Vin Scully will be back at work soon, and that means he’s hard at work, preparing for his 66th season as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ broadcaster.
It’s been a magical run with the Dodgers for the 87-year-old Scully, considered by many to be the best sportscaster of all time. And he still has the same enthusiasm for his job. You can tell with each and every lovely tale he weaves into broadcasts. He’s looking forward to calling more Dodgers baseball again.
"Just the very thought of another season, especially this time of year (because) everybody has optimism," Scully told FoxSportsWest.com. "No one has lost anything yet. It’s like opening a Christmas present without sitting under the tree. There’s the anticipation. There’s going to be some joy. They’ll be the element of surprise. Then we’ll find out by the end of the year what kind of year it’s been. All of that is right on the edge, waiting for the season to begin."
Last week, Scully met with several reporters for pre-season interviews, another sign the season is near. He fielded questions with one outlet for a historical piece on Dodger Stadium, then made a taped video of congratulations for longtime Clippers broadcaster Ralph Lawler, who was honored Monday at Staples Center. Then he did another interview on the season and his love for the job.
Scully will call four spring training games this year, one being a game against the Giants and then three Freeway Series exhibition games between the Dodgers and Angels.
Scully prepares as diligently as he always has and as of last week, he’d already thoroughly researched five Major League Baseball teams. He researches all offseason, too.
"I actually started some preparation in early February," Scully said. "I’ve kind of skimmed the cream off the top of five teams. I’ve done the Dodgers. i prepared for San Diego because they’re Opening Day.
"I prepared for San Francisco. I prepared for Seattle because they’re early in the season. I prepared for the Angels because we’ll have three exhibition games with them. It never stops. I could pick up a newspaper, read something, cut it out, put it in a folder and later transfer it to the book about that team. I just accumulate all year long. In February, i really start to work a little bit."
Just imagine how awesome that Scully book of interesting notes and stories on each team would be to flip through sometime.
The Dodgers 2014 chapter was a good one for MVP and Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig and Co. until the postseason. That’s when they ran into nemesis St. Louis and won just one game in the first-round postseason series.
"I think the first thing is to turn the page," Scully said. "What they can do is use something in baseball. You can use a victory to spur you on, and you can also use defeat. I think that’s what the Dodgers, those veterans who went through it last year, and the time before with St. Louis, do. I think they’ll use that, if needed to spur them on to try even more to make it a successful season.
"You know, they won 94 games. It wasn’t like they had a bad year. But they didn’t get to where they wanted to get. the inability to do so can be used in a positive way."
They didn’t win the World Series. It’s been 27 years since that thrilling 1988 World Series championship.
Scully is still wearing that 1988 championship ring on his right hand, the only World Series ring he wears. He had some offseason drama when he lost the ring while shopping in a Los Angeles-area Costco. He found the ring in a Costco bag when he returned to his Hidden Hills home with his wife, Sandy, but that made for a brief period of consternation.
"I found it after losing it," Scully said as he looked at the ring with a smile. "All is well in the ring department."
All is well in Southern California as well, since Major League Baseball’s two MVPs, Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw, reside about 30 miles apart on the I-5 Freeway.
"It’s great," Scully said. "When I first heard about that, I thought about how lucky we are. They didn’t have any billboards in New York, and they should have had with Micky Mantle, Duke Snider and Willie Mays. What a billboard that would’ve been, New York with three of the greatest ever and they never did it. Here, it’s marvelous. I just think that’s a boost for both teams, a big boost for the city and baseball, of course, in general."
So is having Scully back in the booth to call Dodgers games. Sixty-six years and counting.