Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Vin Scully indicates 2016 will be final season

Vin Scully Press Conference

By Jon Weisman

Vin Scully apologized, unnecessarily of course, for being two minutes late to his press conference today to discuss his return to the Dodgers in 2016, citing an accident near De Soto Avenue on the Ventura Freeway.

Then came the words that made everyone who adores him slam on their brakes: that 2016 would likely be his last season.

“I would say realistically, and I don’t want any headlines, but I would say next year would be the last one,” Scully said, in a tone that was neither emphatic nor hesitant. “I mean, how much longer can you go on fooling people? So yeah, I would be saying, ‘Dear God, if you give me next year, I will hang it up.'”

Trying to minimize the impact, as if he could, Scully put his departure in historical context.

“Let me put it this way,” he said. “I saw Mel Allen leave the Yankees. I saw Red Barber leave the Dodgers. I saw Russ Hodges leave the Giants. I saw Harry Caray leave the Cubs. I saw Jack Buck leave the Cardinals. And you know what? Not one of those teams missed a game. They kept on playing, and the fans kept on going. And I will just go along where they are, and be very happy and privileged to be in that company.

“I know I can be replaced. They’ve all come and gone, and I will join that same group.”

Scully said the Dodgers winning a World Series — or not — would not alter his decision.

“I don’t think of going out on top or going out on bottom,” he said. “What the team does on the field will have absolutely no effect on my life or the decisions that I make. No, no. I’d be very happy for them, but it really would not change my life in any way, shape or form.

He added that he wanted no farewell ceremonies (good luck with that).

“I don’t want that,” he said. “As you know, I don’t travel with the team. We haven’t determined how much I’ll do next year as far as leaving Dodger Stadium (and doing road games). But the last thing I would want is to have one of these glorified ‘Goodbye, it’s been great.’ No. In fact, as God as my judge, I’d have been thrilled if they had announced I was coming back last year, this year, in the notes.”

Vin Scully Press Conference

Aside from the shock all Dodger fans will feel, amid the recognition — as much as we’ve been happy to deny it — that this day would inevitably come, the news was stunning because it came moments after Scully talked about how much coming to Dodger Stadium meant to him.

“One of the many reasons why I pray to God I will come back next year is if you look around here, and look at each other, that’s what I enjoy,” Scully said. “I really enjoy coming to the ballpark not to see players, but to see friends…. And just to collectively pick all these people up and say goodbye? Because when I leave, I will leave. I will not be hanging around. It’s really a monumental thought: How can I leave all these people? Whether you know me or not, you have meant a great deal to me over the years. So that was just one of many considerations that I have, and one of the big reasons I am so grateful to be here, even though I am two minutes late.”

Scully also had seemingly reconciled his personal view that his performance has declined.

“I’m not 30 years old,” he said. “So each year, you’re not only getting older, you begin to suspect yourself. … As a player gets older, let’s say he’s a center fielder and he’s saying to himself, ‘I don’t quite get the jump I used to get. I’m not quite as sharp as I used to be.’ And maybe he knows he’s a little later on that fastball.

“So as a human being, I look at myself, and I say, ‘My gosh, you’re doing the best you can. What’s that old joke? ‘I’m still throwing as hard as ever — it’s just taking a bit longer to get there.’ Well, that’s basically where I am. I’m trying very hard for one more year, and God willing it will come about.”

Vin Scully Press Conference

In his literate fashion, Scully almost even seemed defiant about giving up his work.

“I don’t know poetry at all,” he lied, “but if there’s one little bit of poetry that I’ve always remembered, it’s that line from Dylan Thomas, and most of you probably know the same thing, where he wrote, ‘Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.’ And I guess in a way that’s what I’m doing. I’m raging against the dying of my career, which has to be around the corner now. But at least for the God-given time I have left, I’ll be raging.

“Because I’ve never minded getting older. In fact, when you get to where I am, you’re very grateful that you’ve gotten to be older. But I never wanted to be old, ever.”

