The Corner


Thanks for Everything, Vin Scully

I’d like to say there wasn’t a dry eye in the house at Dodger Stadium tonight for Vin Scully Appreciation Night, but I don’t know if that’s literally true. I do know this: I was seriously choked up, and I didn’t even grow up listening to Vin Scully. And the people in the seats near me were clearly moved, folks for whom the voice of Vin Scully was a lifelong companion.

To say his career is amazing would be a serious understatement. He has been the broadcast voice of the same major-league sports team since the year the Korean War began. The Dodgers left Brooklyn in 1958, and Scully left with them, to become probably the most beloved local figure in Southern California.

At the ceremony tonight at Dodger Stadium, local celebrities including actor Kevin Costner, L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti, the legendary pitcher Sandy Koufax (how amazing is that! the guy pitched a perfect game five decades ago, and looked quite hale and vigorous tonight), and current Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw paid tribute to the retiring broadcaster. But it was especially heartening to hear some of the stories fans told during the pregame events. One gentleman said that, back in the Sixties, he was a student at UCLA, and not doing well there. He was getting a lot of C’s, and was depressed about it; so he wrote a letter to Vin Scully, asking how he, too, could become a sports broadcaster. Scully wrote him back, saying, Look, if you’re a student at UCLA, broadcasting is not what you need to do. You’re a lucky person and you have a lot of opportunities; you need to find something you love to do, do it, and get somebody to pay you to do it. The young fellow followed Scully’s advice, and has been a professor of geography for over three and a half decades. (I know, being a professor of geography doesn’t sound cool. But I also know that, to people who don’t edit magazine articles, editing magazine articles doesn’t sound cool. But Vin Scully was right: If you enjoy your work, even though it might not be considered glamorous work by the world at large . . . you are an incredibly lucky man. I totally believe in what that geography professor was saying.)

Another highlight was an anecdote from one of the speakers, who recounted that Scully once went to church before a World Series, and prayed not for a Dodgers victory, but that in the Series, there would be only heroes, and that nobody would be a goat. What a wonderful evocation of an earlier, truer morality; of sportsmanship, gentlemanliness, and nobility; of the desire for excellence on all sides; of something better than the chest-thumping glorification of “winning” at all costs, and the humiliation of anyone who stands in the way of our team.

Vin Scully represents something important in the American character. The American character has seen bad days, but we have to hope that it will see better ones.

Enjoy your retirement, Mr. Scully! You have run the good race.

Most Popular

White House

Another Warning Sign

The Mueller report is of course about Russian interference in the 2016 election and about the White House's interference in the resulting investigation. But I couldn’t help also reading the report as a window into the manner of administration that characterizes the Trump era, and therefore as another warning ... Read More

What’s So Great about Western Civilization

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Redacted: Harm to Ongoing Matter), One of the things I tell new parents is something that was told to me when my daughter still had that ... Read More
Film & TV

Jesus Is Not the Joker

Actors love to think they can play anything, but the job of any half-decent filmmaker is to tell them when they’re not right for a part. If the Rock wants to play Kurt Cobain, try to talk him out of it. Adam Sandler as King Lear is not a great match. And then there’s Joaquin Phoenix. He’s playing Jesus ... Read More
White House

The Mueller Report Should Shock Our Conscience

I've finished reading the entire Mueller report, and I must confess that even as a longtime, quite open critic of Donald Trump, I was surprised at the sheer scope, scale, and brazenness of the lies, falsehoods, and misdirections detailed by the Special Counsel's Office. We've become accustomed to Trump making up ... Read More

Supreme Court Mulls Citizenship Question for Census

Washington -- The oral arguments the Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday will be more decorous than the gusts of judicial testiness that blew the case up to the nation’s highest tribunal. The case, which raises arcane questions of administrative law but could have widely radiating political and policy ... Read More