So this is really happening, the last umbilical cuts to my childhood soundtrack.
I am honesty not happy, or ready.
Vin Scully and Dick Enberg, one half of the play-by-play pantheon of sports broadcasters who ruled Los Angeles in the halcyon days, are signing off at the end of this baseball season.
Chick Hearn left us a while ago and soon only L.A. Kings’ announcer Bob Miller will remain.
There will never again be a set of announcers like these–not because it can’t happen—but because most owners won’t allow it. They all now want house-men who giggle for their teams and try to make you believe every .235 banjo hitter is about to “get something to drive.”
I have been gradually bracing for Scully, but found myself emotionally unprepared for Bill Shaikin’s terrific story on Enberg’s impending retirement in Sunday’s L.A. Times.
Enberg is 81 now, finishing up his last act with the San Diego Padres. I was actually thinking about him Saturday after his alma mater, Central Michigan, pulled off an epic football upset at Oklahoma State (even if the final miracle play should not have counted).
How many people know Enberg is a Chippewa?
I was thinking it was unfair that Central Michigan’s magnificent effort was going to be overshadowed by larger, more powerful, outside forces.
A similar thing is happening to Enberg, class of 1957, in going out the same year as Scully. How is Central Michigan ever going to compete with Fordham?
What hit me hardest about Shaikin’s piece was Enberg telling the story of being stuck on a plane, Oct. 27, 2002, during Game 7 of the World Series between the Angels and San Francisco.
Enberg didn’t know the final score until the pilot informed the passengers. He got emotional on the plane as he reflected on a day long-suffering Angels’ fans didn’t know would happen.
“I got shivers thinking about it,” Enberg told Shaikin. “I broke out sobbing. This hefty woman was sitting next to me, she couldn’t understand why this grown man was crying.”
This line stopped me cold Sunday in my office chair, because the same thing happened to me. I was flying back to L.A. from Tallahassee, the day after Notre Dame defeated Bobby Bowden’s Florida State. After Game 6 on Saturday I realized I was going to miss Game 7. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.