The familiar worry of what he would do during retirement also crept in — and certainly influenced his decision to come back next year.

“When I thought about (retiring), I had a lot of people say, ‘Please, don’t retire.’ I don’t mean they’re baseball fans … just people saying to me, ‘You don’t want to retire.’ And I had my doctor say to me, ‘Do you enjoy doing what you’re doing?’ And I said, ‘I love it.’

“‘Do you still do it reasonably well?’

“‘I love it.’

“‘Well then, why would you give it up?  Whatever you do, you retire, and a year from now, you’ll be an old man. And that kind of scared me a bit.'”

But apparently, there comes a time. And Vin Scully anticipates that October 2016 will be that time, as much as that thought might make us want to rage, rage.


Clayton Kershaw shines as Dodgers win third straight ‘Vin Scully Returns’ game


Mat Latos looks to renew success against Cubs


  1. Wonderfully written article about a great man. I am 73 years old and grew up in New York. I remember listening to Vin on the radio when he first broke in with Red Barber. In a lot of ways he has been a life long friend even though I only met him briefly once.

  2. I have listened to you my entire life. I still do, as do my friends and family members. Not once, and this is the truth, have I EVER heard any of those people say or thought to myself that Vin Scully is slipping, slowing down, stumbling, or having trouble finding the words. Not even one time, not even a hint. So please, my dear friend Vin (although we have never met officially!), please do not feel that you are getting too old to do the top quality job you have always done for our Dodger baseball team. You are loved and adored, even though that may be difficult for you to hear. The ONLY way you will let any of us down, is if you leave before you absolutely must. Maybe next season will be the right time, but wait and see first before you decide for sure. Please. Do it for us. We love you. <3

  3. You’re wrong Vinny.You cannot be replaced.

  4. oldbrooklynfan

    It’s hard to believe that when I first heard about the Dodgers, Vin Scully had not been with them yet. After two years, Vin became the young redhead next to the old redhead along with the mellow voice of Connie Desmond. The years go by quickly.

  5. Yes it’s true nothing lasts forever. I applaud his decision. I hope he keeps active talking/ writing about baseball and recounting his history. We still have next year, God willing, so cheers to Vinny.

  6. My father in his advancing years would always sit in the dark and listen to the games on the radio. I went in once and told him he was missing out because the game was on TV…and he said “all I need is Vin Scully on my radio and I never miss a thing.” I sat down with him for a while and you know what? He was absolutely right.

  7. A wonderful article. But note that he didn’t close the door completely. Let’s see how he feels next summer, and how Sandy feels. Let’s also remember that he isn’t even the oldest broadcaster in the majors!

  8. We have been blessed to have the great voices in their respective sports in LA, Chick Hearn and Vin Scully.
    Vin for me is the definitive voice of Baseball period. For most of us baby boomers growing up in LA, he was also LA. He was summers in LA and he will be sorely missed.

  9. Vinny’s voice, carried by radio waves, across the California smog, scratches through the tiny transistor radio, muffled by my pillow, to tell me the score, the count, the runners, the chances of success. Mom ignores the noise, listens for deep breaths, sneaks in when we are sound asleep, and retrieves the radios. Tucking us in, she takes a radio with her and stays up for the final out. At breakfast the next morning she gives us the play-by-play, shows us the write-up in the Times, and shares our joy at another Dodger victory. It is 1959 and life is perfect. — RKM

  10. The Dodgers and Vin Scully seem inseparably linked together. My father was born in Brooklyn, NY and settled here in So. California after being discharged by the Marine Corps from Camp Pendleton. Two years later, along came the Dodgers and Vin Scully. My father passed away in 2005 but my fondest memories of spending time with him were sitting around the pool and listening to Vin call the games on my dad’s transistor radio. I hope that Vin goes on broadcasting for as long as it is still fun for him because it will make it continue to be fun for all of us True Blue Dodger fans!

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén