The Dodgers paid tribute to Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully on Friday, and a crowd of 52,320 roared its approval during an hourlong ceremony on his appreciation night before Los Angeles’ 5-2 victory against Colorado.
Scully, holding hands with his wife, Sandi, walked from the dugout to home plate for a ceremony honoring his 67 years in the Dodgers’ broadcast booth. The 88-year-old Scully is retiring next weekend after Los Angeles concludes its regular season in San Francisco.
"Hi everybody and a very pleasant good evening to you," Scully said in his signature greeting. "I thought I'd get that out of the way right away."
Scully thanked Dodger fans for making him feel like a child again.
"When you roar, when you cheer, when you are thrilled for a brief moment I'm 8 years old again," he said. "You have allowed me to be young at heart. I owe you everything."
The first 50,000 fans in attendance received a typed letter signed by Scully containing recollections from his career, which began in Brooklyn with the Dodgers and continued when the team moved west to California for the 1958 season.
"You were simply always there for me," Scully wrote. "I have always felt that I needed you more than you needed me and that holds true to this very day. I have been privileged to share in your passion and love for this great game."
Actor Kevin Costner, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw were among the speakers paying tribute to Scully.
Scully joked that he is often asked about his future. He turns 89 in November.
"I'm going to try to live," he said. "I'm looking for a much smaller house and a much larger medicine cabinet."
Dodgers chairman Mark Walter, former owner Peter O'Malley and former managers Tom Lasorda and Joe Torre, now an MLB executive, were among those on hand. O'Malley's father, Walter, first owned the team and was instrumental in bringing the Bronx-born Scully west when the Dodgers relocated to the vast Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Walter said the team would add Scully’s name to the stadium “ring of honor,” next to the retired numbers. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gave Scully a key to the city. Manfred said the league would donate $50,000 to the Jackie Robinson Foundation in honor of Scully.
Costner starred in the 1999 baseball movie "For Love of the Game," in which Scully narrated the play-by-play of his character's perfect game.
"We're all taking deep breaths, Vin," Costner said. "We're all struggling with our own emotions as we admit we're down to our last three outs with you. You're our George Bailey and it has been a wonderful life. You can't blame us for trying to hold on to you for as long as we can. And shame on us if you ever have to pay for another meal in public."
At the end of the tributes, Scully returned to the microphone.
"It's time for Dodger baseball," he said.
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