Earlier this month, I crowed via social media about getting a pair of cheap seats to the Vin Scully Appreciation Game at Dodgers Stadium this coming September and how by not spending $1,400 for field-level butt rests I would have mooooore than enough to get me a customized Dodgers jersey honoring The Greatest Broadcaster Of Aaaaaaall Times who I unabashedly idolize and cherish!
Turns out easier said than done.
But let me back and fill for those who might be entirely and inexplicably clueless. Vincent Edward Scully, 88, has been the Los Angeles Dodgers announcer since they were the Brooklyn Dodgers back in the year Nineteen Hundred and Fifty. Last year, The Beloved Institution That He Is announced his retirement would commence at the end of this his Sixty-Seventh season behind the mic. If that two-digit number doesn’t blow you away,
what’s wrong with you!? Sorry, didn’t mean to snap. What I mean is: think on that kind of longevity a little harder. What’s the longest job you’ve ever held? Me, it’s six years. Next, factor in this nebulous and dysfunctional City Of Change that we call home, and how its landmarks have been torn down and built over and torn down again and again forming sedimentary stacks of reinvention rising upon a foundation of disregard for our past. Then mix in the changes the Dodgers as an organization have been through these last 20 years alone? Lastly mix in the fact that most of us came from somewhere else and a lot of us remain unrooted to L.A. as a permanent base.
All the while, there has been Scully. Since the Dodgers moved here in 1958, there has been Scully. Every single year of my old-ass life as a native Angeleno and Dodgers fan: There. Has. Been. Scully. If his landmark status previously eluded you, maybe now you can see how people such as myself have formed such an attachment to this humble extraordinary man — who, incidentally, would be the first to dismiss such adoration. Maybe now you can see how people such as myself are among hundreds of thousands who really can’t fathom our town or its soundwaves without Scully in it. I still can’t fully wrap my head around the idea of his “It’s time for Dodger baseball!” opener at every home game not ringing out next year.
But let’s return now to my original point: the jersey!
Almost immediately after securing the tix I mentioned at the top of this article, I went to the store at MLB.com and tried with aaaaaalll my might to order one whose back read “SCULLY 67.” But for reasons unknown to me, when you enter “SCULLY” in the name box, it gets rejected. Period. To paraphrase the pop-up error message: “Noooooot! Please try again.” Don’t believe me? See the screengrab below (click to enlargify) and/or go try it for yourself.
Suitably apoplectic, the only alternative I found to circumvent such a heinous ban was to enter Vin’s last name backwards — “YLLUCS” — making the purchase and then taking the jersey to a tailor to have the letters re-reversed into the proper order, at additional expense of course.
I kid you not, this was a length I was willing to go. This is how much I want to celebrate and recognize the retiring institution that is My Vin, who has been around every spring and summer of my e-n-t-i-r-e-t-y — all the more remarkable because it’s happened in my native city where history is an asterisk.
Additional disclosure: Such a fervent desire to represent is augmented by the fact that for the previous two seasons as a DirecTV subscriber, thanks to the despicably greedy and unresolved SportsNetLA debacle, I was one of hundreds of thousands of fans unable to watch games and hear Vin at will as I had been aaaaaall my previous years on this planet.
But instead of doing that work-around, I opted to do a desperation search for “Scully Custom 67 Jersey” in faint hope of finding any other options. And as miracles would have it landed upon an eBay page for an obscure little local El Monte outfit called TNS that was offering what appeared to be Exactly What I Wanted ready-made for sale — and at $6 less than what MLB.com was charging.
So I went ahead and ordered it, triple-crossing my fingers that I wasn’t getting supreeeeemely ripped off.
The jersey arrived and boy did I NOTNOTNOT get ripped off. In fact the jersey deserves a triple OMG for being fully authentic and entirely beyond my expectations. Feast yer eyes at the gorgeousness (click the images to enlargify), with details like an embroidered Vin Scully signature and a microphone patch on the sleeve!!!
I will wear it soooo proudly for Vin Scully Bobblehead night Tuesday, September 20, and Vin Scully Appreciation Day, his final home game of his illustrious and incomparable 67-year career, September 23. In the meantime, it’s too beautiful a thing to be in my closet, so instead it hangs beside my desk where I can look at it often and admiringly.