The Brooklyn Dodgers 1955
Vin Scully has seen it all
May 22, 2016
OK – before we start, let’s get this straight: Harry Kalas, longtime Phillies announcer (from 1971 to April 2009) is, far and away, my favorite baseball play-by-play man OF ALL TIME! Not even close… I can still hear Harry the K, on those many summer nights when he brought me Phillies action, with his classic phrases: “He’s into second, standing-with-a-double!”… “Ground ball – BASE HIT, up the middle!”… and, of course, the best home-run calls in MLB history… LONG DRIVE INTO DEEP LEFT CENTER FIELD! WATCH THAT BABY! THIS BALL IS – OUTTA HERE, HOME RUN, MICHAEL JACK SCHMIDT! AND THE PHILLIES LEAD IT FIVE-TO-NOTHING!”
I had the joy of listening to Harry his entire career – from 1971 with the opening of Veteran’s Stadium… to Rick Wise’s No-Hitter, where he also hit two home runs (“Rose, one of the game’s feared hitters… George Foster due to hit next… here’s the three-two pitch – SWING, A LINE-DRIVE… HE DID IT! VUKOVICH MADE THE GRAB – WISE HAS DONE IT! A NO—HIT, NO-RUN GAME! ROSE WITH A LINE-DRIVE TO VUKOVICH, IT’S OVER!)… to Steve Carlton’s phenomenal 1972 season, where he won 27 games for a last place team that, altogether, only won 59… to the Danny Ozark years when the team finally began to win… to calling the Phillies’ first division-clinch in 1976… to calling the disastrous Game Three of the 1977 NLCS (the game where “Luzinski dropped that fly ball”)… through those disappointing loses in 1976, ’77, and ’78 in the playoffs… to the Phillies victory over Nolan Ryan and the Houston Astros to win the 1980 pennant… through the strike years of 1981 and 1994… to calling every one of Mike Schmidt’s 548 career home runs… to the victory of the 1983 “Wheeze Kids” over the Dodgers in the NLCS… and on and on, through lean years (mostly) rewarding seasons, like the “out-of-nowhere” 1993 blue-collar team that came within a Joe Carter whisker of winning it all… to the 2008 World Championship, where he finally… FINALLY… after not being able to do it on live TV in 1980, he was able to announce: “SWING AND A MISS! STRUCK HIM OUT! THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES ARE 2008 WORLD CHAMPIONS OF BASEBALL! “ The Lord took him only a few games into the 2009 season, when he was getting ready to announce an April game in Washington: a massive heart attack at the age of 71.
OK, I had to get that out of my system… on to Vin Scully.
Vin really has had an amazing career. Just look at some of the calls he’s made in his long career: (I realize that, some of these moments he may not have been able to call, back in the day when they wouldn’t let home-town announcers do their team’s World Series Games. But Vin was there for all of these and certainly got to enjoy them).The Brooklyn Dodgers 1955
1) He started with Red Barber and the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950; he called the 1050 Phillies’ defeat of the Dodgers, 4 – 1, on a 10th inning home run by Dick Sisler at Ebbets Field (a game my Dad attended as a disappointed Dodger fan);
2) the 1951 “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”, Bobby Thomson’s home run off of Ralph Branca to give the Giants’ the pennant (but, you won’t hear the losers’ broadcast, I’m afraid);
3) the Dodgers loss to the Yankees in the 1952 World Series (calling Billy Martin’s unforgettable catch in Game Seven);
4) the 1953 Dodger’s loss to the Yankees – again – in the World Series;
5) the Dodger’s 1955 World Series Victory over the Yankees;
6) Don Larsen’s Perfect Game – against the Dodgers – in the 1956 Series;
7) the last Dodgers’ game in Brooklyn, at Ebbets Field, in 1957;
8) the first Dodgers’ game on the West Coast – the first Major League Game EVER on the West Coast, an 8 – 0 loss in San Francisco to the Giants ;
9) the Dodgers’ first game in Los Angeles at the Coliseum on April 18, 1958;
10) 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;
11) the Dodgers’ playoff win over the Milwaukee Braves;
12) the Dodgers’ World Series victory over the Chicago White Sox in 1959, which gave them their second World Championship;
13) every game that Sandy Koufax pitched;
14) Maury Wills’ setting the record for stolen bases with 104 in 1962;
15) the Dodgers’ play-off loss to the Giants in 1962;
16) the Dodgers’ win over the Yankees in the 1963 World Series for their Third World Championship;
17) all four of Sandy Koufax’s no-hitters, including Vin’s greatest broadcast (in my opinion), calling his September 1965 Perfect Game against the Cubs;
