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  • July 3, 2019
    导出博客文章It was in the middle of the Barry Bonds home run chase, and I was sitting with
    Vin Scully in the broadcast booth at Dodger Stadium.The Dodgers were playing the
    Giants, and Vin had been kind enough to agree to an interview before the game. I
    was writing a column about his views on Bonds, though the conversation would
    eventually cover everything from his days at Fordham to Willie Mays.First,
    though, I had a confession to make.I was one of those kids with the transistor
    radio, I told him. Under the pillow at night, listening to the game.I dont
    remember what Vin said in response, but Im sure it was gracious because Vin
    Scully is nothing if not gracious. Its simply in his DNA, and has been since he
    was a kid growing up in New York.Yes, he had probably heard the same thing a
    thousand times before. Somehow, though, I still had to tell him how much it
    meant.His voice has been part of the soundtrack of my life for so long I cant
    remember ever being without it. His presence on the radio every spring was
    always a reminder that while everything changes, this never did.It changes now,
    for reasons as ancient as mankind. We all get old, and Vin is no exception, even
    if he has weathered the ravages of time well. Hes still remarkable at age 88,
    but wants to get out before people start whispering about his age.His last game
    after 67 years calling the Dodgers will be in San Francisco. Fittingly enough
    its on the 80th anniversary of when he was walking home from grammar school, and
    saw in the window of a Chinese laundry that the Giants had been beaten by the
    Yankees in the World Series.Ive considered him a friend for the better part of a
    half century, even though before that day we had never met. Our friendship was
    always a bit one-sided, with Vin in front of the microphone and me listening
    wherever I could.It pains me that hes walking away after 67 years. Not just
    because Ill miss him, but because there is a sobering realization that there
    simply isnt any more.No more Vinny to greet us wherever we may be on a beautiful
    night from Dodger Stadium. No more descriptions of how glorious the mountains
    beyond Dodger Stadium look in the fading sunlight from his perch behind home
    plate.No more seamlessly weaving stories in between pitches about players or
    things you didnt know.Im hardly alone. If anything, Im just one of many in a
    loosely formed community that calls Vinny their own.And we all have our own
    stories to tell about the hours listening to his soothing voice.It could have
    been any summer evening at Dodger Stadium. Often it was a nondescript game
    somehow made interesting in the way only Vinny could.Deuces are wild, he might
    say in the seventh inning. Two on, two out, a 2-2 count. Score tied 2-2.My
    favorites were from the 1960s Dodgers of my youth when any ball hit out of the
    infield was thought of as an offensive explosion. On the rare occasion there
    would be a Dodger home run, and Vinny would match it with a call.A way back, she
    is gone!!! Vinny would call out, drawing out the words for added dramatic
    effect.I knew him while riding in my dads car from my first baseball game in the
    L.A. Coliseum. I knew him on an elementary school playground, transistor radio
    to my ear, as Sandy Koufax mowed down the Yankees in the opening game of the
    1963 World Series.I knew him on a June evening in 1968 when Don Drysdale set a
    scoreless streak of 58 2/3 innings. Two days earlier, Robert Kennedy had been
    assassinated just a mile or two away after winning the California presidential
    primary and the world seemed to be falling apart.Somehow, Vinny brought a bit of
    comfort, just like he did on so many nights with the little red radio under my
    pillow and his voice taking me to places both near and far away.Hi everybody and
    a very pleasant evening to you wherever you may be, he would greet me, and I was
    pretty sure he was talking just to me.My two sons are grown now but they have
    similar memories because Vinny was always on in our house or in our cars. They
    grew to love him too, and theres not too many summer days that go by without a
    call or a text from one of them about Vinny telling the history of beards during
    a game or describing how the Beatles escaped Dodger Stadium in an ambulance
    after they played there.Vin made calls that will live in baseball history. He
    memorialized Henry Aarons home run to pass Babe Ruth and Kirk Gibsons home run
    to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.He brought me into a Dodger Stadium one
    September night in 1965. At the time Id never been to Dodger Stadium, but I
    could picture myself there when he called out the time on the scoreboard as
