By STEVEN TRAVERS
The great Vin Scully has passed away, and everybody is chipping in with their memories of him. Here are mine. There are four or five of them.
In 1982 I was a student at USC. Two of my Trojan buddies, Chris Wildermuth, Terry Marks, and I were driving from campus on surface streets to Dodger Stadium. As we entered Sunset Boulevard, Chris suddenly exclaimed, “Oh my God, I just cut off Vin Scully.” Terry and I looked back and waved at Vin as if to say we had not meant it, please forgive us. Vin gave us the sign of the cross like the Pope, absolving us of our sins.
The next time was at Dodger Stadium in 1999. I was writing for Street Zebra magazine and entered the elevator, where Vin was in conversation with Orel Hershiser and Orel’s dad. Orel had just been blasted all over the park by Houston and was obviously at the end of the line, but Vin was trying in vain to convince him it was just one game, he still had it. I said nothing. Orel retired shortly thereafter.
The next time was again in the elevator, this time alone with Vin. “You’re my hero,” I told him. “No I’m not,” he replied. “You’re dad is, or Jesus Christ.”
Then at Pac Bell Park in San Francisco when I wrote for the Examiner I was leaving the stadium and it was starting to drizzle, the fog bringing that famous June marine layer. I said, to myself but out loud, “The coldest winter I ever spent . . . “
From behind Vin finished Mark Twain’s quote, “ . . . was a summer, in San Francisco.”
Lastly, my late friend and baseball scout Gary Hughes was being interviewed by Marty Lurie on KNBR on a Sunday, and Vin’s name came up.
“I just saw him at Mass,” Gary told Marty.
“I didn’t know there was a Catholic church so close to the ballpark,” Marty replied.
“There isn’t,” said Gary. “He was conducting Mass in the clubhouse, complete with communion.”
Steven Travers is a former screenwriter who has authored over 30 books including the brand new Best Sports Writing Ever and Coppola’s Monster Film: The Making of Apocalypse Now (2016). One Night, Two Teams: Alabama vs. USC and the Game That Changed a Nation (2007) is currently under film development. He is a USC graduate and attorney with a Ph.D who taught at USC and attended the UCLA Writers’ Program. He played professional baseball, served in the Army JAG corps in D.C., was in investment banking on Wall Street, worked in politics, lived in Europe, and was a sports agent before finding his calling as a writer. He has written for the San Francisco Examiner, L.A. Times, StreetZebra, Gentry magazine, Newsmax and MichaelSavage.com. He lives in California and has one daughter, Elizabeth. He can be reached at USCSTEVE1@aol.com or on Twitter @STWRITES.