SAN FRANCISCO -- Vin Scully arrived for his last day at the office Sunday morning wearing a blue sport coat with a red, white and blue tie, and of course his ever-present smile. He and his wife, Sandi, boarded a golf cart that took them to the press elevators and
SAN FRANCISCO -- Vin Scully arrived for his last day at the office Sunday morning wearing a blue sport coat with a red, white and blue tie, and of course his ever-present smile. He and his wife, Sandi, boarded a golf cart that took them to the press elevators and up to Booth 7, the visiting TV booth at AT&T Park, where a microphone awaited the last broadcast of his storied career.
From there, the final day of work for the iconic baseball voice went into routine mode on a day that was anything but routine. The 88-year-old hunkered down and prepared to announce the regular-season finale between the Giants he grew up loving and the Dodgers he spent his entire adult life bringing to millions of fans through his golden, friendly tones. And when it was over, his sign-off was purely and simply Scully.
"I have said enough for a lifetime, and for the last time I wish you all a very pleasant good afternoon," Scully said at the end of the Giants' 7-1 victory to clinch a National League Wild Card spot.
All around him all day long, the tributes from the Giants and their fans included signs saying "Thank You, Vin" handed out to fans and "THX VIN" plugged into one of the spots on the out-of-town scoreboard. He waved and smiled when a pregame ceremony had fans on their feet, but he was in his seat and ready to go for the first pitch, as he had been for 67 years and more than 9,000 broadcasts.
:: Farewell, Vin Scully ::
This time, he recorded a special rendition of his trademark opening that played on the big screen at AT&T Park to get the game started.
"It's time for Dodger-Giant baseball, the greatest rivalry in all of professional sports," said Scully, who was not available for media interviews, choosing to focus on the job at hand and sharing the moment with his family.
Charley Steiner, who along with partner Rick Monday normally would share the broadcasting duties with Scully, had one job Sunday, and that was to introduce Scully's final broadcast. Steiner has had a front-row seat for eight days of amazing tributes to Scully, and really an entire season dedicated to honoring the venerable voice. On Sunday, Steiner knew one thing to a certainty.
"I think he's the happiest guy at the ballpark," Steiner said.
The joy came through as usual in the way Scully described the action. A few examples:
• The Giants opened the scoring with a two-run single by Buster Posey: "The sun has broken through the clouds and it is shining on the Giants for the moment."
• Matt Moore's attempt at a suicide squeeze: "So the Giants, with a poor-hitting pitcher, decided to try and squeeze, and he was a poor bunter."
• The Dodgers' starter was struggling: "It's gray overhead, but for Kenta Maeda, it feels like the sky is falling. He doesn't need Chicken Little to tell him that."
• Giants third baseman Conor Gillaspie made a spectacular catch of a foul ball: "Gillaspie went head-first into the photographers' well, and all's well that ends well."
• After his family joined him in the booth: "It has been a party, a retirement party, and it has been marvelous."
And baseball fans around the world sighed and laughed and savored every last moment of a friendly voice's depiction of the game for the final time.
"He's going out on top of his game, doing something he's done better than anybody else and done longer than anybody else," said Steiner, who called being part of the whole Scully farewell the "highlight of my career."
In a special presentation in the middle of the fourth inning, Giants president Larry Baer and Hall of Famer Willie Mays were in the booth with Scully as he waved to the adoring Giants crowd with Frank Sinatra's "My Way" playing and a video presentation of old photos on the video board. At its conclusion, Scully looked into the camera and shared a perfect bit of perspective on this day for this man:
"I was sitting here thinking, talking to Willie: Who would ever have thought that little red-headed kid with a tear in his pants and his shirt tail hanging out playing stick ball with a tennis ball and a broom handle would wind up sitting here after 67 years of broadcasting and with my arm around one of the greatest players I ever saw, the great Willie Mays? There are miracles, aren't there, right? Let's go back to this one. I've had enough spotlight for 10 years, 10 lives."
But for one last time, the spotlight and the eyes and ears of baseball fans everywhere were transfixed on Vin Scully, his rare and gifted voice finally uttering its last words at a baseball game.
With the game over and the microphone turned off, Scully headed to the press elevator with Sandi alongside him, got on the golf cart and headed out of the ballpark, waving to Dodgers and Giants fans all cheering his exit.
But before he left, he had some final words for the fans in his last postgame wrap, words that tell the tale about Vin Scully and the love he has for baseball and its fans.
"You and I have been friends for a long time," Scully said, looking into the camera, "but I know in my heart that I've always needed you more than you ever needed me. I'll miss our time together more than I can say. But you know what? There will be a new day and eventually a new year, and when the upcoming winter gives way to spring, rest assured once again it will be time for Dodger baseball.
"So this is Vin Scully, wishing you a very pleasant afternoon, wherever you may be."
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnSchlegelMLB.