‘I just want to be remembered as a good man’
By Jon Weisman
Two days ago, we gave you a selection of thoughts from Vin Scully on the Dodgers-Giants rivalry that came from his final conference call with reporters. Here are some more excerpts from that call (which you can hear all of above), looking back as well as looking ahead his retirement.
On what concerns he had about moving to Los Angeles with the Dodgers:
Well, I think the first emotion was, it was somewhat bittersweet. Maybe that’s not the proper word. But the thought of leaving New York was somewhat overwhelming. All my friends, my relatives, my high school, my college, everything was back in New York, and it was a little scary. But the other side was, “Oh, thank God I’ve got the job,” because there was a fear — and I was told this for sure — there was considerable pressure on (Walter) O’Malley that the people in Southern California wanted him to employ the announcers out here. And I’m sure for good reason. But Mr. O’Malley being the way he was, he prided loyalty, and Jerry (Doggett) and I were extremely loyal to him. We would have done anything he wanted. So there was tremendous relief that, “Wow, at least I’ve got the job.”
On a memorable interview with Bob Uecker:
I do remember, I did an interview with him in Milwaukee, and we sat on two chairs, and it was the hardest interview I’ve ever done because he had me crying inside with laughter, and I’m trying to continue without just falling down on the ground. It was the usual stuff about how when he found out that he was no longer a member of the team, when he went to the dressing room and they said to him, “Sorry, no visitors allowed.” That was a marvelous way to get the news, I guess. But I just love him, and any treasured minute with him is worth a lot.
On whether he would attend any World Series games in person if the Dodgers make it:
Probably not. First of all, I’ve certainly had experience with large crowds, so probably not. … I would probably watch, however, for sure, and maybe if I was invited to the last game or whatever, maybe I would go. But basically once I call it an end, which will be October 2, I’ll try very hard to kind of just stay back and be the very normal guy that I am.
On how he expects fans will move on after his retirement:
I’ve been asked or told a lot about, “Oh, it won’t be the same” or “we miss you,” etc. And that’s very nice. But you know what? I look back over my career, and I can remember Mel Allen leaving the Yankees. I thought, “The Yankees can’t play without Mel Allen.” And Russ Hodges leaving the Giants, and Jack Buck leaving St. Louis, and Harry Caray leaving Chicago — Red Barber leaving Brooklyn. I mean, all these were, oh, my gosh, they’ll never be the same. But you know what? A year or so, however long it takes, and you’ll be history, and I know that. And someone else will hopefully ride and have a great career in your place.
On how he’d like to be remembered:
I really and truly would rather they remembered, “Oh, yeah, he was a good guy,” or “He was a good husband, a good father, a good grandfather.” The sportscasting, that’s fine if they want to mention it. But that will disappear slowly as, what is it, the sands of time blow over the booth. But the biggest thing is I just want to be remembered as a good man, an honest man and one who lived up to his own beliefs.