The Dodgers’ Immortal Vin Scully

The Dodgers’ Immortal Vin Scully


N.B.: Vin Scul­ly retired in 2016 and died 2 August 2022.

As a Wash­ing­ton Nation­als fan nev­er wish­ing to miss a start by Jor­dan Zim­mer­mann, I had two hours of sleep before 10 on May 13th so as to take in Nation­als-Dodgers game, on the LA feed with the age­less Vin Scul­ly—a throw­back to the gold­en age, who called his first game for the Brook­lyn Dodgers in 1950.

In clas­sic style, Vin, now 85, called the games solo. Noth­ing against “col­or” com­men­tary, but it does tend to over-ana­lyze the play-by-play. A solo announc­er comes up with oth­er things to fill the time. Scul­ly is full of sto­ries you ordi­nar­i­ly nev­er hear. Whether this is good or not depends on how you like your broad­casts. But how else would we have learned that….

* In spring train­ing, Nation­als cen­ter field­er Denard Span was sur­prised to have a dead fish drop next to him in cen­ter field! He looked up, saw an angry osprey cir­cling, and threw the fish over the fence in self-defense.

* Last year, reliev­er Drew Storen wore 37 hats. (How many hats does an ordi­nary play­er wear in the course of the sea­son? Super­sti­tious play­ers prob­a­bly won’t change a hat when they’re on a good streak.)

* Sal “The Bar­ber” Maglie, the New York Giants’ 1950-55 pitch­ing ace, “whose face was on want­ed posters all over Brook­lyn,”  joined the Dodgers in 1956, pitched a no-hit­ter in Sep­tem­ber, and was Don Larsen’s oppo­nent in Larsen’s famous World Series per­fect game on Octo­ber 6th—called by Vin Scully:

Got him! The great­est game ever pitched in base­ball history….A no hit­ter, a per­fect game in a World Series….Never in the his­to­ry of the game has it ever hap­pened in a World Series….And so our hats off to Don Larsen—no runs, no hits, no errors, no walks, no baserun­ners. The final score: The Yan­kees, two runs, five hits and no errors. The Dodgers: No runs, no hits, no errors … in fact, noth­ing at all. This was a day to remem­ber, this was a ball­game to remem­ber and above all, the great­est day in the life of Don Larsen. And the most dra­mat­ic and well-pitched ball­game in the his­to­ry of base­ball…. Mel [Allen], you can put this in your ring and wear it a long time.

Vin’s final home game was on 25 Sep­tem­ber 2016, against the vis­it­ing Col­orado Rock­ies. The Dodgers end­ed up win­ning on a 10th inning walk-off home run by Char­lie Cul­ber­son and in doing so clinched the NL West Divi­sion title. The final broad­cast of his career was the Dodgers’ Octo­ber 2nd game at AT&T Park against the San Fran­cis­co Giants.



For a much fin­er trib­ute than this, see Kevin Costner’s Farewell at Dodger Stadium.

See also: “The Sum­mer of 1960.”

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