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Vin Scully ‘special man, done a lot for our game’

Ross: Vin Scully ‘special man, done a lot for our game’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

ST. LOUIS — Ron Coomer didn’t play a game for the Dodgers before the final season of his career, in 2003, but he’d once spent a spring training in big-league camp as a Triple-A player following a minor-league trade a decade earlier.

“When I went back to LA that last year, on our first bus trip, I got on the team bus in the back of the bus,” said Coomer, the Cubs’ radio analyst. “And he was one of the last people to get on the bus. And he walked all the way to the back to say, ‘Hi, welcome back.’

“I’m like, ‘This is Vin Scully.’ Wow.”

Scully’s death Tuesday at 94 sent a wave of sentiment and sadness across the sport for the impact of his voice and generous spirit for more than 70 years in baseball.

“There’s not many days that the announcer of a team passes, and it hits you in the heart,” said Cubs manager David Ross, who came up with the Dodgers two decades ago. “Vin’s one of those guys.”

Ross was drafted by the Dodgers out of high school and again out of college and debuted with them in 2002.

“I remember being in an elevator with him and my little three-pound Chihuahua when I was a rookie and taking him [outside] to use the bathroom and almost biting his finger off when he tried to pet it,” Ross said.

Aside from the fill-in-your-own-punchline nature of Ross, Scully and a Chihuahua on an elevator, it was all about the presence, the longevity, the genius and obviously, definitely the voice.

“To hear his voice say your name is pretty cool,” Ross said. “He was just that guy that you knew he worked there but he felt like a friend… just one of those staples. A sad day.”

When Scully went to Wrigley Field during his 67th and final season as the Dodgers’ announcer in 2016, Ross, who was also retiring that season, joined then-manager Joe Maddon in presenting Scully with a No. 67 from the Wrigley scoreboard and a Dodger flag from the scoreboard pole.

“He’s a special man, done a lot for our game,” Ross said. “He’s a voice that everybody recognizes. He was a great ambassador for the Dodgers even afterwards.

“You’re talking about one of the legends in our game.”

Coomer said when he got to the Dodgers spring camp as a minor-leaguer that first time, Scully was a giant in the organization that was revered before you walked in the door.

“And then when you got to meet him, you’re like, ‘Whoa, that’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met,'” he said.

Ross: “He’ll be missed.”

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