Vin Scully and the Idea of Community

Vin Scully, national treasure.

I just want to post a little something today about Vin Scully.  I was so happy to hear over the weekend about his decision to continue announcing Dodger Baseball for another season.  His 67th season!  The sound of Scully’s voice reaches into the deepest recesses of my earliest childhood memories.  My father was a devoted Dodger fan from Brooklyn who moved to Los Angeles a few years before the Dodgers did.  So I grew up hearing the sound of Vin Scully’s voice — a constant and comforting sound of summer.

For me Scully embodies the stuff that true community is made of:  an awe of creation and the energy of life; deep interest in the stories of the lives and trials of others; a strong sense of loyalty and devotion to friends and family; team loyalty; cheerfulness; a depth of kindness and empathy; and playing by the rules. He always seemed to understand that without strong families and personal friendships, there can be no sense of community.  Last year I wrote a tribute to Vin Scully, which was published in the Federalist (after Scully announced his 66th year!)

You can click here to read “Vin Scully and the Soul of the Crowd.”  But here’s an excerpt, which is about the idea of community:

Vin Scully has another difficult-to-describe quality that makes him so appealing and iconic. His fascination with the “roar of the crowd” represents something I think we all want and which is unattainable on earth: the chance to converse with all of humanity at the same time. It represents a desire to be in community—or in communion—with others. It’s like being in a grand conversation in which no one can predict what will happen next. A community like that is held together through mutual respect and the anticipation of joy.

The illusion of transcending time always feels reassuring to mortals, so longevity is an obvious part of the Scully mystique.

Whether we know it or not, I think Scully’s relationship with the Dodgers and fans is a reflection of what true community should feel like. It means reaching out to all in good will. Being honorable, loyal, and dependable. Playing by one set of rules, rules that everyone agrees upon in advance and in good faith. Recognizing that everybody brings something of value to the community. Giving our best to one another and respecting the dignity of each and every human being. It means speaking truth, in love. And, of course, it means listening.

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