Monday, October 24, 2016

Not everyone is a fan of Vin Scully Way

ECHO PARK — The City Council has voted in favor of renaming Elysian Park Avenue in honor of legendary Dodger play-by-play announcer Vin Scully. But as the city goes through the process of implementing the name change, some last-minute opposition has surfaced to keep Elysian Park Avenue on the map.

The Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park, the Echo Park Historical Society* and the head of the Echo Park Improvement Association  have voiced their opposition to erasing the name of Elysian Park Avenue, which has been existence since the late 19th century.  The groups instead want to rename the intersection of Stadium Way and Elysian Park Avenue, which is near one of Dodger Stadium’s main entrances, as “Vin Scully Plaza.”

A city survey mailed to property owners and residents who live along the two-block stretch of Elysian Park Avenue found that 12 opposed changing the name while four supported the measure. But most persons did not respond to the  survey. Public Works spokesman Paul Gomez said the City Council has the final authority to change the name to Vin Scully Way despite the results.

The City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the name change during its Friday, April 8 meeting.

* Jesus Sanchez, publisher of The Eastsider, is a board member of the historical society.

The businesses and services in the directory have not been reviewed nor are they endorsed by The Eastsider. Users are responsible for taking care to investigate any offers, products or services provided by businesses listed in the directory.

Eastsider Advertising


  1. Keep the old, beautiful name. Who cares about sports figures?

      • seriously this is the eastside. All the sports loving people have been gentrified out and replaced by vegan creative elite! Better to name it “Elliott Smith Way”* to better represent the surrounding community.

        *mind you I like E.S.’s music as much as the next person this was merely a valid response to the first question.

        • There are plenty of vegan creative elites who are also into sports. And believe it or not the sidewalks along Sunset in Echo Park are known as the Avenue of the Athletes, with embedded plaques for people like Billie Jean King.and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. So to have this lead straight onto Vin Scully Way makes sense.

        • You’ve got it backwards. I’ve lived in the area for 10 years now, and have seen the neighborhood change a lot since then. But… when I moved here the closest place to really watch sports was in Hollywood. Now there are a number of sports bars in the area, that are always packed. So, to say that “all the sports loving people have been gentrified out” is completely wrong.

  2. I’m not necessarily a fan of changing street names – too expensive and confusing.. Vin does deserves a Way or Plaza named after him – but the whole street name should remain the same. I wish the City Council would focus even half of the amount of time that they spend on useless feel-good crap as this to work on the real issues that effect us on a daily basis. Issuing BS proclamations and declaring some pet cause “this” or “that” day is what they seem to do best. I think I will petition to have my street renamed “Useless L..A. City Council Parkway”. It has a certain ring to it.

  3. Good compromise. No need to drag something like this out.

  4. It would be great if Vin Scully were honored. He’s been associated with the Dodgers for the better part of a century, so if the Dodgers wanted to name something of theirs after him, that would be very fitting!

    But no public asset — whether a street, building, or intersection — should be named after a living person, even as friendly a personality as Vin. It’s a simple principle to avoid the politics of mutual backscratching. Or — as in the case of Councilman Gil Cedillo plastering his name on trash cans that the public paid for — self-aggrandizement. (Though perhaps Cedillo putting his name on a trash can is symbolic of something quite the opposite of grand?)

    The problem with renaming Elysian Park Avenue, however, goes beyond the fact that Vin is happily still with us. After all, it’s not as if he personally lobbied for this, but obviously the Dodgers stand to gain from a greater “presence” beyond the property limits of their stadium. And in this case it comes at the expense of one of LA’s greatest public spaces — Elysian Park — which will have its name erased from the thoroughfare that serves as perhaps the city’s most prominent entry point to the park. Elysian Park needs some love from the city, not another form of encroachment, as it deals with Barlow’s expansion plans, a broken irrigation system, dead and dying trees, and the impact of Dodger and commuter traffic.

