I had been waiting for today for a while. This was one of those days you circled on your calendar, and I told my wife she had to ask for it off. Luckily, she was able to get enough of the day off so that we could make it happen. It’s not often I get this excited for a game in which the Giants aren’t involved in it, but tonight was a special one: Vin Scully Bobblehead Night. If you’re not a bobblehead fan like how I’m not a gnome fan, then I can see how that’s hard to get on board with. The wife and I hung out in Little Tokyo for a couple of hours before we headed over to Dodger Stadium, and even before the gates open we get to our spot in the Top Deck area and it’s all like:
A line? Man. I hate these. But unlike AT&T if you’re getting there 30 minutes before the gates open (I thought they’d open them two hours before at Dodger Stadium but apparently not), I wasn’t a half-mile away from the stadium to get one of 20,000 giveaway items. Instead, I was maybe 50 yards from getting one of 50,000 Vin Scully bobbleheads. I know I tweet about it a lot, but the Dodgers do giveaways right: nearly everybody gets one. Not “oh, you didn’t get here 1.5-2.5 hours before gates opened? Too bad, sucker! Now watch this base ball game on Scott’s lawn grass. Feed it!” Anyway, after some wait time the line starts moving I start getting all giddy like a little kid in my non-Giants gear (but I was wearing a shirt that said “San Jose” on it! Rebel!) as we get closer and closer. Of course my wife has to get her bag inspected by security because she brings a purse… like a girl! (Am I doing it right, @MLB?)
And so this happens once it’s all said and done:
I have never seen Vin Scully look so young. No really, I haven’t. But gosh darn it, he is just the most fantastic story teller I’ve had the good fortune of encountering and it really wouldn’t have happened if not I started dating a Dodger fan. Really, I’m quite stubborn and I love my hometown broadcasters, but I love listening to Scully talk and tell tales of baseball now and then.
The ceremony was really lovely — Mr. Scully’s family was out in full force, all wearing the home whites with “Scully” and the number “64” to commemorate his upcoming 64th year of broadcasting on the back of their jerseys (this is to squash the rumor that Vin Scully was trying to release a MLB Broadcasting game for the Nintendo 64 platform). One of his grandchildren did the singing for the night, and Vin still looks to have a pretty good arm. I hope I can throw that well at his age, much less be alive, my goodness. There was also a video tribute to him in the middle of the game so the whole stadium could give him the standing ovation he deserves (he deserves one all the time).
For those that have never been to Dodger Stadium, the video below should give you a rough feel for it. This really is their fans at their best. This was taken from an iPhone on the top deck, and I would’ve loved to have been closer to the action, but I don’t have a job right now so unless you’re going to hire me on… nevermind that rant. Here’s most of the ceremony, take this in:
Just a great ceremony for a great, classy man in Vin Scully. If you haven’t heard him broadcast a game, you really oughta. Even with 30 games left, you still have a chance to catch an inning or so a night of him talking. I’m not asking you to watch a full game of Dodgers. Lord, no. You have things to do — like watch Giants games!
- When your kids ask you who they should marry when they grow up, tell them it’s Clayton Kershaw’s curveball. Oh my gosh that thing is gorgeous.
- I don’t understand how Juan Cruz is doing what he’s doing out there. Great story.
- Matt Kemp was out again today. L.A. needed someone that didn’t look completely lost at the plate.
- The wave… I don’t think it ever made it around the stadium a full revolution. I was very pleasantly surprised at this turn of events! It’s like you go to a baseball game… to watch baseball! (To be fair, if they did this during the breaks in between innings,then it’s whatever for me, but they usually don’t.)
- The “Let’s Go Dodgers” chant in the 9th was the biggest embodiment of a feeling for hope I’ve been hit with in a while. When those fans turn it on, they can be impressive. They just need to work together to focus on baseball, and their team that their owners and front office have been creating.
- J.J. Putz threw something to the tune of 11 consecutive strikes. I’m all for efficiency, but I’m also OK with throwing a ball so that you don’t end up throwing a cookie for Hanley to rip up the middle.
In the end, the lesser of the two bad guys won the game, and now the bigger bad guys are 4.5 games back of the good guys. Huzzah! May I also remind you there’s still plenty of games left, and the Giants and Dodgers play 6 games against each other still. This means if the Giants played nearly .500 ball (17-16), the Dodgers would need to be 20-10 just to tie, and the Diamondbacks would need to be 25-5. But that’s if the Giants play 17-16 baseball. Lots of “ifs” there, so let’s not worry about that just yet.