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Elysian Park Avenue Renamed In Honor Of Vin Scully At Ceremony
It's official: the stretch of Elysian Park Avenue between Sunset Boulevard and Stadium Way has been formally renamed Vin Scully Avenue to honor the legendary Dodgers announcer. Hundreds of fans clad in Dodger blue along with a who's who of City Hall turned out Monday morning for an official naming ceremony at Dodger Stadium. Speakers at the ceremony included Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilman Gil Cedillo and Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten. Other City Councillors in attendance included Nury Martinez, Paul Krekorian and Paul Koretz. The 88-year-old Scully's tenure with the Dodgers predates their move to L.A. He has been announcing for the team since 1950. This year's season will be Scully's 67th and final with the Dodgers, longer than any other broadcaster has been with a single team in professional sports history.
Los Angeles Dodgers Radio Network announcer Charley Steiner opened Monday's ceremony, telling the cheering crowd that he knew what he wanted his career path to be from "the very first time I heard Vin Scully's voice. 60 years later, the path to my career has been renamed."
Mayor Garcetti first made a similar street-naming proposal in 2013, but was rebuffed by the ever-humble Scully, who issued a statement saying that "the mayor of Los Angeles has a great deal more important things to do than name a street after me," according to the L.A. Times.
It seems Scully ultimately consented, and the City Council voted unanimously in January 2016 to rename Elysian Park Avenue in his honor. Speaking Monday, Mayor Garcetti told a story from his own childhood about attending a Dodgers game with his father, and seeing a man listening to a radio at the stadium.
"Dad, they're at the game, why are they listening to the radio when they can see it?” Garcetti recalled asking his father. "And my dad had a two word answer: Vin Scully."
While his wife looped a knit Dodgers headband over his baby daughter's hair, Jeremy Dorado, a Whittier native and Dodger fan so dedicated that he takes the season's opening week off work so he can attend "three or four games" told LAist that he was a "huge" Vin Scully fan. "That's why I wanted to bring her," he said, with his baby daughter Andi in his arms. "So she could say someday that she was here when they named the street after Vin Scully."
Scully himself ultimately took the stage, to loud chanting of "Vinny, Vinny," and the occasional shout for "one more year!"
"The roar of the crowd," Scully told the assembled the fans, "That's what I'll miss the most. I don't know you, and I miss you, believe me, each and every one of you."
As beloved as Scully may be, not everyone is pleased about the street's new name. The Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park, the Echo Park Historical Society and the head of the Echo Park Improvement Association have all voiced their objections to "erasing" Elysian Park Avenue, according to The Eastsider. A lone objector, holding a paper plate sign, attended the naming ceremony, and intermittently interrupted speeches with cries of "streets are not for sale." The crowd did not take kindly to the female protestor, and chants of "shut up," followed her interjections.
"Must be Giants fans," Councilman Cedillo told LAist when asked if he had any thoughts on the objections.