time, I had a pukey Android phone that I recorded from and a desktop computer (yes, I’m showing my age).
What I didn’t know at the time was that the opportunity I missed would be one that I would regret as Coach Dietzel would die months later at the age of 89, a little over two weeks after his birthday.
Throughout the last decade, I’ve managed to interview people like legendary Alabama basketball coach Wimp Sanderson and former Ole Miss baseball coach and Chicago Cubs legend Don Kessinger. The reason for those interviews is that I want to sop up as much knowledge as I can from the older icons while they are here on this planet.
As a Cardinal fan, two years ago, in a span of a few months, we ended up losing icons Lou Brock and Bob Gibson. And Barclay Plager, who lived long enough to finally get his parade down Market Street for the Blues, joined the ancestors.
For Dodger fans, the last three years saw Don Sutton, Tommy Lasorda, and Mike Brito join the ancestors.
While those losses were insurmountable, nobody was prepared for Vin Scully to join the ancestors.
Much like a beloved grandfather or uncle, we didn’t want to say goodbye to Vin Scully. Like little kids huddled around the porch waiting for story time, we wanted another story from him. During the last two years, I myself couldn’t wait to hear another story from Vin on either Instagram or Twitter.
Because at the heart of the matter, there is an inner child in all of us. Sure, we get older in the physical realm, but we still have our inner child in spirit form.
That’s what Vin Scully did for us.
He brought out our inner child.
And boy did he ever.