    Unfortunately, the counter-proposal from local groups doesn’t seem too hot either. A “Vin Scully Plaza” would also involve naming a public asset after someone who is still alive. But perhaps even more gratingly, it would perpetuate the city’s recent trend of abusing the English language, in which words that are meant to denote public spaces where people can mill about freely (“plaza”, “square”) are applied to nothing more than traffic intersections designed for cars, simply as an easy means of honoring one person or another.

    How about this: the Dodgers name something of theirs after Vin, or better yet, put up a statue of him at the stadium. When Vin is no longer living, the city can memorialize him by renaming a portion of Stadium Way as Vin Scully Way. Any part of the street that has housing could remain as Stadium Way so that people don’t have to change their addresses.

    • You are so very right. Great comment.

    • 45 Year Highland Park Resident

      The Dodgers did name something after Hall of Famer Vin Scully – the Press Box at Dodger Stadium was named after him in 2001.

      Scully has been calling Dodger games for 67 years! Please take a second to realize just what an achievement this is – for anyone, In any field.

      In August 2002, I happened to watch a game, about 10th row behind home plate, the week Chick Hearn passed away. During the seventh inning stretch, I just so happened to look up at the press box, and caught the eye of Mr. Scully, who was standing and singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” just like everyone else. We made eye contact, and I waved at him. He waved back. I thought it was so cool that, despite over 50 years at the point of broadcasting baseball games, he was still enjoying himself and singing along with the crowd. The people sitting near me wondered what I was looking at, so they also looked up and waved at Mr. Scully. He waved back at the group, then slowly but surely took a step or two backward into the press box. He must have realized that he was becoming a distraction to the proceedings, so he discreetly removed himself from view. Since we had already lost Chick Hearn that week, I felt comforted in a way by this brief exchange with the sole remaining Los Angeles broadcasting legend – especially the classy way he re-focused our attention to the game. He has never sought the limelight.

      I am actually very embarrassed by some of these comments on here. Mr. Scully has never done anything to bring shame to himself or to the Dodgers, here in Los Angeles or when they were in Brooklyn, NY. Yes, can you imagine?!? He has been the voice of the Dodgers since before they moved to Los Angeles. He always shows up prepared for work and can tell stories like few others can. Scully is like a member of our family. I remember once in the 1980’s we were on a road trip, and his radio call of a game in which the Dodgers won on a “squeeze play” still brings goosebumps to me all of these years later.

      I cannot believe that some people are actually against naming a street for a man who has given fully given to our City for two thirds of a century, and some because he is still living. I say do it now while he can be there to see it for himself.

      There will never be another Vin Scully – or Chick Hearn, for that matter. The City of Los Angeles is deeply indebted to both of these fine men, who started in radio so they learned how to make the listener “see” the game – this is another skill most of the announcers these days do not have, nor will they.

      Thank you, Uncle Vin, for being there for us. Through wars, tragedies, celebrations, you and Chick were both constants that we could count on. If you should happen to read this, ignore the comments from your haters above. They just don’t get it. Probably never will, either. And for those of you that called Mr. Scully a weenie salesman, I surely hope you go choke on a big fat one. If Vin were nearby, he is a classy guy that would do the Heimlich Manuever for you. If I were nearby, I would kick you in the ass as hard as I could to “try” to dislodge that fat, big one in your throat – at least, that’s what I would tell the Coroner.

      • 45 Year Highland Park Resident said:

        “If you [Vin Scully] should happen to read this, ignore the comments from your haters above.”

        Chalk that sentiment up as another reason not to name a public asset after a living person.

        In a democracy, civic actions are open to debate. You can’t propose a public honor for someone and expect everyone else to just shut up and keep any thoughts about it to themselves, merely so that they don’t hurt the potential honoree’s feelings. Even more so when it involves removing the historic name of a park, dear to many people’s hearts, from the street at its entrance.

