Sunday, October 02, 2016

Baseball Goodbyes

We said a lot of goodbyes in Major League Baseball today.

Of course the one I care about the most (by many orders of magnitude) is that today was Dodger great Vin Scully's last broadcast. As I write this, the article to which I linked is very terse, but I watched the game (of course!), and the Giants organization was very classy indeed in the way they honored Vin—including a big deal during the 7th inning stretch, giving the fans goodbye placards for Vin, and putting up a permanent placard in the visiting broadcast booth commemorating his final game. (I'm sure I'll find some links to add later, but in the meantime, here is the box score for the game.) This was a very nice complement to Vin Scully Day at Dodger stadium for his final home game. Vin was typically low key, though of course this wasn't just a normal game. In an earlier blog entry, I compiled a short list of some tributes to (and vignettes about) Vin Scully. Today was in fact 80 years to the day that Vin Scully fell in love with Baseball (in a story that he's been telling for the last couple weeks). Vin has been the voice of the Dodgers for 67 years and is the most beloved Dodger of all.

I am now 40 years old, I have listened to Vin Scully (the best broadcaster of all time!) call baseball games since I was a little kid—maybe the first time when I was 3 years old?—and I fell asleep to his sound on the radio back in the day (and, given my time on the U.S. east coast and of course my 9 years in Oxford), and I listened to Vin's voice sooth me to sleep from my computer in more recent years. Every year, I knew and felt that a new Baseball season started when I first heard Vin's voice announcing that it's time for Dodger baseball and wishing me a very pleasant good evening or afternoon (wherever I may be). That's how Vin signed off today. Thank you for everything!

Meanwhile, in Boston, there was a tribute to David Ortiz (whose number the Red Sox will retire next year, and this marks the first time ever that the Red Sox are doing that for a player who is not yet in the Hall of Fame), though he'll still be playing for them in the upcoming postseason.

The Yankees said goodbye to Mark Teixeira.

We also said goodbye to Turner Field in Atlanta.

Update: Here is an article giving some details about today's very classy tribute to Vin Scully from the Giants.

Update: Here is Vin's final message to Dodger fans. It was special watching today's game.

Update: Ryan Howard played what is likely his final game with the Phillies, although it looks like he's going to try to latch on with another team. (I write "probably" because, if Howard's career persists, I could imagine Philadelphia bringing him back as an inexpensive backup player a couple of years down the line.)

Update (10/04/16): Another very good announcer who retired at the end of the regular season on Sunday is Dick Enberg.

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