When the Dodgers named their press box after Vin Scully in 2001, the team wanted one of the beat writers to say a few words at the ceremony. That honor somehow fell to me. I was 27 and covering the Dodgers for the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

Scully offered a short history of the writers who'd covered the Dodgers, going back to Brooklyn. With that singsong voice, he noted the scribes enshrined in Cooperstown, such as Bob Hunter, Ross Newhan, Jim Murray and Phil Collier. He mentioned the "wonderful characters" Gordon Verrell and Terry Johnson. "And now today, there are four more writers on the beat," Scully said. "You have Jason Reid and Robert Kuwada. You also have Brian Dohn, and you've met Joe Christensen."

I'm not sure my feet were touching the ground by this point.

Getting to know Scully was one of the thrills of covering the Dodgers.