Vin Scully passed away yesterday at 94 years old. He was the greatest at his craft, and I had met when I was eleven.
The experience helped shape who I am, and how I work today.
When I was younger I wanted to be a sports broadcaster. I loved the idea of being able to go to sports games, and get paid for it! I was, and still am, a huge sports fan so that job sounded like the perfect career!
My family all went to a Dodgers game when I was 11. My parents knew that I wanted to be a sports broadcaster, and after the game was over they encouraged me to go and find Vin and ask for his autograph.
That was the first time I’ve ever done anything like this, and I was pretty scared. The butterflies were jumping in my stomach!
We waited outside of his booth for what seemed like eternity, but was really only about 30 minutes.
He came out, and you could tell that he was tired after a long game. He was old back then, in his 70s but still working all of the home games.
I wasn’t the only person waiting to talk to him. He talked to each person and signed whatever they asked him to.
He stopped at me and reached out his hand with a friendly, “Hi what’s your name?”
I told him i wanted to be like him and be a sports broadcaster.
He he spent the next few minutes telling me exactly what to do so that I could perfect my craft. He told me to record games, then put them on mute and call the game myself. He told me to use a sand timer so that I would remember to tell the audience the score every few minutes. He told me to study how other sports broadcasters called games, and watch how each broadcaster had they own way of intermingling personal stories of the athletes during slow periods in the game.
My 11 year old self was not expecting that much information, and I just stood there nodding lol
I remember leaving that encounter with Vin feeling like I could totally do this – I could become a sports broadcaster if I followed the steps that Vin laid out for me!
I started following through on what he told me to do! I would get friends to record football games for me on their TV and give me the VHS tapes (I grew up without any cable television). I would practice. I would study. I would memorize stats.
I loved the experience, and the practice of going after my dreams really molded me.
I did not end up pursuing sports broadcasting as a career, when I found out that the journey to get to a professional league was a very long and brutally low-paying journey lol!
But I remember Vin! I remember walking away believing I could do it, and having the gumption of going after it