Marilyn and I were getting ready for work the day I heard of the passing of famed Dodger announcer, Vin Scully. I stopped what I was doing and just sat there on the edge of the bath tub. Memories of a childhood filled with Dodgers baseball came flooding back. Yes! I was that kid who hid his transistor radio under his pillow, plugged in that beige ear piece so my folks wouldn’t know I was disobeying their orders of, get to sleep. I listened to every game Vin called. I would lay there and actually saw in my mind’s eye the action on the field he described. It was a skill I would later use when I became a writer.
Scully taught me what inside baseball meant. He taught me to love the game and to love those who played it. Years later I was in a community theater production and cast as a play-by-play announcer. I pulled up Vin’s recorded games and tried to repeat his mannerisms. The words were there, but the passion and heart were still all Scully’s, never to be replicated.
Then I had the great fortune to write Slider—a novel about an extraordinary high school baseball team who overcomes the worst tragedy 18 people can suffer and together rescue themselves. Writing Slider allowed me to revisit my teammates, teachers, and that singular affection for a game that has spanned an entire lifetime. Yes, there are just a few play-by-play passages. And again, I went back to the master to remind myself how he did it. And once again, the words are Scully’s but this time we share the passion and love for the game on the pages together.
I’m truly sorry Vin never got to read Slider. I think he would have appreciated the gift he gave me and every kid who grew up hearing, “It’s time for Dodgers baseball!”
Thanks for reading,