    Koufax was pitching a perfect game against the Cubs.I would think that the mound
    at Dodger Stadium right now is the loneliest place in the world, he said in the
    ninth inning. He is one out away from the promised land, and Harvey Kuenn is
    comin up.Vinny thought Koufax was the best pitcher ever, and on that we
    definitely agreed. He and I are also in agreement that Willie Mays is the best
    player we ever saw, though he actually saw Mays and I mostly only heard Vin
    describe the great things he did.His final game at Dodger Stadium -- where he
    has described nearly 5,000 games over the years -- will be Sunday against the
    Rockies. Vin said this week that he hoped to focus on the game and not let his
    impending departure overshadow it, as if thats possible.Then its three final
    games in San Francisco. Hell do those in typical Vinny style, trying not to draw
    undue attention to himself.And then I will go home, he said.We wish that he
    wouldnt, wish that he would suddenly change his mind and announce that hell be
    back for another season. Its just a wish, and after 67 years he owes us nothing,
    particularly his time.He wants to watch his grandkids -- he has 16 grandchildren
    and three great grandchildren -- play ball. Yes, hell miss the games, but mostly
    hell miss the people at the ballpark.I will miss all of that, I know I will, he
    said. I will just do the best I can to live with it.Well do the best we can to
    live without Vin, too. For some of us lucky enough to have been along for a lot
    of the ride it will be harder than others.It was a few weeks after I first saw
    Vin that a hand addressed envelope came in the mail. Inside was a note from him
    thanking me for my nice words about him.Ive seen him several times since, but
    have never mentioned that my kids had it framed for me. It now hangs in a
    prominent spot on my office wall, and I make sure everyone who visits gets a
    look.Even so, Vin Scully thanking me just doesnt seem right.Not with all that I
    have to thank him for.----Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The
    Associated Press and a Southern California native. Write to him at
    tdahlberg(at) or
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    .C. United of Major League Soccer. United chose the
    defender in the second round of the 2013 MLS re-entry draft. This story is part
    of ESPN The Magazines Oct. 31 NBA Preview Issue. Subscribe today!Buffalo
    BillsOverall: 76 Title track: 107 Ownership: 53 Coaching: 83 Players: 99 Fan
    relations: 103 Affordability: 24 Stadium experience: 108 Bang for the buck:?34
    Change from last year: -27The Bills have fallen from No. 49 overall last season,
    the result of drops in every category except bang for the buck. The bright side?
    They still rank 19th among NFL teams and are higher in the standings than some
    bigger-market teams (ahem, Cowboys) and several teams with newer stadiums. A
    cheap ticket does wonders.Whats goodFor one thing? The third-cheapest ticket in
    the NFL, behind only the Jaguars and Bucs. But the fans also like Terry and Kim
    Pegula, as judged by their 53rd-place ranking (16th in the NFL). Ask anyone on
    the streets of Buffalo, and theyll praise the Pegulas for stepping up and buying
    the team when there were legitimate bidders -- Jon Bon Jovi and Maple Leaf
    Sports and Entertainment, as well as Donald Trump -- who many feared would
    eventually move the Bills elsewhere. Instead, the Pegulas -- who also own the
    NHLs Sabres -- have invested in a city that needed an economic boost. In a
    bottom-line business, that commitment to a town is worth
    ssomething.ddddddddddddWhats badOnly five NFL stadiums ranked worse than
    Buffalos; New Era Field came in at 108th in our rankings. Some Bills fans enjoy
    its college-like, no-frills atmosphere, but the facility is now 43 years old and
    lacks the amenities of modern venues. With six years remaining on their stadium
    lease, the Bills have expressed little urgency in finding a long-term solution.
    The venue underwent $130 million in renovations in 2014 that will keep it in
    working condition, but it was only a temporary fix.Whats newRex Ryan is the
    highest-profile coach to patrol the Bills sidelines since Marv Levy, but despite
    his big personality and his early success in selling himself to fans in the
    city, the results are lacking (his ranking dropped 41 spots this year after the
    excitement from his hiring). Can Ryan still motivate his players (who didnt get
    off easy, either, dropping 44 spots)? Yes. Can he manage a game well? Not
    always. Can he consistently scheme to stop opponents offenses the way he used
    to? Thats very much in question, and it might cost Ryan his job.Next: Oakland
    Raiders?| Full rankings Cheap
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