My First Game With Vin

I remember my first game at Dodgers Stadium. I was six years old in 1970. They played the Giants. I don’t remember the final score or who was pitching, playing or who might’ve hit a homerun or who won.

But I remember where I sat. The seats were level with the field, a few rows back halfway between home plate and the outfield wall down the first base side.

I remember my awe at the size of the place. I’d never been to anything so big.

I remember my amazement at the size of the crowd. I’d never seen so many people in one place. And I remember its deafening roars of approval and its thunderous boos of angry disappointment. It was kind of frightening at first and took a little getting used to.

I remember the baseball mitt I brought hoping to catch a foul ball. It was my Pee Wee League mitt for the team I played on in the park across the street from where I lived with my mom and a stray cat we took in named Puddy. The mitt was black and signed by Claude Osteen, who I didn’t know was a pitcher for the Dodgers at the time.

The only Dodger pitcher I knew was Sandy Koufax and I remember hoping he was pitching, and being very disappointed when told not only that he wasn’t pitching that night, but that he’d retired from the game a couple years earlier. Sandy Koufax was my idol not because I’d followed baseball — hell, at that young age I could barely follow the leader — but because he was left-handed like me, which I learned after my mom invoked his name to my team’s coach when confronting him for trying to convert me to right-handed.

She wondered to him if Sandy Koufax’s first coach had tried to change his throwing arm, to which the coach snorted and asked her if she thought I was the next Sandy Koufax. She said the point wasn’t who I might become, but that I was who I was and that included being left-handed and that if he did anything to change that she would make sure that who he would quickly become is my ex-coach.

After I then learned more about Koufax’s legendary pitching, a hero was born. And other than my mom, there were no other southpaws in my world so for a while I fully believed Sandy and I were related.

But most of all at the game, I remember the voice. It seemed to come from everywhere once the game started and the crowd settled in. It was on my left, my right, behind me, and in front. I didn’t know who it belonged to or where it came from. All I knew is it was a soothing, friendly voice that was describing whatever was happening on the field — almost as it happened; pitches, strikes, balls, hits, runs, fouls, ground outs, fly balls, catches.

I remember whipping around in my seat trying to figure out how this magic was hapening until my mom pointed out a transistor radio a couple rows in front of us, then one a few seats behind, and another a few seats to the left. Then I saw another. And another. It seemed as if more people had radios than didn’t.

“Who is he?” I asked.

She told me the voice belonged to Vin Scully, the game announcer.

And another Dodgers hero was born. One who remained a beloved and irreplaceable constant throughout my life and all of its subsequent Dodgers’ baseball until his retirement at the end of the 2016 season.

“Where is he?” I asked my mom and she pointed upwards over her shoulder towards the center of the stadium.


She targeted a span of brightly lighted booths about mid-way to the top.

“Not quite. The press boxes.”

Published by


Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."