In Southern California, iconic Dodger sportscaster, Vin Scully, was also widely known as the spokesperson for the club’s principal sponsor, Union Oil 76 gasoline. He would be seen in countless TV commercials next to the gas pumps selling the product.
Ever since my daughter was old enough to watch TV she would tune into the games hoping to see her daddy in the background photo wells from time to time. As a result of watching and listening to the games she was well aware of the famed broadcaster named Vin Scully. Upon a visit to the Dodger Stadium, Laura at the grand old age of five, bumped into Vin. He was more than gracious to spend time with her and sign her baseball in hand, “To Pretty Laura, Vin Scully”.
The following week I received a call at the ball park from my wife informing me that Laura’s kindergarten teacher had just called and told her about earlier in the day. Laura brought the signed baseball for “show and tell”. Apparently when it was her turn she stood up held the ball high for her classmates to see and said this is a baseball signed by Mr. Scully and sat down. The teacher asked her to please stand again and tell your classmates who Mr. Scully is. She did. She stood and said Mr. Scully was the “Gas Station Man”!
Afterward I asked Laura, “Where does Mr. Scully work”, her honest reply was: “The gas station dad, he puts gas in our cars”.
Later that day, prior to the game, I shared the story with Vin and others gathered together. We all enjoyed a good belly laugh and Vin accepted the perception of his deeds from a five year old with laughter as well. What I didn’t expect though took place the following spring during spring training. Vin grabbed my attention and shared with me that over the off season he spoke to several large groups and at the end of each speech he shared the “Laura and Gas Station Man” story. He did so because he wanted to point out to his audiences that if he ever allowed his ego to grow too large or to think too highly of himself there is a little girl named Laura that will be there to remind him to stay humble and be thankful for the very blessed life he was given.
As he related the story I had goose bumps listening to him. In this season of reflection, I am thankful for my cherished family and I am most thankful for ninety-two year young Vincent Edward Scully.