Vaya con Dios, Vin Scully — a beacon of possibility for generations – Greeley Tribune

Vaya con Dios, Vin Scully — a beacon of possibility for generations – Greeley Tribune

When legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully passed away yesterday, I didn’t need to turn on the TV, look at social media or hit the sports bars to know how much Southern California mourned.

I just checked my text messages.

My brother sent a few crying emojis. My cousin Vic admitted to having tears in his eyes as he broke the news to his wife. My cousin Plas – an Angels fan, for some reason – posted a video of someone pouring whiskey from a flask and captioned it “YAP to God”.

A good friend of mine sent a black and white picture of Bobby Scully – nothing else. My sister Elsa, who owns a Yorkie named Winnie, told me that Scully died on the Feast of Our Lady, Queen of Angels, the devotional name of the Virgin Mary, the namesake of Los Angeles. And my sister Alejandrina—for some reason, an Angels fan—came across a link to a YouTube video of Scully, a devout Catholic, reciting the rosary, which we immediately listened to as the Arellano kids prayed for her soul.

That sob you hear is hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans mourning the loss of one of us in Southern California. Along with the late Kobe Bryant—another local sports legend with a large Latino fan base—no other non-Latino Southern California luminary will evoke the same emotions among us.

Vin Scully was more than just the soundtrack to our lives. He was our life.

He was the son of immigrants like many of us. He grew up working class like most of us. He succeeded like the rest of us.

When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, Scully left everything she knew for a foreign land. He arrived in what was at that point one of the whitest big cities in the United States and saw it grow into the multicultural metropolis it is today thanks to newcomers like him. He was there as five generations of my family—from my 99-year-old grandmother to my cousins’ grandchildren—all grew up with his gospel and were established in the land of the South.

Like many Latinos, Scully came to a city full of opportunity and made the most of it. And he did it with humility, always applauding those in front of him, always putting family before the spotlight.

From the start, he embraced Latinos from the ground up, in a way that much of the rest of Los Angeles had to learn: as people. He could have rattled off the names of the many Latino players who have passed through the franchise over the decades or on opposing teams, but he made sure to pronounce them correctly. He may have kept his fellow Dodgers, Spanish-language broadcaster Jaime Jarrín, at bay, but he embraced him like a brother and insisted when the rest of the world recognized Jarrín’s brilliance.

“He’s not the Vin Scully of Spain,” Vinny told my editor Hector Becerra in 2013. “He is, Jaime Jarrin. It stands on its own feet. He is a Hall of Fame host and a wonderful person.”

Whenever he dropped a Spanish phrase or two, your ears would ring and a big smile would appear on your face. You would have laughed when he called former Dodgers player Yasiel Puig a “wild horse” because his gentle rebuke was in the tone our grandparents used against our wayward cousins. One of the many clips that local television is currently playing is from 1990, when Fernando Valenzuela — another Dodgers Latino icon — threw a no-hitter. As the southpaw and his teammates celebrated, Scully yelled, “If you’ve got a sombrero, throw it in the sky.”

If someone else says this, you will be upset. But he was our red-headed tío.

It was a scaffolding on which many Latinos built their Southern California identities. His long, meandering stories, told in that unforgettable troubadour voice, were like our aunts and uncles telling a group of cousins ​​in the dead of night, drawing us in with history, triumphs and tragedies, connecting us all to something greater. Most of my peers learned English from Scully – as myjefeHector once wrote, Warner Bros. there was no better teacher than cartoons.

Scully even had a rite of passage. At a certain point, you began to prefer Scully to Jarrin – not because one was better than the other, but because English was the language you now understood better.

I will always associate Scully with my family, and not just because almost all of my cousins ​​and siblings are Dodgers fans. As a kid, I would watch games on TV in the living room with my dad, then when I was a teenager, I would do the same with my younger brother. As an adult, there were few things I loved more than coming back from an errand far away—Santa Barbara, Bakersfield, San Diego, or Coachella—so I could listen to a Dodgers game in full AM. radio, from his trademark opening, “It’s time for Dodgers baseball!” Whatever eloquent sign he might offer on a given night, wherever I am.

When Scully announced its final season in 2016, my friends pestered me to see if I could get a personal audience with them even though I didn’t cover sports, and I only covered Orange County at the time.

They asked, even though they knew I would say no, because Scully meant so much to them. Instead, we enjoyed the stories of my baseball-covering colleagues and friends, all of whom said the broadcaster was the gentleman we imagined.

That was all my friends needed.

We all mourn the loss of our elders today and for the rest of this baseball season—the loss of an era, the loss of our innocence. Realizing that life goes on and that our heroes are not immortal, but our time with them has changed us for the better and it’s time to carry on their legacy. We can’t all be broadcasters, but we sure can be good people like Scully.

Wow John Dios, Vinny.

— Gustavo Arellano is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times

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