Dodgers announcer Vin Scully's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has fallen into disrepair and now fans are pitching in to help get it restored.
A few weeks ago, Scully’s star was covered with a red carpet that led to the entrance of Supperclub at the Vogue Theater. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which administers the Walk of Fame, hadn't been informed that the carpet was put down. The stars are part of a historic landmark and can’t be covered without permission. The carpet was removed after the chamber learned of the incident and talked to the club's owner, who said it wouldn’t be replaced.
But that wasn't the only mishap that Scully's star has faced recently. After the carpet was removed, his marker and several others were covered by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power during street construction. When the construction was completed, fans noticed a crack in Scully's star, which the LADWP said had been there originally.
Scully’s fans called and sent letters to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, led by a persistent blogger, Roberto Baly, who runs the website Vin Scully Is My Homeboy. The chamber responded with a statement saying that it is in the process of a $4 million repair project for the Walk of Fame, but that it will focus on the stars that need the most work first. Some are so deteriorated and cracked that they cause pedestrians to trip, the chamber statement said. Scully’s is not one of those. Although it has cracks in the center, its damage isn’t a street hazard, the chamber said.
Fan Glenn Mingay, a Los Angeles native who now lives in Chicago, called Ana Martinez, vice president of media relations for the chamber, to ask what he could do to speed up the process of repairing Scully’s star. Martinez told him that he could raise money because the star’s repair will cost $2,500.
Mingay built a website, Save Vin Scully’s Star, and told his family and friends. He put in $100 of his own money and started collecting donations.
“There’s a lot going on with the Dodgers right now that the fans are upset about, things they can’t control. This is an opportunity for them to control something,” Mingay said in a phone interview.
Mingay grew up in Torrance and became a fan of Scully listening to him on the radio. If the game was on television, Mingay would turn down the volume to hear Scully telling a story on the radio.
“Vin Scully was a big part of growing up watching Dodger games,” he said.
Even from the Windy City, Mingay still keeps up with the Dodgers. He saw them play against the White Sox a couple of weeks ago and the Cubs a month ago.
Fans with similar devotion have been posting messages to Save Vin Scully's Star. “Vin is the epitome of what a sports announcer should be. He makes a bad game easier to watch and a great game even better! Let’s get his star fixed!” wrote Amber Farden, who donated $20.
The website has collected only $250 so far, but Mingay says friends and family have donated $400 more. Much more is needed to repair the star, but Mingay says he'll keep the site going until enough is raised.
“However long that takes,” said Mingay. “Hopefully it’s not more than a couple of months.”
He has plans to visit L.A. in a couple of weeks and hopes that the fundraiser will be completed by then. And if the contributions exceed $2,500? Mingay will donate the extra money to Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was beaten outside Dodger Stadium on opening day and remains hospitalized.
Walk of Fame Restoration
If Scully's star is not at the top of the list of ones that need repair, which are? Martinez provided this list of the "worst" stars, which will be repaired first when the $4 million repair project begins in a couple of months (the chamber has raised about half of the money needed).
Vine Street (East):
- Smokey Robinson
- Michael Landon
- Ava Gardner
- Art Linkletter
Vine Street (West):
- George "Gabby" Hayes
- Ethel Merman
- Lawrence Welk
Hollywood Boulevard (North):
- Oliver Stone
- Charles Chaplin
- Tyrone Power
- Harry Warner
- Cloris Leachman
- Melissa Gilbert
- Edgar Bergen
- Fred MacMurray
- Lew Ayers
- Bud Abbott
- Bette Davis
Hollywood Boulevard (South):
- Errol Flynn
- Ginger Rogers
- Andy Devine