THE GAME: Dodgers vs. Giants
Pretty much everyone who ever has ever worn a Dodgers cap at any point in his or her life has lately been filling websites and letters to the Times with anecdotes about what Vin Scully means to them. I've read phrases like "voice of my childhood" and "soundtrack of summer" more times in the last two weeks than the rest of my life combined.
The emotions are no doubt real, if more than a tad mawkish, and I certainly could contribute, but I'll refrain for the most part and just share one little story.
In the 2000 and 2001 seasons, I was fortunate enough to have access to a suite in Dodger Stadium for a couple of dozen games, three suites to the right of the press box. I would often arrive an hour or so before game time and wander up to the Reserve Level to purchase hot dogs and beers - it beat paying suite prices - before returning to the suite to watch warmups.
On one occasion in September of 2001, I stepped out of the suite to visit the restroom after consuming a few beers, and ran into none other than Vin.
He was walking to his press box - I mean that quite literally; the thing is named after him - and I said "Oh, excuse me."
"No problem," he replied. "That's a nice hat you've got there, young man."
This was just ten days or so after September 11th, and I was wearing one of those Dodgers hats with the logo adorned in the colors of the American flag.
I stammered something - I honestly have no idea what - and continued to the restroom. All I could think was: Vin Scully just gave me a compliment.
I entered the restroom and moved towards the wall, an act I'd performed dozens of times before, when something occurred to me: Where the hell did the urinals go?
They were about 20 feet away.
In my excitement, I'd entered the women's room.
So yeah, there are quite a few things I could say about what Vin has meant to me in my life, but instead I'll just leave it at this: the only time the man ever said anything to me, I deliriously walked into the wrong restroom.
Yesterday I sat down on the couch to hear him call a game for perhaps the 1500th, and certainly final time.
NOTES ON THE FOOD:
- I reduced red wine and shallots with brown sugar, olive oil and vinegar until it was a sticky jam.
- In a cast iron pan, I cooked a Prime meat patty for two minutes on each side before placing a shredded pile of blue marble cheese on top.
- One minute later, I removed the patty and let it rest on a cutting board, covered with an inverted bowl.
- Five minutes later I added the shallot sauce and placed it on a fresh kaiser bun.
- It was the richest burger I have had in a long time, but man, was it glorious.
NOTES ON THE GAME:
- The Dodgers and Nationals have been consistent all season and the Cubs won more than 100 games for the first time since 1910... but are any of those fans confident now that the Giants are a Wild Card team?
- When Vin called his first game, my grandparents were younger than I am now. And they've been dead for quite a while. That's kind of crazy.
- I've still never seen a baseball game in person at AT&T - only college football. I really need to change that soon.
- Not counting years when the Angels have been in the postseason, I have not looked forward to October baseball this much in my entire life.