- Associated Press - Thursday, September 5, 2013

PASADENA, CALIF. (AP) - Vin Scully will usher in 2014 as grand marshal of the 125th Rose Parade, an honor the Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster initially wasn’t sure he would accept.

The more he thought about it, though, the more he warmed up to the idea, calling it “one of those one-in-a-million experiences.”

Scully will be joined by his wife, Sandi, for the 5 1/2-mile ride down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena on Jan. 1. He was introduced as grand marshal on Thursday at Tournament House.

He told The Associated Press in an interview before the announcement that his first reaction to being chosen was, “Wow.”

Then came some doubt.

The intensely private Scully is rarely seen publicly after the Dodgers‘ season ends, preferring to spend the winter months at home with his wife of nearly 40 years and their extended family.

The prospect of being the center of attention for several hundred thousand parade revelers and a worldwide television audience had Scully thinking carefully. His wife provided some gentle persuasion.

“She kind of pushed him that on behalf of the Dodgers and on behalf of the fans he needed to do this,” Tournament of Roses President R. Scott Jenkins told the AP.

“He is such a humble person that I feared he would not want to be out there and get the accolades. He spends the summer applauding our sports heroes. He is our hero and we get to applaud him and his life’s work,” Jenkins said.

Scully questioned why he would be chosen as grand marshal, an honor that has previously gone to such luminaries as Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse. Dodgers star Jackie Robinson was posthumously chosen in 1999, and home run king Hank Aaron served in 1975.

“I don’t take it as any personal, great accomplishment,” he said. “I only take it for what it is, the fact that I’ve been doing this for so long here and the Dodgers are doing well. It’s not me.”

That humility, along with Scully’s career accomplishments and his integrity, is why Jenkins chose Scully.

“With Vin Scully you do know what you’re going to get,” he said. “That’s why I think he’s held in such high esteem.”

Jenkins grew up in Los Angeles in the 1960s, and spent his summer nights falling asleep to Scully’s dulcet voice over a transistor radio on his pillow.

“I have very fond memories and I’m sure I’m not the only one,” he said.

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