It’s impossible to imagine how it will feel not hearing Vin Scully describing the game of baseball. His insight into the players, coaches, managers, and owners; his preparation before every series with tidbits to keep viewers and listeners interested; and then there’s his vast knowledge of little bits of trivia and memories of the 67 years he’s spent behind the microphone for the Los Angeles Dodgers. That is just not something that can be replaced.
I listened to Dodger games with my grandparents on a transistor radio every summer while we laid beside Lake Gregory in Crestline, CA. My Dad always had the TV or radio on listening to the games and, the one thing he insisted on having last year when I moved him to an assisted living facility, was Time Warner Cable so he could have the Dodger Channel.
It’s sad to know that a generation of kids won’t know who Vin Scully is. They won’t hear his stories about long lost legends of the game, about how he delivered breaking national and world news or hear his memories about how historic times played into his baseball broadcasts. They won’t hear the thoughts that are so very uniquely Vin Scully. Come on, how many broadcasters see the camera operator focusing on a sleepy child with her thumb in her mouth and whip out, from memory (at just 2 months shy of 89 years old!), Shel Silverstein’s Thumb Suckers Poem?
Thanks to the internet, we can relive 5 of his best calls ever.
Vin Scully’s Broadcasting highlights include:
- Three perfect games (Don Larsen in 1956, Sandy Koufax in 1965 and Dennis Martinez in 1991) and 19 no-hitters.
- Johnny Podres’ shutout of the Yankees in Game 7 of the 1955 World Series, which gave the Dodgers their first World Championship.
- The Dodgers’ first game in Los Angeles at the Coliseum on April 18, 1958.
- The Dodgers’ return to the Coliseum on March 29, 2008 in front of a Guinness World record-breaking crowd of 115,300
- The Dodgers-Yankees exhibition game on May 7, 1959 that honored Roy Campanella before a then-Major League record 93,103 fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
- The Dodgers’ playoff win over the Milwaukee Braves and World Series victory over the Chicago White Sox in 1959, which gave them their second World Championship; and other World Championship seasons in Los Angeles in 1963, 1965, 1981 and 1988.
- Don Drysdale’s 58.2 scoreless innings streak in 1968 and Orel Hershiser’s 59.0 scoreless innings streak in 1988.
- Hank Aaron’s 715th career home run that broke Babe Ruth’s Major League record at Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium on April 8, 1974.
- The dramatic 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, where Bill Buckner’s error allowed the Mets to force Game 7.
- Barry Bonds’ record-breaking 71st, 72nd and 73rd home runs in 2001.
- The rookie seasons of international superstars Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 and Hideo Nomo in 1995.
- The four consecutive homers hit by Los Angeles on Sept. 18, 2006, the only time in franchise history that has happened
- Back-to-back Division Series wins in 2008 and 2009.
- Single-handedly getting A.J. Ellis to trend worldwide on Twitter in 2012.
Huge thanks to KTLA, Channel 5 in Los Angeles, for making it possible for all of Southern California to enjoy hearing “It’s Time For Dodger Baseball” just a few more times, even though we don’t have one of the few cable/satellite systems that The Dodger Station is carried on.
Reality of his loss will only hit home for me come 2017 Spring Training & Opening Day when the only voice I’ve ever associated with Dodger Baseball isn’t there. Only then will I be willing to accept that Vin Scully will have truly called his last Dodger Game.
Until then, I can hope that the Dodgers don’t blow it, make it to the World Series, and somehow, “The Powers That Be” manage to convince Vin Scully that he must broadcast the World Series for whatever network is broadcasting it! I’m sure Joe Buck, or whomever would be in the seat, would be glad to put their ego aside to sit beside the legend for what would truly be the swan song of his career. My fingers are crossed.
Thank You Vin Scully!
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