So here's my Vin Scully story: I got to interview him once while I was still at the Ventura County Star. (Hi, Tim!) It took a few weeks to set up, more than a few faxes, a few more weeks of phone calls and waiting and then, like a miracle because he doesn't do that much press, the news that Vin Scully had agreed to the interview.
It was a day game. I was wandering the halls near the press box at Dodger Stadium, saying hi to the sports guys and marveling at the view when I head this unmistakable voice say my name, pronounce it perfectly. "Miss de Turenne? Veronique?" And really, right then, it would have been enough.
Banner hed -- Vin Scully Speaks VC Star Reporter's Name.
Subhed: Smiles and shakes her hand.
Right away he apologized for being late (maybe three minutes late, maybe), then led the way to his broadcast booth. We faced the field and watched batting practice, watched the Dodgers stretch and throw the ball around, watched the ball boys scurry about, and we talked for almost an hour. I had my list of questions, of course, and Scully gave great answers. He was astute and thoughtful and very funny. He was professional enough that even though it all had to be stuff he'd been asked a million times before, he never let on. He was, as everyone always says, kind and generous and smart and classy.
A parade of people stuck their heads into the broadcast booth with hellos and questions and comments, and to a sports world rookie like me, it was like a Who's Who of Dodgerdom. They'd say hi to me and Vin would introduce us then tell the visitors he was busy, would they please come back?
As the Ventura Star photog shot pix to go with the piece, I broke the rules and asked if it might be OK to get a photo with Scully. Vin just grabbed my chair, wheeled it close and made me laugh as the photog shot a few frames.
The pix are among my favorites of course, despite how goofy that fangirl in the photo looks. I figured nothing could top it, until a letter came in the mail about a week later. Addressed by hand, written in that same handwriting, it was a note from Vin Scully thanking me, for the interview, for sending him some copies of the newspaper, and for an enjoyable pre-game hour.
Talk about class.