Legendary Dodgers Broadcaster Vin Scully Honored at Blue Diamond Gala
"I can sum up the love affair that I've had with baseball and the love affair I've had with the Dodgers [in two words]: Thank God," Scully said at the charity event, which raised more than $1.5 million.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation held its second annual Blue Diamond Gala at Dodger Stadium on Thursday evening with a salute to retiring broadcaster Vin Scully and a concert by Fleetwood Mac.
The LADF aims to provide for underprivileged youth through recreational activity and sports. The bash, held in a huge tent in the parking lot before folks moved to the outfield grass, included an auction that raised more than $1.5 million. Music mogul Irving Azoff and his wife Shelli chaired the event.
"We are out in the community doing work in the neighborhoods that need it the most," LADF executive director Nicole Whiteman told The Hollywood Reporter from the blue carpet. "When we can distract kids from the challenges that they may have in their lives, that is what really keeps me going."
More than 1,000 guests, including Dodgers players, coaches and execs; actors Will Forte, Sylvester Stallone, Taylor Lautner and Matthew McConaughey; musicians John Mayer and BC Jean; and skier Lindsey Vonn (in a brilliant sky-blue dress featuring a thigh-high slit), were on hand. The team's chairman, Mark Walters, kicked things off as Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Fraser emceed.
"I love programs that are youth-oriented and youth-focused. It's one of the reasons that brought me here today," Orange Is the New Black actress Adrienne C. Moore told The Hollywood Reporter. "The youth is our future, and I love to advocate for organizations that give back. They actually raise the money and have programs that provide sports and things that matter for the community. That's worth celebrating."
Dodgers broadcaster and former pitching ace Orel Hershiser introduced Scully, who received a standing ovation as he took the stage. "Hi, everybody, and a very special good evening to you. Thank you so very much," Scully, 88, said. "By the way, at the end of three innings, Washington 3, San Francisco 1."
Scully had the audience glued to his every word as he spun a remarkable tale — nothing to do about baseball but everything to do about sacrifice — about the heroic aviator son of a crooked Chicago lawyer who eventually turned on Al Capone. He then spoke about growing up in New York and how he became a "rabid" fan of baseball's New York Giants.
Scully, who will end his 67-year career with the Dodgers (dating to their days in Brooklyn) after this season, closed things by saying: "I can sum up the love affair that I've had with baseball and the love affair I've had with the Dodgers [in two words]: Thank God. I will thank him from now until the end of time, and I will thank you tonight for this wonderful honor.
"But more importantly, thanks to you for coming here tonight to contribute to the foundation. It takes time and it took money for you to be here. I wish I could sing with Fleetwood Mac, but I can't … anyway, I don't know I could say thank you any better after this wonderful evening for me."
Arsenio Hall told THR, "I'm a huge Vin Scully fan. I'm a baseball fanatic. I've been listening to baseball since I was a little boy. I listened to the radio with my grandmother in Cleveland on the front porch, and that's when guys like Vin Scully were in a class of their own because they drew pictures with their words. Somebody will get his job next year, but nobody will ever replace him."
After Scully departed, the stadium lights dimmed and the crowd was ready for Fleetwood Mac, who opened their only concert of 2016 with "The Chain." Later, Stevie Nicks dedicated “Landslide” to the great play-by-play man, noting that her band has been in the spotlight a long time, too: "We are right behind you, Mr. Scully."
Other entertainment notables in attendance included Camila Alves, Tai Babilonia, Mark Ballas, Jillian Bell, Michael Harney, Genevieve Morton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jaleel White and Bellamy Young.