Vin Scully = Dodger Baseball- Part Trois- My brush with fame.

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My best Vin
Memory….

 

In early  1997,
I was offered the chance to travel to Florida, and visit the Dodgers at their
spring training home of Vero Beach, with my friend, who along with her father,
worked for the Dodgers.

I knew it was going
to be a great trip, something I had wanted to do for years. I had already
traveled to many stadiums around the country, to watch the Dodgers play, but I
knew this was going to be different.

 

 We were able to
see 3 games at Holman Stadium, watch batting practice at the cages, check out
the future big leaguer’s working on their fielding drills. The whole
enchilada…..

 

But then things
REALLY got good…..

 

Friday night
comes around, and the Dodgers were having a huge poolside barbecue, for all the
players, their families, and Dodger personnel. We were invited, and of course
jumped at the chance. I was in HEAVEN. Talking with all the players, their
families, and other Dodger employees. It was awesome. Bill Russell (then
manager), Piazza, Karros, Brett Butler. Of course Tommy was there, the ultimate
ambassador of Dodger baseball, holding court. We had a blast.

 

 But the best
part was still to come.

 

 After the party
winded down, another Dodger employee asked if we would like to have a
drink at the bar, inside the commissary. This was a place JUST for Dodger
employees/players . Yup, sounded great. We walk in and there was a huge
“Cheers” like bar, but no bartender. Grab what you want, it’s serve
yourself, we were told.

So we did, and sat
down at one of a few dinner table/poker tables in the back. What a great vibe,
the place was so cool. A few young Dodgers ( I forget who) were playing darts,
and pool.

 

Then, in walked Bill
Russell. He looked around, and noticing my friends father,, whom he had known
for years, and sat down with us. What a great guy. I can still remember his
“Oklahoma drawl”.He was really down to earth.

He was
in his 2nd year as manager of the Dodgers, and I asked him how he
thought he was doing. He laughed and asked if I was really a reporter. We
talked baseball strategy, his memories of interesting games, and all kinds of
stuff. We laughed a lot. ( He had a few interesting comments about
Lasorda….still cracks me up ! )

 

 Next thing I
know, Dodger coach  Joey Amalfitano pulls a chair back , and sits
down.  He had a glass of red wine in his hand. I showed him my glass of
wine, and told him he had great taste. He and I immediately hit it off, since
we are both big fans of wine, and Italian food. He was the coolest guy. A
couple of the younger players, who’s names  I can’t remember, also came
over. They were great kids. VERY respectful. Nothing but yes sirs and no sirs.
Bill and Joey were still coaching even then, telling a few of the guys what
they expected out of them tomorrow, what to work on. I could not believe my
luck. The whole experience was almost overwhelming. I was like a sponge, trying
to drink it all in. The setting, the experience, the stories.

 

 Then, as I
happened to glance over towards the front of the room, the door opens up, and
in walks Vin Scully. He was dressed Florida casual, not the usual shirt and tie
that you see him in. I couldn’t believe it.!  Near the front door, were a
group of rookies playing darts, and Vin stopped to chat with them.  I
couldn’t overhear what was discussed, but they seemed to be listening intently,
to the anecdote or story he was telling. Or maybe he just wanted to know there
names, being the rookies that they were, and introduce himself.

 

To be continued……

 

 

Go Blue !

 

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