18) the amazing 1965 World Series performance by Sandy Koufax, who, after sitting out Game One because he refused to work on Yom Kippur, was blessed by the God he honored by leading the Dodgers to a seven-game victory over the Twins, earning MVP honors especially by his amazing performance in Game Seven, calling their Fourth World Series title;
19) Sandy Koufax’s last regular season victory, over the Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium;
20) Moe Drabowsky’s 11-strikeout performance for the Baltimore Orioles against the Dodgers as a relief pitcher;
21) Sandy Koufax last game ever, in the 1966 World Series, which the Dodgers lost in 4 games;
22) Don Drysdale’s 58.2 scoreless innings streak in 1968 (that’s right – broken up by Howie Bedell’s sacrifice fly to score Tony Taylor);
23) 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;
24) the Dodgers’ loss in the 1974 World Series;
25) the Dodgers victory over the Phillies in that stunning Game Three of the NLCS, known to Phillies’ fans as “the day Luzinski dropped that fly ball;
26) Dusty Baker’s “Homer in the Stormin’” in a monsoon off of Steve Carlton that led to the Dodgers’ victory over the Phillies in the 1977 NLCS;
27) Reggie… Reggie… Reggie” – the three home run barrage by the Yankees Reggie Jackson to become “Mr. October” and help his team beat the Dodgers in 1977;
28) the “Secretary of Defense”, Garry Maddox, making not one, but TWO errors in the final game of the 1978 NLCS to seal the Phillies’ doom – again – to give the Dodgers’ the victory;
29) getting to call – on the radio – the Phillies’ 1980 World Series victory, their first in 97 years;
30) the rookie season of Fernando Valenzuela in 1981;
31) the Dodgers’ 1981 NLCS victory over the Montreal Expos;
32) Fred Lynn’s Grand Slam in the 1983 All Star Game;
33) Ozzie Smith’s walk-off home run in the 1985 NLCS in Game Five off Tom Niedenfeuer of the Dodgers to win Game Five and send the Cardinals to the World Series;
34) the greatest blunder in the history of Major League Baseball – Bill Buckner’s error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series to give the Mets the win (his call of “BEHIND THE BAG!” still rings in Red Sox fans’ ears);
35) the Dodgers’ improbable victory in the 1988 NLCS over the Mighty Mets;
36) one of the most amazing moments in MLB history when Kirk Gibson hobbles off the bench to hit a home run off Dennis Eckersley of the Athletics to give the Dodgers the win in Game One of the 1988 World Series (Vin’s best line ever: “”High fly ball into right field, she is gone! In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.”)
37) Game Seven of the 1991 World Series, when Twins’ pitcher Jack Morris put on the performance of a lifetime, defeating the Braves in 10, 1 – 0;
38) yes – he called Joe Carter’s home run in 1993 for the Blue Jays that beat the Phillies in the World Series;
39) the extraordinary rookie season of Hideo Nomo in 1995;
40) the Braves’ victory in the 1995 World Series;
41) Edgar Renteria’s walk-off single (after Jose Mesa’s collapse) in the 1997 World Series as the Florida Marlins beat the Indians in the 10th inning of Game Seven;
42) Barry Bonds’ record-breaking 71st, 72nd and 73rd home runs in 2001;
43) on May 23, 2002; he called Shawn Green’s Monumental Day, when the Dodger outfielder hit a Major League record-tying 4 home runs and a record-tying five extra-base hits (he hit a double in addition to the home runs) against the Milwaukee Brewers, and had 19 total bases, breaking Joe Adcock’s 1954 Major League record by one, while matching the major league record of 6 runs scored in one game;
44) a total of 18 no-hitters; including Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter for the Cubs over the Dodgers in 2015.
Uh… yeah. And these are the calls I know about…
In an article titled “He’s Been Everywhere: Why Vin Scully is Baseball’s Forrest Gump,” a Sporting News on-line, published August 31, 2015, Jason Foster quoted him this way:
“I just happened to be there,” Scully told reporters during a news conference Saturday. “It’s not something that I can take any pride in. … I’m really overwhelmed by the fact that I‘ve been so fortunate. God has blessed me beyond an imagination.”
And maybe that’s why he has been so much a part of our lives as baseball fans – no, our world. He is obviously a humble man, but he also give credit where credit is due – God. He’s had the blessing of God.
