My wife and I were out in LA for the Dodger's home opener a few years ago and were in a sports bar. We both got a kick out of the fact that Vin Scully never introduced himself in any way at the beginning of the game. It's like he just picked up from the year before. It was great. Love listening to him. No one's better.
My favorite Vin Scully call was from the days when the Dodgers were still playing in the Coliseum. "Frank Howard up to bat... [WOK!] Good-bye."Laconic, to-the-point, crowd filled in the gaps. The man is a treasure.--t
I grew up in Northern California, a Giants fan from the moment they arrived in San Francisco. As much as I loved Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons when I was a kid I always tuned in to the distant, scratchy signal from L.A. when my Giants were there. I was maybe ten or twelve but even then I recognized greatness of Vin Scully.
I caught a classic game on MLB Network over the summer, the 1965 World Series, back when the regular announcers for each team split the game. The announcers were Vin Scully for the Dodgers and Ray Scott for the Twins. Took me weeks to be able to handle anyone but Jon Miller doing a game.It was great when Scully did the World Series for NBC, I think it was in the 80s. I think he and Jack Buck are the greatest baseball announcers ever.
Not bad at all, but I like the guys I heard as a kid: Dizzy Dean and, later, Phil Rizzuto. Our guy in Seattle, Dave Niehaus, is another great one. My favorite Scully story concerns an infielder who bobbled two balls hit to him, then caught the next one. Scully said something like, "And like the Ancient Mariner, he stoppeth one of three."
Harry Shearer does a really good Vin Scully on his weekly show for KCRW, "Le Show."
I think it speaks volumes that so many of those calls need absolutely no setup or establishment; you just know immediately you're listening to the '86 series, or Gibson's homer in '88.My personal favorite, though, is far from a great moment; Mike Piazza trying to throw out a runner at second, nails Tom Candiotti in the backside. Scully, in perfect Scully form, says "...and Piazza hit Candiotti in the fanny. Now this is really a dandy!" (Should anyone want to see, I uploaded a clip of it from an MLB highlights show some years ago; I can't capture video straight from my copy, so I pointed my camera at the monitor...slightly ugly, but effective:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rboFOloV9dg)
Scully is amazing. I still get chills listening to his call on the Gibson home run. But the one I'll never forget is when he had to announce that Don Drysdale had been found dead in his hotel room..."Never have I been asked to make an announcement that hurts me as much as this one. And I say it to you as best I can with a broken heart."I don't think I've ever heard someone communicate so much sorrow with a couple of sentences.
Don Drysdale actually became a very good baseball announcer, too. When Jerry Reinsdorf bought the White Sox, Harry Caray bolted to the Cubs, so Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn brought in Drysdale and Hawk Harrelson as a team, and they were very, very good. Like sitting with a couple of ex ballplayers over a beer, watching a game.As Tod above wrote, guys like Scully are such a treasure.
I didn't realize that Scully started with them in Brooklyn...WV: ingra...what we would call a legendary New York disc jockey after sex-reassignment surgery
Seems The Dodgers know how to keep managers and sportscasters a long time.61 years. UNBELIEVABLE! Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett were the first I ever heard (and the BEST)
Double D, as we came to know Drysdale here, was definitely a good one. As was Harry in his White Sox days, and especially in his Cardinal days. If MLB shows video of the 1968 Cardinals-Tigers series, watch to listen to Caray at the top of his game. An absolute master.
Drysdale was likely influenced by the Master too - though he could get away with some stuff that Scully would never say because Scully's style is uniquely Vin and classy. But partner Ken Harrelson lost it after a Drysdale comment one time at a Sox game where a player broke multiple bats after being jammed on a series of pitches. Drysdale: Yeah, a good piece of ash is hard to find."
Ken once said that it was Vin who taught him the art of storytelling. I teach and write for a living, so I can say the same (I'm not in Vin's league or Ken's, but that's another story). I first heard Vin when I was eight, in 1973, and since I immediately wanted to be him (or the Dodger announcer, if being Vin was not possible), my parents wrote to him and I got to meet him. Next to my marriage, the greatest moment of my life.I used to think Jerry Doggett was incompetent, then heard Ross Porter and decided Jerry wasn't bad. Then I heard Don Drysdale and thought, well, Ross is ok. Then came Rick Monday. The point is, I compared them all with Vin, and that isn't fair. Jerry and Ross in particular were excellent announcers, and they, like Drysdale and Monday at least in style, reflected Vin's influence, without Vin being pedantic about it.My favorite Vin call was on a grounder through Bill Russell's legs: "What ho, what ho, what men are these, who use their legs as parentheses?"
Oh man, I could listen to hours of this! He has been the soundtrack for my whole life. During Sandy's perfect game, I remember this one: "25,000 people here and a million butterflies...."
Coincidentally, MLB Channel ran Drysdale and Harrelson calling Tom Seaver's 300th win at Yankee Stadium yesterday afternoon.wv: inged - Being beaten by a Detroit Tiger thirdbaseman.
If you asked TV sports executives to give the name of the best sportscaster they've ever heard, Scully would win in a landslide. Jack Buck, Harry Kalas, and Ernie Harwell would probably get some votes. Yet, the people they hire now take the opposite approach from those legends. Here's an example from Phil Mushnick's column today:Matt Millen, during Thursday's Jets-Bills NFL Network telecast, declared that, "The Jets are running the crap out of the ball, here tonight." Reader Guy Kipp wonders: "You think Vin Scully ever said, 'Sandy Koufax is throwing the crap out of the baseball, tonight' "? Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/more_sports/open_mouth_insert_football_hL1SGwiL1mSTZi2ZOkSj4O#ixzz0Z1G6S1O5"Let's take time out from this triple play to talk about Faaarmer Dan's Pure Pork Sausages."
It's just amazing that Scully was in the booth for Brooklyn Dodgers coverage over WOR-TV and WMGM radio (1050). That was a lifetime ago. The big question - if Scully is the all-time #1 - where there ever be an all-time #2? "And the Dodgers go down like tin soldiers (slight pause) 1-2-3. In the bottom of the third..." Gary West - www.mrpopculture.com
Thank you. I've been away from LA for a while. I used to go to sleep every night listening to the Dodger game. I remember Bobby Bonds first at bat against the Dodgers (grand slam), Willie Mays popping up long to end Drysdales scoreless inning streak, and all those "he's going, back, a waaay back, it's gone!". That voice is the sound of my youth. Vin Scully is baseball. Thanks again.
"It is 9:46 pm...2 and 2 to Harvey Kuenn..." It's like a favorite song. But one of my favorite Scully-isms is when PacBell Park opened in San Francisco. Vin was commenting on the huge glove near the Coke bottle beyond center field. He said (paraphrasing) "The glove only has four fingers because the Giants gave the other finger to the Dodgers." I know it doesn't sound like Vinnie but I heard him say it!
Thanks for posting this, Ken. As a fellow broadcaster, I appreciate it.
OK, I'll say it: Vin Scully was a great baseball broadcaster. But he is also something of a gasbag.
Vin Scully is still a great baseball broadcaster, and for my money, still the best doing games. But a gasbag? He's about as humble a person as you will ever meet.
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