August 1, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Sandra Scully remembered for her ‘class, kindness and smile’

At some point this week, Jaime Jarrin, the Spanish-language voice of the Dodgers since 1959, will summon the strength to make one of the most difficult calls of his life.

Jarrin, 85, will punch the name of Vin Scully into his phone, and when that familiar, melodic voice answers, Jarrin will attempt to console the legendary Dodgers broadcaster whose wife, Sandra Scully, died Sunday.

Jarrin can only hope to provide the same comfort that Scully, now 93, did two years ago, when Jarrin’s wife, Blanca, died just before the 2019 season.

“It will be hard because I won’t really be able to express to him my deep feelings after the call he gave me when I lost my wife,” Jarrin said Tuesday. “He spoke so beautifully, so graciously, and he has such a mastery of the language, I couldn’t believe it.

“We talked for 30 minutes. He told me his experience about losing his first wife. So now I have to call him, and I don’t know what to say. I will wait a few more days because I know from experience now how tough, how difficult it is when you lose your partner, your wife.”

Sandra Scully, known as Sandi, was 76 when she died of complications from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Sandi’s health had declined for several years as she battled the progressive nervous system disease that causes loss of muscle control. Her death left a hole in the organization that employed her husband for 67 years before Scully’s retirement in 2016.

“I don’t know many men who are as truly wonderful and gentlemanly as Vin — I might not know any,” said Ned Colletti, the Dodgers general manager from 2005-2014. “And to me, the pairing [with Sandi] was perfect. Just her class and her demeanor and her kindness and her smile. She always knew what to say and how to say it, and that’s not always easy.”

Sandi met Vin in the early 1970s, when she worked as an executive assistant to former Los Angeles Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom. While she operated the office switchboard one day, Scully walked in and inquired about purchasing a gift for then-Rams GM Don Klosterman.

“That was the premise,” Sandi told Dodgers historian Mark Langill in a 2016 interview. “Actually, he was there because someone had told him about me. We went on a date, and things happened to work out.”

The couple was married in November 1973 and celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary in November. They had one daughter, Catherine, together. Sandi had two children from a previous marriage. He had three children with his first wife, Joan, who died of an accidental overdose in 1972. Sandi had 21 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

“I was always very impressed with the devotion that both of them had for each other,” Jarrin said. “Vin would mention to me many times that he felt fortunate to have found a person who would take care of his three small children that he had when his wife passed away. Vin said Sandi was unbelievable as a person, as a mother. I feel so sad.”

Sandi told Langill in 2016 that she and Vin enjoyed playing golf together, swimming, taking long walks on the beach, reading and spending time with their children and grandchildren.

“We just enjoy simple things during our down time,” she said. “I love to cook, so we like to have good meals together.”

Jarrin and Scully spent nearly six decades traveling together with the Dodgers, and their wives often accompanied them on trips. They attended home games regularly, usually dining with their husbands before the game.

“Sandi also called me after my wife died to talk about the great times she had with Blanca, especially when we were on the road and we’d go to a restaurant for lunch,” Jarrin said. “She was the proper partner for a person like Vin. Very elegant, very chic, very neat, always beautifully dressed. She was as beautiful physically as she was spiritually.”

Scully announced his decision to retire Aug. 29, 2015. Sandi attended almost every home game in 2016, sitting in the back of the booth as Scully called games during his farewell season.

Vin and Sandi exchanged a high-five after Charlie Culberson hit a dramatic walk-off home run in the 10th inning to give the Dodgers a 4-3 National League West-clinching win over the Colorado Rockies in the final home game of 2016.

After a wild on-field celebration, players stopped and pointed to the press box, and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts screamed, “Vin, we love you, and this is for you, my friend!”

Scully had something for them, as well as the 51,962 fans in Chavez Ravine, queuing up a song on the Dodger Stadium public address system that he recorded for his wife 25 years earlier.

It was “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” which includes the lyrics, “So I was the one with all the glory, while you were the one with all the strength,” and, “I want you to know the truth, of course I know it, I would be nothing without you.”

Though it was meant as an ode to the fans in 2016, Scully originally sang the song karaoke style for Sandi in 1991.

“It’s hard to even talk about,” Langill said Tuesday, recalling the emotions of Scully’s final game in Dodger Stadium. “It was typical Vin — everything turns into a wonderful story. He pulls this song off a karaoke machine, and there’s not a dry eye in the house.

“I mean, c’mon, how much more can you add not only to the drama of that game, but to the beauty of the love story? How great that she was able to share that moment with him.”