Bauman: Scully back in saddle
Veteran broadcaster in familiar form after home accident
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Vin Scully returned to work on Sunday, giving the world of baseball one terrific reason for a global, collective smile.
The Hall of Fame broadcaster, entering his 61st season of work for the Dodgers, had suffered a fall at his California home on Thursday. He was hospitalized overnight and released on Friday.
When he got to Camelback Ranch-Glendale on Sunday, prior to his first broadcast of this spring, Scully was in classic form -- witty, self-deprecatory, informative. He apologized profusely for causing "all the fuss and feathers," with this episode, though the fuss was the result of millions of people genuinely caring about what happened to him.
The fall left Scully requiring five stitches or, rather, staples in the back of his head. And it left him with a huge black and blue mark under his right elbow.
"What happened was, my wife and I went to bed early -- 7, 7:30," Scully said. "And we were reading quiet and peaceful. And I had been fighting a cough. All of a sudden, I felt one of these big, bronchial coughs coming up, and I thought I would get to the bathroom.
"I jumped up out of bed. Bad idea. I got dizzy. And then trying to keep the cough in until I got to the bathroom, I did something to myself. I went from the bedroom toward the bathroom, and there's a marble floor. And all of a sudden, I blacked out.
"I woke up sitting on the floor, blood on the floor, my wife calling 911. I had turned my own lights out for a split second, that's all. Five stitches -- or what they call staples -- in the head, a few bruises here and there, but otherwise, I'm fine. It could have been disastrous on a marble floor."
Scully reasoned that he fell on his right arm, and then on the back of his head. He repeatedly expressed some chagrin about the entire episode.
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"I was embarrassed -- I am embarrassed -- because it's such a dumb thing to have happen," Scully told reporters in the press room of the Dodgers' training complex. "The fellows at 911, the doctors and nurses at West Hills [Hospital] couldn't have been nicer. My wife was a tower of strength. They released me Friday and then I went home, and that's really it.
"I'm embarrassed over all the fuss and feathers and everything else, you know. Somehow, I did it to myself. I hope not to do it again."
It was suggested to Mr. Scully that the fuss occurred because of how much he means to so many people.
"I do appreciate that immensely, and humbly," Scully responded. "And I guess that's why I'm embarrassed, to put them through anything at all.
"So from now on, I'm going to get up very slowly instead of jumping out of bed. And I'm not going to bang my head against a marble floor again."
Scully suggested that his health had been perfect for the last five months, until he went recently to a preschool, "Grandma/Grandpa Day."
"I was on the rug with 40-50 little rug rats," Scully said. "I guarantee I picked something up in there because that was on a Thursday, and by Sunday, I was feeling poorly, and there was the cough and the cold and everything else. And then, voila. Voila."
Scully said that next week he will have the staples removed from the back of his head.
"I will never go by that office supply [store] without thinking of what happened," Scully said, with a smile. "I'm telling you this because you guys have been nice, but I'd just as soon drop the whole thing. I'm just embarrassed."
Someone of Vin Scully's incomparable stature required at least one straight-line setup before he exited the room. So he was asked if he had "any restrictions" on his activity following this episode.
"I'm supposed to cut back on dangling participles," Scully said, with a smile. "And I'm not allowed to split an infinitive for at least for at least another week. But otherwise, no."
Vin Scully, Hall of Fame broadcaster, beloved baseball figure, left the room on his way to prepare to call the Dodgers vs. the Indians, saying, "Anyway, the game's the thing."
He was right, as usual: The game is the thing. But a game broadcast by Vin Scully is still a truly special thing. It was very good to see him back at his post, in form, in fine health and good humor.
Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.