Former Dodger Kenley Jansen, L.A.-area native Max Fried remember Vin Scully

A bouquet of flowers sits next a plaque bearing the name of broadcaster Vin Scully at Dodger Stadium before a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, in Los Angeles. The Hall of Fame broadcaster died Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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A bouquet of flowers sits next a plaque bearing the name of broadcaster Vin Scully at Dodger Stadium before a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, in Los Angeles. The Hall of Fame broadcaster died Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

NEW YORK – As he leans back in his chair at his locker in the visitors’ clubhouse at Citi Field, Kenley Jansen can hear Vin Scully’s smooth voice running through his head as he recalls what might be Scully’s most memorable line.

“It’s tiiiime for Dodger baseball,” Jansen recites, like Scully would.

During his Dodgers days, Jansen spoke with Scully many times. Sometimes, they would catch one another in the elevator. When Jansen would watch TV in the clubhouse while getting ready for games, he would sometimes hear Scully calling a game and would marvel at the legendary broadcaster’s storytelling gift.

“If you ask me,” Jansen said, “he’s the best who ever did it (in) announcing.”

On Tuesday, Scully, the iconic Dodgers broadcaster, died at 94. He joined the Dodgers’ radio broadcast team in 1950 and spent 67 seasons as the voice of the club. During his tenure, he delighted baseball fans with his knowledge and storytelling. He left a mark on everyone who listened to his broadcasts or met him in person.

Jansen spent all 12 of his seasons with the Dodgers before he signed with the Braves in March. Braves starting pitcher Max Fried grew up in Los Angeles listening to Scully, who became a reason that Fried fell in love with the game.

“He was the voice of baseball,” Fried said. “Every time you listened to a Dodger game or any kind of big game at that game, you just heard his voice and his ability to be able to tell a story and just paint the picture of a game. Not do too much and not do too little. It always seemed like it was kind of like the perfect broadcast.”

Fried was named an All-Star this season. Last year, he pitched six shutout innings as the Braves closed out the Astros in Game 6 of the World Series. Fried, who made his MLB debut in 2017, has accomplished so much to this point in his career. But there’s one thing he always wanted that unfortunately never happened: For Scully to call one of his games.

Jansen got that opportunity, as Scully called many of his save opportunities over the years. Jansen always appreciated Scully’s knowledge and appreciation for the game’s history, and his ability to weave it into broadcasts. Jansen spoke of Scully like he was one of a kind.

“You don’t have those no more,” Jansen said. “You don’t have people like him who truly care about the game and carry that story of the game. … I know so much stories about him because of how he tells the stories.”

Scully followed the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. Throughout his career, he provided fans with tons of insight about the sport. He might be more remembered for his ability to tell personal stories on the air.

“It felt like you were able to connect with the player on a more personal level and you were able to kind of humanize them,” Fried said. “You see them on TV and you idolize guys, but to be able to have personal stories to help kind of make you feel like you can relate − I feel like he did a great job of being able to do the homework to put that in to make you feel like you were getting to know these guys.”

Scully was not simply the voice of baseball, but one of the more important figures in sports. “Everybody in sports could tell you who Vin Scully is,” Jansen said. “It’s a sad day that a legend is gone.” The Dodgers honored Scully with a pregame ceremony before Friday’s game versus the Padres.

In 2016, when Scully announced he would retire at the end of the season, Jansen was sad. But he understood he couldn’t be selfish, and he wanted Scully to live the rest of his life with his loved ones. Jansen feels fortunate to have known Scully, and to be able to tell his kids about Scully. It’s an honor, he added, that Scully called so many games of his.

Scully might be gone, but his impact will last forever.

“It’s unbelievable, man,” Jansen said of Scully’s legacy. “May God rest his soul, man.”

27th man for the doubleheader

The Braves selected right-hander Bryce Elder to be their 27th man for Saturday’s doubleheader versus the Mets.

Elder posted a 4.74 ERA over four starts for the Braves earlier this season. He has been at Triple-A Gwinnett since his first stint in the majors.

O’Day begins rehab assignment

Darren O’Day pitched a scoreless inning with one strikeout for High-A Rome to start his rehab assignment.

O’Day suffered a strained left calf muscle in a July game versus the Mets at Truist Park.