Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, shown at a news conference in February,… (Nick Ut / Associated Press )
Feel the love, Vin, please feel the love.
Know how some people just can’t take a compliment? They get all embarrassed and bashful, turn their head away like they’re trying to hide?
That’s Vin Scully. It’s absolutely incredible, but that is him.
Scully is going to hate this post. It might even flare up his lovely Irish dander, though I admit in the over 30 years I’ve had the great pleasure to know him, I’ve never once seen that come close to happening.
Probably like you, I think of Vin as a friend. Mostly because he makes you feel that way. Yet the truth is, outside of press boxes, I’ve never shared a meal with him. We’ve never been to each other’s homes, shared some personal regret.
I’m blessed to have known him at some personal level, yet I don’t know that it really makes me different from the generations who have grown up listening to his sweet baseball music over the past 64 years.
I’ve written this many times before, because I believe it to be the unmistakable truth: Vin is the single most beloved person in Los Angeles history. That’s not a slight on John Wooden or Shirley Temple or whoever else would make the list. It’s simple testament to the way this man has touched three generations on a nightly basis. He’s part best friend, part lovable grandfather, part favorite teacher, all treasure.
Now there is talk of a street being named for him around Dodger Stadium and Vin has reacted in predictable fashion -- aghast at the thought of being singled out, feeling unworthy of such an honor, suggesting others are more deserving.
When Mayor Eric Garcetti threw his support behind the street idea Sunday, Vin was quick to contact the Dodgers' public relations department to pooh-pooh the idea.
“The mayor of Los Angeles has a great deal more important things to do than name a street after me,” Scully said in the statement. “And if he is considering the idea, better the street should be named after Walter or Peter O’Malley than myself.”
This is not false modesty. You should understand that Vin absolutely believes this. He probably has trouble fathoming the idea. And certainly he has great and understandable admiration for the O’Malleys.
But for a man who has spent so much of his life in front of the camera, it’s amazing how he almost enjoys slipping into the shadows once the bright lights are off. It’s amazing to think how this most special of men can seemingly long for an ordinary life.
It’s why they had to talk him into being grand marshal of the Rose Parade. Why he is reticent about ever being honored even at Dodger Stadium. When he is saluted and the crowd rises to its feet and cheers him in the booth, he places both hands over his heart and then opens them back to the crowd, trying to send back the love.
I was going to call Vin to see if he had any additional reaction to a street being named in his honor, but decided against it for fear he would personally ask I not write it.
There are moments when, however uncomfortable it may make you feel, you have to allow those you love to do something for you. To let them love you.
A street being named after Vin Scully is a fairly small thing, considering the years of joy he’s brought to the Los Angeles community.
Let it happen, Vin, because it would make the rest of us feel so very happy. Let Los Angeles honor and love you.