Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully is introduced on Thursday as the grand… (Nick Ut / Associated Press )
They had to talk him into it. That’s the thing, which should actually surprise no one who’s had the great gift of listening to Vin Scully through the decades.
“It’s not my nature to lead a parade,” Scully said.
Yet the biggest surprise in learning Thursday that Scully has been selected as the grand marshal for the 125th Rose Parade is that it hadn’t already happened. It may be the parade's most natural and comfortable selection ever.
Yet Scully, forever humble and private, initially balked.
“I was rather overwhelmed by the invitation,” Scully said. “I really wondered if I should accept. What have I done to deserve being grand marshal?
“I haven’t done anything but talk about the accomplishments of others.”
And brought countless joy to generations in Los Angeles. Nudged on by his wife, Sandi, he finally came around.
“I thought about it and my long association with the Dodgers, and that it was also an opportunity -- with all the functions a grand marshal had to attend -- to thank all of the sports fans in Los Angeles,” he said.
Scully recently announced he will return to broadcast the Dodgers next year for his 65th season. He turns 86 later this year, yet remains as enlightening and vital as ever. After all these years, all those countless broadcasts, you still can’t get enough Scully.
Twice before Scully has been involved in the Rose Parade. In 1969 he did parade commentary with “Bewitched” television star Elizabeth Montgomery for ABC and later was part of a Dodgers contingent on a float.
Add grand marshal and he’s just about done it all.
“Next will come parking cars,” Scully said.
Scully said he remembered the Dodgers float turning onto Colorado Boulevard and being awestruck.
“It’s like going down a canyon of people,” he said. “It’s an amazing experience.”
When he scanned the list of past Rose Parade grand marshals and saw such names as Hank Aaron, Frank Sinatra and Dwight Eisenhower, Scully said he could not help but being taken back.
“It really is intimidating to have someone say we want you to do it,” he said.