Now that my MLB TV subscription has been renewed for 2017, I find that there are going to be two voids in my baseball viewing habits. Watching David Ortiz hit some sweet homeruns, and listening to Vin Scully call Dodgers games, right before I call it the night and head to sleep.
Being in Chicago, you can watch, or listen to, about 10 – 12 hours worth of baseball in a single day, as long as the Cubs play a day game. My normal schedule would be listening to Pat Hughes calling the Cubs afternoon game while at work, getting home to watch a Red Sox game around 6pm, and sometime before bed, catch a Dodgers game with Vin Scully to end the night.
While catching Vin in the twilight of his broadcasting career, he was one of the last broadcasters to call a game alone. While calling the play by play of all his games, he would also include a story from the past or some off the wall quip about a certain player in the game. I actually didn’t mind any of these stories. To me, it was listening to my adopted “baseball” grandfather telling me bedtime stories, and I would fall asleep without a care in the world. Whether it was about Sandy Koufax, Fernando Venezuela, or a member of my ginger brigade, Justin Turner, you had to like each Dodger player just a little bit, after the odd facts you would learn about them. Otherwise, if there was a Clayton Kershaw vs. Madison Bumgarner pitching duel on, there were no time for stories, but we stayed awake a little longer that night to see which of these pitching studs would outlast the other.
In light of all that, now that Vin Scully has retired, it’s time to make a call to the bullpen, to see who takes over my late night baseball viewing needs. I can watch Quick Pitch on MLB Network with Heidi Watney. It’s only an hour, and Heidi has some great baseball knowledge. I can watch the San Diego Padres games with Don Orsillo, as he was part of a great broadcast them with Jerry Remy, when he was with the Red Sox. Or, the best thing to do, wait it out, watch some West Coast baseball and learn from Ray Fosse, the Kuiper brothers, Mike Krukow, and Victor Rojas.
Maybe to slightly fill the void, I’ll have to get a bobblehead of Vin, and place him on my desk, while we watch games together. Late night games without Vin won’t be the same, and they will also never be forgotten.