It’s not exactly like discovering the eighth wonder, like happening upon another one of those spectacular natural phenomenons and man-made structures.
For now, the Great Pyramid of Giza and its six friends are safe.
But you could quantify this an inexplicable occurrence: I have known someone for nearly three decades who can’t stand Vin Scully.
Loathes every last word in every beautifully paced and woven narrative.
The friend doesn’t own such a repudiated opinion merely to be different from the masses. He’s not a fan of creating argument for the sake of it. He doesn’t secretly marvel at Scully’s extraordinary storytelling skills while publicly denouncing the Hall of Fame broadcaster as one whose universal appeal is both undeserved and pretentious.
He actually believes the latter.
I won’t identify the friend — even though he gave me permission to the point of inviting it — because no one should be subjected to the sort of hateful reactions and threats that might come via social media and other forums simply for owning an unpopular stance when it comes to sports.
People can become pretty bizarre and unhinged in this manner. I have the emails to prove it.
I have always found it fascinating that for many of the same reasons my friend can’t stand the broadcaster rightly championed as the greatest in history are the same ones that have myself and thousands upon thousands of baseball fans across the country heartbroken over the fact Scully will soon call his final game for the Dodgers.
He is retiring after this, his 67th season. He won’t call any postseason games for Los Angeles, choosing instead to walk away following the regular-season finale on Oct. 2. The team plays at San Francisco that day against the dreaded and hated and pitching-less Giants.
You can guess as to which is my favorite team.
Dodgers-Giants. How poetic a finish for Scully, who brought such imaginative and metrical diction to the formatted industry of play-by-play.
Both raised in California towns where the majority of fans were devoted to the Dodgers, my friend and I traveled different paths when it came to our feelings about all things blue.
I coveted them; he denounced them.
How far back are we talking?
Put it this the way: Far enough to when your television only had 12 channels but Dodger fans could actually watch their team, unlike today when there are 600 channels and they can’t.
“My brothers loved them, my Mom loved them, everyone in our community loved the Dodgers,” my friend said. “They were the only team on television where we lived. It was just too much. I learned to hate them, and who better to start with than the face of the organization? That was Vin Scully, even back then.
“Over the years, I just got tired of hearing him all the time. I got tired of hearing about the Marching and Chowder Society. I didn’t know what that meant. I still don’t. It’s funny to see the reaction from people when I tell them what I think about him. It gets such a rise out of them. But most know now that I’m not lying. I really feel this way. I grew to dislike him as much or more than the team.”
What he believed a burden on his experience as a kid following the game, I embraced as the most significant part of falling in love with it. I think that’s why so many are having a difficult time accepting the idea that next season will arrive and Scully’s voice will no longer be heard across airwaves.
His departure is the final scoop of dirt in burying an important part of our childhood, because if there was a better way to fall asleep each night listening to the radio by having Jerry Doggett sign off once the later innings had arrived and his words began to slur, followed by Ross Porter and his bizarre statistics, followed by the incomparable Scully, I haven’t found it.
It’s as if his retiring makes us look a little harder at our own mortality.
“When I leave, I will leave,” the 88-year old Scully told reporters when describing his final season. “I will not be hanging around. I saw Mel Allen leave the Yankees, Red Barber leave the Dodgers, Russ Hodges leave the Giants, Harry Caray leave the Cubs, Jack Buck leave the Cardinals.
“You know what? Not one of those teams missed a game. They kept on playing and the fans kept on going. I know I can be replaced. They’ve all come and gone and I’ll join that group.”
Nobody made baseball more interesting. Nobody painted a clearer picture of both the game and those who played it. Nobody intertwined the human interest aspect of it with the skill part of it.
Vin Scully was the slow-motion replay and fancy graphic. He just didn’t need all the technology.
Nobody will ever replace him.
As for my friend, I suppose one fact about him made it easier not to always challenge his feelings about Scully.
Instead of anger toward him, I just felt pity.
He is, after all, a Padres fan.
Ed Graney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4618. He can be a heard on “Seat and Ed” on Fox Sports 1340 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Twitter: @edgraney