When I received the press packet from HBO on their upcoming “Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush” (initial airing July 11), I of course looked at the names of the greats featured on the show. The interviews include former players Duke Snider, Carl Erskine, Clem Labine, Ralph Branca, Johnny Podres, former general manager Emil J.”Buzzie” Bavasi, former owner Peter O’Mallety, Jackie Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson, FOX Sports TV exec Ed Goren, and Larry King. But there’s no “Voice of the Dodgers” Vin Scully, nor is there any input from Tommy Lasorda, the Dodgers’ manager from 1977-1997 and who continues to give advice to the team. visits minor leagues seeking new Dodger talent and encourages the youngsters.
About the absence of Vin Scully, HBO tells me, “The producers put in a request. They sent it through the Dodgers office.” It didn’t sound to me like they tried very hard. Besides, they (HBO) said they had done a profile of Vin with Bryant Gumbel on “Real Sports” in July 2005 and VIn appeared in an interview with Ray Charles on Bob Costas’ “Costas Now” in April 2001. So I asked Vin why he doesn’t appear on “The Ghosts of Flatbush.” “I was never invited to do anything,” he told me. As for the two previous appearances on HBO shows; he says he appeared on the Costas show as a tribute to Ray Charles, and as for the Bryant Gumbel interview, “I wasn’t too pleased with it and friends who saw the show told me not to see it, I would not be happy with it.” But there’s no denying Vin Scully’s history of the Dodgers dates back to the winter of 1949-50. “That’s when Branch Rickey wanted me to prepare for the next season,” he recalled. “It was an overwhelming experience through 1957 when we moved to California in ’58. And this is really my 50th season.” I asked how many more? “This year and next — then we’ll talk some more,” he said. Vin Scully will be 80 on Nov.29. Tommy Lasorda, who will be 80 on Sept.22, was a southpaw pitcher for the Dodgers in 1954 and ’55, When asked why he wasn’t invited to appear on HBO’s “The Ghosts of Flatbush,” he replied, “I don’t know.” Sounds ghastly to me.
Click here to read the Variety review of “Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush.”