What would you do if you were acting governor of California?
For Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the answer involved enshrining some official state fruits and vegetables with a proclamation calling California’s agricultural industry “beloved and iconic.”
Beloved and iconic could also describe the Californian upon whom acting governor and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, bestowed his gubernatorial blessing: Vin Scully, longtime voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Sports rivalries regularly fuel friendly disputes in the Legislature, whose members represent five different baseball teams, four basketball squads, three National Hockey League organizations and four professional football outfits (as of the Rams returning to Los Angeles).
So it would make sense that de León, who is serving as governor while Gov. Jerry Brown vacations in Europe and second-in-command Newsom sojourns in Montana, chose to honor a fellow Los Angeles denizen with a proclamation declaring July 8, 2016 Vin Scully Day.
But the avuncular Scully, in his last season announcing Dodgers games after decades at the job, may represent that rare thing in sprawling California: a unifying figure, and something on which almost everyone can agree.
“As he nears his announced retirement at the end of this season, I urge all Californians to take time to appreciate the treasure that is Vin Scully,” the proclamation reads, “as not just an announcer but, as former baseball Commission ‘Bud’ Selig put it, ‘the embodiment of the goodwill that our game inspires’ and a reminder of why baseball is ‘forever the national pastime.’”