Dodgertown Memories

Vin Scully

Hall of Fame Dodger Broadcaster

At the conclusion of the 2016 regular season, after 67 glorious seasons, the familiar and comforting voice of Vin Scully said goodbye to his legion of fans everywhere. He was behind the microphone, working solo in the booth for all those seasons, imparting his breadth of knowledge to fans on the Dodger broadcasts. Each word Scully shared with listeners made a one-on-one connection and made that listener feel as if Vin was

Vin Scully and Dodger owner Walter O’Malley in the Dodger Stadium broadcast booth in the 1960s.

speaking directly to him or her as a friend. In 1976, Scully was named the “Most Popular Personality” in Dodger history. And it is no wonder. He was the constant, a bridge from past and the present generations of Dodger followers who were captivated by his storytelling style, which blended the likes of Shakespeare, poetry and a Broadway show tune with the hit-and-run, wild pitch or an infield fly. Sage Scully is one of America’s most decorated broadcasters – from winning the Sportscaster of the 20th Century by more than 500 national members of the American Sportscasters Association, to his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1982, plus every imaginable honor in between. Scully actually worked more seasons (34) after he was named to the National Baseball Hall of Fame than before he was honored. He was decorated with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2016. Scully broadcast some of baseball’s most significant events, from All-Star Games to World Series and numerous record-breaking performances. Baseball’s true poet laureate broadcast three perfect games and 18 no-hitters in his career, placing on each his stamp of history delivered in his own incomparable fashion. The Dodgers dedicated the “Vin Scully Press Box” at Dodger Stadium in 2001 in recognition of his remarkable achievements and years of service. At Dodgertown, there is a street named “Vin Scully Way” in his honor. Since Holman Stadium opened at Dodgertown in 1953, the trusted and humble Scully was at the microphone describing the Spring Training action and bringing an air of optimism for the start of each new season through 2008. The street leading to Dodger Stadium was renamed “Vin Scully Avenue” in 2016. Scully passed on August 2, 2022 and was widely remembered as the greatest baseball broadcaster of all-time. 

Upon their arrival to Dodgertown in Vero Beach in 1948, the Dodgers were housed in the barracks of the former U.S. Naval Air base.

Certainly, even though they have all the nice rooms at Dodgertown since 1972, as I drive in and see all these Australian Pines that were wind breaks and planted years ago, I can almost see the old barracks on the right side and the sounds of old friends. Anyone who went there in the early days will remember the barracks on the right-hand side of the road as you come in. That’s always been my vision of Dodgertown. When you had a breeze of any kind, you could hear the Australian Pines chattering away. The wooden door and the steps that creaked as you went up to the barracks. These are the things that stick to your ribs. I had 22 seasons in the barracks from 1950-71, so I don’t really think of those rooms. When there are maybe 100 players that fill the place now, back then, we had 625 players and about 125 so-called “free agents”, guys just looking for a job, so there were about 750 players. What I see is an absolute vast sea of players exercising, batting, throwing, fielding and sliding all around Dodgertown.

“Out back of the kitchen, I can remember literally sitting at the feet of Roy Campanella spinning stories about the Negro Leagues and all that. As a kid from New York, one of the things that amazed me was everywhere I looked there was an orange juice stand and so I would drink orange juice all day long until I became hyper acidic, I think, and I had to learn to cut back on it. But, basically when I look back, it is as if I stood in one place and thousands of players, coaches, managers and newspapermen went through and I was there watching this big parade. And so, in all honestly, there is no single other place in the world that holds more memories for me than Vero Beach.”

Vin Scully