And maybe that’s why, of all the moments he could pick, he picks the one I believe is a very significant moment in the history of baseball, as controlled providentially by Elohim: the Dodger’s first World Series Victory as the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955. Here’s what I’ve written previously on the Dodgers:
- Lipman Pike: the first Baseball Superstar, “the Iron Batter” was the first professional, the first Jewish professional Baseball player, and the first Jewish manager to be hired – and fired. He grew up in Brooklyn, but started his career in Philadelphia. For some reason, when the National Association began play as the first Major League in 1871, Pike played for the Troy Haymakers. Could this be the source of the curse on the Brooklyn Dodgers?
May, 2016: Brooklyn was an early hot-bed of baseball. There were several teams that represented the city of Brooklyn in the amateur days of the first baseball league, the National Association. And the greatest player of the 1860’s? Brooklyn boy named Lipman Pike. Who is also considered by many to be the first professional player… for the original Philadelphia Athletics. Lip Pike was extraordinarily fast in his day, and had extraordinary power. He was also Jewish. When the National Association became the first professional baseball league in 1871, hometown boy Lip Pike was nowhere near Brooklyn. That season, he played his first professional season (officially) for the Troy Haymaker’s (near Albany, but not near Brooklyn). Brooklyn had several amateur teams in 1871, but no professional ones – did this have anything to do with Lip Pike? I don’t have any details – but I suspect they insulted and disrespected one of the most important pioneers of MLB. That led to an 84-year curse on Brooklyn professional baseball… until, in December of 1954, they signed a hometown Jewish boy named Sandy Koufax… who wasn’t even present when the Brooklyn Dodgers finally won their first World Series in 1955 after going 0 and 7, and after going through a heart-wrenching string of failures.
The Brooklyn Dodgers signed Sandy Koufax as an amateur free agent on December 14, 1954. He made his Major League debut on June 24, 1955.
The Dodgers won their first World Championship, after losing their first SEVEN World Series.
Way to go, Vin! Here’s one Phillies’ fan who – yes, I’ll say it – loves you, and thanks you for all the thrills! May the Lord continue to bless you in your final season. Maybe MLB will get wise and let you do the Cubs’ World Series Victory this year! That would be the crowning touch on a magnificent career.
Original Source material below. Also, thanks to Wikipedia for some details!
Vin Scully shares his favorite call of his career
by Eduardo Gonzalez
Vin Scully has been the voice of the Dodgers for a little more than half a century.
Scully, 87, is in his 67th season calling Dodgers games. During those years he’s called 25 World Series, 12 All-Star games and three perfect games. So he’s been to iconic ballparks, seen amazing players and called unforgettable plays.
Who can forget Hank Aaron’s 715th home run: “Fastball, a high drive to deep left-center field, Buckner goes back to the fence and it is gone!”
How about Kirk Gibson’s “shot in the dark” during the 1988 World Series: “High fly ball into right field, she is gone! In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.”
There was Mark McGwire’s home run out of Dodgers Stadium, too: “He’s done it again! And let’s see where that goes. It hits the top of the roof!”
But does Scully have a favorite call?
During the Dodgers-Angels game at Angels Stadium on Thursday, Scully was asked by Fox Sports West’s Mark Gubicza if there was one call or game he felt best about.
Scully looked back to the early days, when the Dodgers were in Brooklyn.
“I don’t know. Maybe I was younger, more impressionable, more emotional when the Dodgers won in Brooklyn their only World Series. I had lived with the frustration of the team from 1950 through ’54,” he said. “So when they won it in ’55, and to know what it meant to the borough, and to know what it meant to the players who had been so frustrated, that was a very important call. And it was very simple. All I said was, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the Brooklyn Dodgers are the champions of the world.’”
“And people said to me that winter, ‘How could you have been so calm?’ To be honest, I could not have said another word. I would have broken down and cried.”
Scully announced this past August that this would be his last season broadcasting for the Dodgers. His final game will be the last regular-season game against the Giants in San Francisco on Oct. 2.
Connect with Eduardo Gonzalez on Twitter: @edmgonzalez
Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
- Three perfect games (Don Larsen in 1956, Sandy Koufax in 1965 and Dennis Martinez in 1991) and 18 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-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.
- Barry Bonds’ record-breaking 71st, 72nd and 73rd home runs.
- 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.
Scully, whose vivid yet simplistic description of a baseball game has thrilled fans for years, joined Hall of Fame announcer Red Barber and Connie Desmond as part of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ broadcast team in 1950, just a year after graduating from Fordham University. Scully, who played outfield for two seasons on Fordham’s baseball team, called baseball, basketball and football games for the university’s radio station. In 1982, 32 years after he first became a Dodger broadcaster, Scully reached the pinnacle of his sparkling career in baseball when he was inducted into the Broadcaster’s wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame as the Ford C. Frick Award recipient.
The Official Vin Scully Website