My early days of baseball depended upon a transistor radio. During the memorable 1960 World Series, for example, I tucked the radio inside my shirt, ran the earpiece up my sleeve and sat listening, convinced I was fooling the nun but, more importantly, tracking the Pirates as they went back and forth against the hated Yankees in Game 7.
Those early days with my radio introduced me to many great announcers. Television introduced me to more great announcers such as Curt Gowdy of my beloved Redsox. But. like 98% of baseball fans, the one I especially enjoyed was Vin Scully, voice of the Dodgers until 2016. He was a wealth of stories and, in the presence of a dramatic moment, had the good sense to stay quiet. Over the years, Vin said some pretty profound things. Here are a few:
“That is the way the game is. You win, you lose, you celebrate and you suffer.” If we can accept the realities of all four and that all four are transitory, it at least makes it possible to get through life without being bitter.
“It’s a mere moment in a man’s life between an All-star game and an old-timers game.” To pause and wonder at the rapid passing of time is a necessary step toward appreciating the time we are given.
“Don’t let the winds blow your dreams away…or steal your faith in God.” Vin is actually a man of deep faith but recognizes here how our faith is challenged by suffering and hardship. Having dreams and having faith are great resources for negotiating life’s gales.
And finally “Andre Dawson has a bruised knee and is listed as day-to-day. Aren’t we all?” In the business of psychology, mindfulness and the challenge to “live in the moment” are very popular concepts these days. It is important that we recognize that that can all change in an instant, be it a stroke, an IED, or a simple fall. I have seen people’s lives turn in a completely different direction without warning. We must learn not to live in fear of that reality while at the same time live in gratitude.
Here then are some of Vin Scully’s best calls:
Beautiful insight. Thank you for this moving post. I never really understood baseball but my most meaningful memories are also centered around seeing my father with his radio and hearing, “No hits, No runs, No errors”. I still don’t know what that means but I knew it meant the world to my father. And he also was strengthened by the knowledge that nobody wins them all. Victory and defeat are both transitory.
Thank you Rich for introducing me to Vin Scully. He was a wise man. Your comment: “We must learn not to live in fear of that reality while at the same time live in gratitude.” is so true. And such a delicate paradox. It scares the you-know-what out of me when I realize how easily everything can get catastrophic in a second. This fear steals my joy of my many, many blessings and all that I have to be grateful for and, of course, steals my ability to have the peace of living in the moment. I tell myself I am being prepared “just-in-case” but you can never be fully prepared when life changing events happen. It is a trick the enemy plays to ebb our faith that God is always in control. “Be still and know that I am God” is my New Year’s Resolution. xoxo