Dodgers Broadcast Legend Vin Scully to Be Feted at Blue Diamond Gala
"The evening is not about me," says the play-by-play pro, who'll retire at the end of this season. The second annual fundraiser for the team's foundation aids youngsters throughout Southern California.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation's second annual Blue Diamond Gala on July 28 will mark the first formal milestone event of the season to recognize broadcaster Vin Scully’s seven consecutive decades with the Dodgers organization.
But true to form, the eternally modest Scully, 88, who is retiring after this season — his 67th with the team, dating back to the Dodgers' days in Brooklyn — says the event is not about him. "It’s about all the wonderful work the Dodgers Foundation will be able to do to help many needy youngsters throughout Southern California thanks to everyone supporting this outstanding event," he told THR.
The gala, presented by the Dodgers’ ownership group, provides "vital services to the challenged communities of our city," notes Mark Walter, Dodgers owner and chairman of the LADF board.
Since the inception of both the Dodgers Dreamfields and Dodgers RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) programs, the LADF has invested nearly $10 million in underserved communities throughout L.A. Last year, it contributed nearly $1.2 million in grants to 50 community organizations.
The Blue Diamond Gala is chaired this time by music mogul Irving Azoff and his wife, Shelli. Supporters are invited onto the field at Dodger Stadium, players and coaches will be on hand, and Fleetwood Mac will perform in their only public concert of 2016.
Though he started with the team when it was based in New York, after decades in California Scully is known for peppering his broadcasts with references to classic Hollywood films. THR asked the play-by-play man — whose stint with the Dodgers is the longest of any sports broadcaster with one team — to name the most interesting person he's met in Hollywood. His answer: Danny Kaye.
The Brooklyn-born comic actor was a Dodgers fan since the team’s Ebbets Field days and wrote "The D-O-D-G-E-R-S Song (Oh Really? No, O'Malley!)," about a heated game with the rival San Francisco Giants during the 1962 pennant race.
"He loved the Dodgers and the game of baseball," Scully said of Kaye, who died in 1987. "Talk about an interesting person; Danny was the Renaissance man. He could do it all. Danny was a scratch golfer, he had a license to fly different planes, he was a gourmet chef, and he even assisted one of the leading heart surgeons in a heart transplant. He was so damn talented. I remember imitating him when I went to high school. Danny was such a fun guy, and we became close pals.”
A version of this story first appeared in the July 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.