To legions of Dodgers fans, Finn Scully was the voice of the beloved baseball team. But for many Angelenos, the ginger-haired announcer was more like a family member. Grandpa A Teo Someone they welcomed into their home on game day.
While grieving fans mourned Scully’s death at age 94, he, he said Wednesday, felt like a death in the family.
“It felt like I had lost my father again,” said Desiree Jackson, who took the bus from a sleigh to Dodger Stadium to lay flowers and pray at the temporary memorial that appeared there overnight. “I fell in love with sports because of my father, brother and Finn.”
The 44-year-old wore a world championship cap and long blue dress in honor of the legendary broadcaster who died Tuesday at his Hidden Hills home. Jackson grew up listening to Scully on the radio, and she said his voice is inseparable from the memories of his late father.
The memorial at the entrance to the stadium brought a torrent of sacrifices and tears. Fans who came to remember the announcer described a character who transcended divisions and brought fans into the game – from wherever they were listening.
“Generations of my family, this is how we’ve become Dodgers fans, listening to the broadcast,” said Tiffany Morales, 21, who joined dozens of mourners outside the stadium. “He was like a grandfather to us.”
Along with prayer candles and bouquets of flowers, fans left bags of Dodgers peanuts, a blue-and-white striped seraph and a baseball with “It’s Dodger Baseball Time” — Scully’s brand editorial — inked over the stitching.
Eight-year-old Jax Gutierrez Alvarez, wearing blue Dodger sneakers, and a floral muzzle. One of the Little League bowler’s favorite pastimes is re-watching the first game of the 1988 World Series—which the Dodgers won in the ninth round of the Kirk Gibson drama—with his grandparents.
“I love Finn Scully’s voice,” he said. “My favorite part is when he says ‘Fly high ball on the right field, you’re gone! “
Lupe Guillen from the tearful heights of Lincoln brought one white rose, a Dodgers flag, and a handful of Mardi Gras beads to add to the memorial.
She said, “I’m broken.” “My uncles used to live in Chavez Raven. They were deported, but they were listening to him on the radio in Tijuana. He brought you straight to the place.”
Alan Gomez, 38, rolled his eyes with tears as he recalled the summer he spent listening to Scully on the radio with his brothers. A lifelong Dodgers fan, the bleeding Dodger blue guy wore a new Finn Scully T-shirt and carried a sleeve of Dodgers tattoos.
“That was what I grew up with,” Gomez said. “The stories he was telling about every player, you knew he loved the game.”
In East Los Angeles, Carlos Ion stood in front of a Scully mural painted outside Paradise Bar. In it, a smiling Scully wore a suit with a Lakers shirt over it. Two candles flash at the base of the wall.
Aeon is a lifelong resident of East Los Angeles. He took a day off from his job at the office and planned to take pictures with a Sony a7 II in the stadium and here, at Lupe’s Burritos, where the “Vin Scully Av” banner hung.
He said that growing up in Los Angeles meant that he grew up with the Dodgers and with Scully.
“He basically became a family member,” said the 36-year-old, giving off background noises to life, which Ion found “relaxing.”
Ion pointed to the Scully mural and the adjacent mural of late Lakers star Kobe Bryant.
When Bryant joined the NBA, Aeon was about 10 years old. Although many things have changed as he has gotten older, some things, fortunately, have never changed.
“They were the constants,” Bryant and Scully said. “That’s why he hits people so hard. They both die.”
Another memorial appeared Wednesday on the Scully star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Jesus Carcamo, 25, left his lucky Dodgers hat there at the base of a wreath of blue roses, white hydrangeas, and palm-sized white orchids placed by the Hollywood Historic Trust.
“I wanted to leave one of my favorite hats off, the one I wore when I went to Dodger Stadium,” he said.
Wearing a black Finn Scully shirt and a Dodgers hat, Fred Thomas III had also come to the Scully star to pay his respects. He had been a Dodgers fan all his life, and remembered hearing Scully calling out the game from his grandmother’s living room in the 1950s.
“Everyone had a radio, and I wanted to listen to Scully,” he said. “He was a storyteller you could trust.”
Thomas said he admired how he kept Scully informed of what was happening on the field, even as he weaved his famous threads.
“Scully will keep you in the game,” he said.
Behind the record at the Toro Grillhouse in Glendale, owner RJ Liquigan wore a Justin Turner shirt (he’s the Dodgers’ third baseman, for starters), a Dodgers hat and a World Series replica ring as a way to pay his respects to Scully. As he arranged the orders, Spectrum SportsNet memorialized the announcer on a nearby television.
All day long, people had been passing by to take pictures of the nearly 25-foot-high mural of Scully in the Liquigan parking lot. Painted by Los Angeles muralist Alex “Ali” Gonzalez in 2018, it shows Scully in a suit and microphone in hand. On Wednesday afternoon, she left white and red roses at her base.
For Liquigan, Scully “is more of a dodger.”
“It’s a legend,” he said. “There is no one like him.”
Liquigan became a fan of the Dodgers in 1988, when they won the World Championship. He was five years old at the time, and he was watching the game in the nursing home where his mother worked.
He recalled Gibson’s home run in the first game and Scully’s memorable words: “In a year that was so improbable, the impossible happened.”
“I hope we can win the 2022 World Wine Championship,” said Lecuigan. “Win for wine.”
Richard Choi also remembered that famous game in 1988.
For years, three hours before every Dodgers home game, Choi would hit the field and look for Scully.
Choi would show Scully the game lineup cards and ask the famous announcer how to pronounce “Apreo,” one of the players’ last name. Scully was reading players’ names aloud to Choi, the Korean-American broadcaster who worked as a commentator on Dodgers games for Korea Radio from 1990 to 2021.
“He’s like a father to me,” Choi said Wednesday morning during an interview at Radio Korea’s studio. “He was the first one I sought out at Dodger Stadium.”
For the 74-year-old, Scully was a father figure in more ways than one. Scully taught Choi English and a love of baseball after arriving in Los Angeles in 1974. Scully led Choi when Radio Korea became the first station to broadcast Major League baseball matches in the Korean language in 1990.
Through Scully, Choi said from the studio in Koreatown, the burgeoning Korean-American community in Southern California began to understand the region’s sports, culture and identity.
“For Korean Americans, he taught the true taste of baseball,” Choi said.
Shortly after Choi started calling the Dodgers games, he once asked Scully about the famous call Scully made in Game One of the 1988 World Championships. Choi asked Scully why Scully said “I’m gone” instead of “He’s gone” or “He’s gone.” When the ball left the field.
The man would describe the cars and yachts they love and are proud of as “she,” Choi recalls Red Scully. Describing the ball as “it,” Scully added a passion for that historic moment.
“When I heard that, I thought he was a genius,” Choi said.
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