        The best way to avoid the awkwardness of having a public honor for someone publicly debated is to have that discussion when they are no longer around to be potentially offended. (Though I doubt that Vin’s ego is so fragile as to be hurt by opposition to Elysian Park Avenue’s renaming.) Better to hold to the true meaning of what a memorial is: a way to remember someone who is no longer with us. Luckily, this is a legend who is still with us.

        Many of us think Vin is great and want to see him honored. We just don’t think it should be at the expense of Elysian Park, which is already facing so many problems. And there are plenty of other legitimate reasons for opposing this street’s renaming that have nothing to do with Vin and his legacy.

        It’s nice that the Dodgers named their press box after him, but a statue at the stadium would be really great — something that requires no public discussion whatsoever to accomplish.

      • Elysian Park Ave resident

        Well you don’t have to live on Vin Scully Ave like I do. I’m a bit upset that my street name has been changed. Elysian Park means more to me than Vin Scully. What if someone changed your street to some “great” person that you don’t have a particular interest in? This is my home. I have to put this guy’s name on all of my personal documents from now on. I’d really rather not, but the city council doesn’t give a damn about how I feel about my own neighborhood.

  5. If you are against this you can make your views known to the city council: http://eepurl.com/bWPVMf

    Elysian Park Needs Your Help – CD1 Attacks City Landmark

  6. Why don’t they just name the damned stadium after him?
    (Unless of course the Dodgers waiting to sell stadium naming rights
    to HomeDepot or Google or Uber for a zillion dollars…)

  7. This should cost cedillo his job, concentrate on cleaning up the park Gil. Good luck with your reelection, I know how I’m voting.

  8. Elysian Park has already suffered enough at the hands of the Dodgers. I think it would make more sense to re-name Stadium Way – a boring and generic name that nobody would miss – in honor of Vin.

    • It would make more sense. However, if Stadium Way in Council District 13 is used instead of Elysian Park Ave in Council District 1, then CM Cedillo would have to share HIS idea and spotlight with CM O’farrell. And we know Gil doesn’t like to share.


    • Please make time to comment at City Hall tomorrow 10 AM Rm. 350 – you may have to wait a bit as this is in front of the entire LA City Council but your public comment is extremely valuable.

  10. EchoParkSweetHeart

    It should stay Elysian Park Avenue. Vin Scully should get recognize … but with a plaque or sign next to the sign or by the Dodger Stadium. Elysian Park has gone through so much …. The land was suppose to be for affordable housing…….. I can count on my hand how many times I been inside the stadium even with all the races I have ran. Under the stadium is a buried elementary school and homes.

  11. Oh well, the Farmer John weenie salesman won’t get a street sign. Maybe I would feel different if the Dodgers were better stewards of the adjoining neighborhood. Nothing says we love our neighbors like the 2014 wood billboard wall on Sunset and Elysian Park Ave saying, “Get your 2015 Season Tickets Before The Price Goes Up”
    How about hiding the weenie man’s street sign by renaming Stadium Way.
    Dodgers if you aren’t going to take an interest in your neighborhood, then leave historic Elysian Park Avenue where it is.
    And by the way, Douglas Street a block east was originally called Elysian Park Avenue.

  12. Other cities routinely add names to streets and call them by both the old and new names, ie: Elysian Park Ave/Vin Scully Way. No need to erase the old and not add the new. Easy compromise.

  13. I say stage an old fashioned protest. It would be easy to rally hundreds to stand out on Elysian Park Dr. on opening day game with signs and banners protesting the name change, think of the press you would get. It’s been done before to stop a football stadium. I really hate that it is okay for the Dodgers to commandeer our streets, Stadium Way use to be Chavez Ravine Way, maybe since that has already been stolen by the Dodgers they can change it to Vin Scully Way instead. GC: what a disappointment you are to our district.

  14. I only saw one poor lady holding up a sign saying Vin Scully is being used as a tool to further Gentifcation, Don’t do it Vin! Poor thing, she was being verbally abused by those around her, yet she stood her ground, she was older, light color hair wearing an Echo Park T- Shirt. Anyone know who that was?

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *