Sports

Elliott: Recollections of 1950s Vin Scully photographs strewn on my living area floor linger


Vin Scully was all over my living room ground for a handful of months, and I couldn’t have been a lot more thrilled.

To be truthful, it was not Scully himself sprawled on the carpet. My husband was collaborating on a book based mostly on pictures taken by Barney Stein, who was the Brooklyn Dodgers’ crew photographer from 1937 via 1957, and illustrations or photos of a youthful Scully have been amid the photographs scattered over our flooring. How to pick which types to publish, when there were dozens a lot more wonderful pictures than there could be pages in the reserve?

Not each and every picture manufactured it into “Through a Blue Lens: The Brooklyn Dodger photographs of Barney Stein,” but just about every image in the reserve is a gem. There’s Carl Erskine — blessedly even now with us at age 95 — Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges. They had been captured in their youth, at their athletic peak. Growing up in Brooklyn immediately after the team left for Los Angeles in 1958, I’d heard tales about the hapless Bums. These images included a new dimension to those tales, created them additional vivid, additional true.

The pictures of Scully, though, pulled me back to glance at them once again and yet again during the collection method and well right after the 2007 publication of the reserve, which was a collaboration involving Barney Stein’s daughter Bonnie Crosby and my spouse, Dennis D’Agostino.

I just can’t reveal why those people Scully photographs fascinated me. Maybe it was mainly because he was a dwelling link to a time I’d only listened to about, a url to lengthy-gone relatives who had informed me about a substantially-beloved baseball crew that performed in Brooklyn on a web page I understood only for obtaining unremarkable condominium buildings. It’s possible it was since of the clarity of the pictures, which captured Scully’s essence so properly, so lovingly. He was employed as a Dodgers broadcaster in 1950, and he is as youthful in individuals photographs as the standout players whose feats he described at Ebbets Discipline.

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For people of us who didn’t meet up with him until finally afterwards, it was an intriguing peek back at a time prior to he grew to become a grandfatherly storyteller and network star. He had witnessed so substantially of baseball history and he was continue to right here, a present to us all.

Hearing about Scully’s passing Tuesday at age 94 led me to pull out the e book once more and to remember staring at these images all in excess of the living home flooring. As enthusiasts, we knew Scully for a very long time. We read and viewed him for many years and laughed at his tales, even just after we’d read them quite a few situations and we understood them practically as perfectly as he did. However we had the satisfaction of his organization for these kinds of a extensive time, it even now was not long sufficient.

Among the the most effective images of him that made it into the ebook was of a severe Scully, his confront practically cartoonishly thin and lengthy and his ears sticking out, going through a Television camera alongside his buddy Stein. Demonstrated the picture decades afterwards, Scully guessed that it had been taken concerning online games of a doubleheader, in the Tv studio established up in the basement of Ebbets Industry.

In an additional image, taken in 1957, he was broadcasting a match at Ebbets Subject, seeking towards the action through protective wire. Jerry Doggett sat to his left. Scully was employing a microphone but experienced no headset. He didn’t use a headset right until he obtained to Los Angeles, resorting to it, he explained, in component mainly because of “the feedback from the transistor radios” in the stands that had been tuned to his calls.

Possibly my most loved photograph portrays him crouching in the Dodgers’ dugout ahead of a video game. He’s sharply dressed in a blazer, tie, sun shades, and shiny penny loafers. Stein’s digicam caught him in mid-sentence, his mouth open up. Whatever he was expressing experienced the total consideration of Hodges, who was crouching nearby, leaning on a bat. Framed guiding them is the distinct Ebbets Industry scoreboard.

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Scully did not remember the date or the matter of dialogue on that very long-ago working day. “Probably with a few of writers as well,” he mentioned. “It was easier in all those days, exactly where you could sit and hold out in the dugout and shoot the breeze and then go upstairs and do the sport. Specifically when it was radio. [With] tv, I have to be there early to get all the things out of the way and then tape. So this was just one of individuals days, just hanging out.”

By lowering his travel plan and his workload he managed to dangle out with us for 67 seasons, as a result of 2016. But as the decades passed, lots of of the gamers, executives and writers he experienced regarded fell target to age or health issues. The fatalities of his 2nd wife, Sandra, and previous Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda inside of a number of days of just about every other early in January 2021 will have to have still left Scully experience terribly by yourself. He grieved privately, this gentleman who experienced lived his daily life so publicly and so effectively.

He’s long gone but he won’t be neglected as prolonged as movie and audio recordings of his warm, rich voice exist in some kind for us and future generations to enjoy. As very long as it’s time for Dodger baseball, he will stay in our hearts as effectively as in all those marvelous pictures that so briefly but memorably covered my residing place flooring.

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