Doug Padilla: Southern California native comes home to cover Dodgers

Every story about the Los Angeles Dodgers should include something about Vin Scully, so here is a first-person account from a day in the Dodger Stadium press box around 2008:

"I got a Doug Padilla story in the newspaper, and it didn't have a score in it," Scully says in the back of the press box in his unmistakable cadence, like he is in the middle of a broadcast.

Fellow writers reacted quickly, eager to mock the one person who would upset the one guy who never gets upset. The teasing intensified. I felt no pain or scorn.

I'm not sure what they thought they heard, but I clearly heard Vin Scully say, "Doug Padilla."

As a kid who was born and raised in Southern California, grew up in Covina and visited Dodger Stadium on a regular basis, hearing Vin Scully say your name at a high decibel level is only a positive, regardless of the context.

So as a word of warning to Vin Scully: I'm coming back to Dodger Stadium, this time as the Dodgers' beat writer for ESPN.com.

I covered my first major league game at Dodger Stadium in June 1993 for the Orange County Register when the Dodgers hosted the Florida Marlins, then countless games there as a backup writer for the San Bernardino Sun. After a four-year stint at the Chicago Sun-Times from 2002 to '05, covering the Chicago White Sox, I returned with the Los Angeles Newspaper Group to cover both the Los Angeles Angels and the Dodgers.

The past 5 1/2 years have been spent back in Chicago, mostly covering the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN.com, outside of that one 101-loss season in 2012 hanging out at Wrigley Field with the Chicago Cubs.

So as I get set to head west yet again, there is one frightening realization: If you mess up, Vin Scully is going to catch you.