Skip to content

Remembering Vin Scully

August 4, 2022

One does not have to march in “lockstep” with the opinion that by proclamation, Vin Scully was baseball’s greatest broadcaster, to be greatly passionate and appreciative, of his treasured work.

Mr. Scully (his first World Series was in 1953, I doubt he was on 25 as reported in so many reports of his death 2 days back at age 94, a year before Lee J. Cobb was “Johnny Friendly/similarly, if not same pronunciation “Skelly” in the great film, “On The Waterfront.”

Perhaps Vin Scully, who weaved information and stories so brilliantly in his broadcasts, would have appreciated the above extraneous note, probably not its presence in the second paragraph.

Let’s start with the fact, that unlike all the “lockstep he’s the greatest by far,” people who significantly outnumber, at least in public forums, those who dare say not, I fell asleep on the night and unaware Mr. Scully died, marveling at Scully’s brilliance, listening to a game from September 26, 1969, matching the Dodgers, whose games Mr. Scully broadcast for an incredible 67 years, and their big rivals, the Giants. (Coincidentally they met that night “53/Big D/Drysdale” years later, with L.A. winning the 5th of what is now 6 of 6 vs S.F. in the last week and a half.

In that Sept. 1969 broadcast alone, from “Thank you Jerry,” (Jerry Doggett, the almost never mentioned, by far, better than most broadcasters today, few innings partner of Scully) to Willie Davis’ in and back to catch a fly ball, Willie Mays scoring on a bad leg, citing Bobby Bonds has fanned 178 times but he also has 84 rbi’s, before, as Vin might have said, “promptly” hitting a “one hopper into left,” yielding (2-0) Giants and Vin’s “Bonds picks up 2 rbi’s to give him 86).

Best of all in that game, at least the part I heard–“if there is thunder out of Seattle tonight,  it is because Harmon Killebrew is at it again.” That night “Killer” hit #48 one more than Frank “Hondo” Howard. (For the record, as Atlanta in that first year of divisional play –(remember as Bob Costas so eloquently stated, though it was now 4 teams into post-season after 65 of just two (1903-1968, no World Series in 1904), the division races had all the components of a pennant race, namely/mainly/specifically a team had to finish first!!), and on its way to the N.L. West crown got a grand slam homer from Orlando Cepeda, and homers from Clete Boyer and Henry Aaron as well (#44 for #44), as Phil Niekro, though quickly down (3-0) and his Braves topped brother Joe Niekro then with S.D.-which on the day Scully died, traded for Juan Soto, as baseball has allowed Washington’s team to be broken apart as they have allowed others, notably the 1990’s once proud, Pittsburgh Pirates).

Willie McCovey, the eventual N.L. MVP was cited by Scully as the key to the Giants and as with Henry Aaron, had 44 home runs and wore #44. 

Scully was a master, so popular (transistor radios, the far away seats at the L.A. Coliseum and so called laid back L.A. helping) and so brilliant!

Some memories, some Vin follows. I am pretty sure I was in Las Vegas with my parents, (part of an “L.A. S.F. The Grand Canyon and post Bar Mitzvah, last vacation,” they took me on and I was an A student and only 13)–when the great Willie Stargell hit a home run over the pavillion at still active and beautiful, Dodger Stadium. At a pool, I marveled at both “Starg” and the magic of the radio call, likely that of Mr. Scully.

“Starg,” who once yelled upward saying hello to me, as he drove into Dodger Stadium on May 17, 1980, the night after Earvin (42) and Silk Wilkes (37 points), as the Lakers titled, batted from the left side and rotated his bat before the pitch. Teammate Bill Madlock did the same from the right side and Vin said “with the winds created from their motions “we can fly to Chicago”

Two, among the more famous Scully calls were on radio, Sandy Koufax’s perfect game, and Henry Aaron’s record breaking 715th home run, the latter poignantly spiced with Mr. Scully’s appropriate silence and then words essentially– stating the confluence of a Black man getting a standing ovation in the deep U.S. south, having broken a beloved man’s record. (Babe Ruth).

My Vin Scully favorite and in it, in fact, in that whole top 9 in late May 1968 when “Big D” Don Drysdale was bidding for a record tying 5th straight shutout, Scully IS as great as it gets, culminating in his call Parker’s (Wes) GOTTT ITT!!

Oh the calls, so many great! In tribute to Vin, I go toward him “thusly”-(is that a word?) : “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

I believe Vin Scully got called, made calls and was chosen.

Alas, the great broadcaster, Marty Glickman a Scully admirer, talked of “there is no greatest.” Yet he opined in baseball broadcast annals, it was Red Barber.

It really does not matter, as I know and know over and over again, that despite my natural “swim upstream” and vs the popular nature, that when I hear Vin Scully on a baseball broadcast, especially those that are local Dodgers (he was objective, informative, in praise of the opponent and if necessary critical of the Dodgers), it is a treasured treat. Alas a wise man and Mr. Scully would both say “pull up a chair,” (not lay in the bed) and enjoy!! I will try!

Last, but a truly treasured memory, I called and reached Mr. Scully in a New York hotel room in 1972. He was polite, saying “your guy/Sandy Koufax was “good enough for me,” as the greatest (that word again). I kept talking, Scully in those pre call waiting days, was waiting for news about the status of that night’s game on that rainy day.

In that fantastic voice, ever so polite with 16 year old me, he unforgettably intoned” I am waiting for the call from Shea, the last word stretched a bit.

Now another call has come to you, Mr. Scully and sages much wiser than me, will greet you and congratulate you for being so great.


Vin Scully, Dodgers announcer, at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida for Spring Training, 1985 (cropped) (cropped).jpg

What he witnessed, how he disseminated it, oh the history and greatness of Vin Scully, pictured above.

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: