Everyone's making a big fuss...

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Everyone's making a big fuss...

...and deservedly so, over the retirement of Dodgers announcer Vin Scully after 67 seasons of calling baseball games on both radio and television.

Vin Scully at work

(The Dodgers held a special ceremony honoring the man in front of 52,330 fans before last night's game with the Colorado Rockies.)

I take no issue with any of the encomiums written or broadcast about Scully, and the lists of "Greatest Calls," "Most Memorable Moments" or "Funniest Calls," but no list includes one that stands out in my mind from almost 40 years ago.

It was a night game against the Phillies, circa 1976-1977, with the Dodgers premiere base-stealer of that decade, Davy Lopes, leading off second base. As the Philadelphia pitcher delivered to the plate, Lopes broke toward third.

Scully's call:

"Ball two, high. Throw to third, higher."

It was seamless, and eloquent in it's minimalism.

One call comment Scully made that brazed my respect for the man's integrity came during the sixth game of the 1965 World Serious in Minnesota when Dodgers reliever Howie Reed gave up a three-run homer to Twins starting pitcher Jim "Mudcat" Grant...

"Reed made just a terrible pitch to Grant."

...Scully said, a critical observation unheard of at the time, and unusual even by contemporary standards.

I didn't start following the Dodgers because of Vin Scully... that "honor" goes to my fellow Cub Scouter Jay Dudley when he presented me with a Gene Hermanski baseball card... but from that point on, it was me 'n' the Dodgers, from Ebbets Field to Chavez Ravine, and always to the mellifluous and epodic accompaniment of Vin Scully.

His retirement will leave a hole in the airwaves that will not be filled in my lifetime.


1. Hampton West said...

The best!

What a baseball fan and announcer!


And, ironies upon ironies, he was a Jints fan when he took the job in Brooklyn, and insists that the best ballplayer he ever saw was Willie Mays... and remember, Willie didn't come up from Minneapolis 'til after Vin had had the Dodgers job for more than a year!

And dem Bum couldn't even win for for Vin on his last day in the booth! (I'm quite prepared to say "Wait'll next year!")
– Dean

2. Hampton West said...

I can recall hearing him as a kid in those 1962-67 years with the Giant/Dodger rivalry on Armed Forces Radio, a short wave station for troops abroad that was a sort of the forerunner of XM radio in that it would carry a lot of live ball games that were on AM radio and transmit them shortwave.

I did not know that... but it would have been a natural!

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