Scully honored to appear at field dedication

Scully honored to appear at field dedication

TAFT, Calif. -- Two hours outside of Los Angeles lies the little town of Taft, Calif., population, roughly 9,000. Their local gathering place is West Side Recreation & Park District and on this day, Taft put on its Saturday best to dedicate a field in the name of a true baseball legend -- Vin Scully.

"For Vin Scully to be here to dedicate it is pretty exciting, because here we've grown up listening to that voice call all those important games," said United States House of Representatives Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, whose California 23rd District includes Taft. "I met Vin a couple of years ago and when they were building this stadium for the kids and wanted to name it after Vin Scully -- we just contacted him and he said, 'Sure, I'll come up and be part of it,' and for him and his wife Sandi to come up here means a lot to the thousands of people here."

For the Bronx-born Scully, who is currently taking part in his 66th season behind the microphone for the Dodgers, the small town quaintness of Taft and its residents brought a smile to his face.

"It's got that real American feel of small town USA," said the Hall of Fame broadcaster. "Then everyone we saw, up and around the ballfield, they were wearing Scully T-shirts of one kind or another and you immediately felt much like at home, whether it was the Mayor or the kids here in uniform -- it was a marvelous, marvelous way to begin the day."

The Scully's were given the VIP treatment by the town. They were escorted by "The Little Dodgers" T-Ball team and serenaded to "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" by members of the school band. The couple and Majority Leader McCarthy toured the wiffle ball field that is a replica of early Dodger Stadium, replete with the old Union 76 logo over an old-style score board. All the Dodgers retired numbers in right field and photos and banners covering all the teams and moments the 87-year-old legend has had in his amazing career.

"I wasn't sure what to expect," said Scully. "The whole complex is incredible. They built it four years ago after a fire. They have the Green Monster at Fenway Park at one side of the field and, of course, the wiffle ball field -- where all the kids will be playing. That really touched my heart."

But it was the basic goodness of the town that a very grateful Scully acknowledged during his remarks at the ceremony.

"I look at the crowd and I tell you this from the bottom of my heart. I will remember this crowd, far more, far often and much deeper emotionally, than any crowd I have ever seen."

"They will talk for generations about the Vin Scully Field and the day he was here," said McCarthy of Taft's youngest residents. "I think they will have a lot of good memories right here, because of today."

Ben Platt is a National Correspondent for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.