After an incredible 67-year career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Vin Scully will be calling his last game on Sunday as the Dodgers take on the San Francisco Giants.
“It’s time for Dodger baseball! Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant evening to you, wherever you may be.” If you have heard that phrase before, then you are not alone. Whether it is his signature opening or iconic stories, Vin Scully has meant something to baseball fans around the world since 1950.
When Scully got his start with the then Brooklyn Dodgers, he was only 22 years old. A few seasons later, he became the youngest person ever to call a World Series when he called the 1953 series between the Dodgers and Yankees. At the end of the 1957 season, the Dodgers made the decision to move out west to Los Angeles. Scully made the decision to leave his lifetime home of New York to follow the Dodgers to California. Scully would then make Los Angeles his home for the next 59 seasons, never leaving his position as the Dodgers play-by-play analyst. But what many Dodger fans might not know about Scully is that he also has some of the most memorable calls in sports history.
In 1974, Atlanta Braves outfielder Hank Aaron hit his 715th career home run to become the new home run king. Scully was on the call, describing the positives that this had on us as a country. Another great call came in 1986, with Red Sox first basemen Bill Buckner making the most famous error in baseball history. Buckner would let a simple groundball go through his legs, which cost the Red Sox the game and eventually the series. None other than Scully was on the call, saying “Behind the bag, it gets through Buckner!” We’ve all heard that once or twice, especially if any of us are Red Sox fans on the side.
But no other call is as famous as Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. The Dodgers were taking on the Oakland Athletics, trailing one run in the bottom of the ninth. An injured Kirk Gibson steps to the plate to pinch-hit, and then we all know what happened after that.
“The impossible has happened!” was something that you just could not get out of your mind. Even though that game was a little before my time, I remember watching a re-run of it on ESPN Classic when I was 9. I remember replaying it in my backyard on a tee, fist-pumping like Gibson & making the call like Scully was there himself.
I was just a small kid who had never paid much attention to the Dodgers, yet I’m here in a backyard in a small Louisiana town recreating one of Scully’s many legendary calls. This was what made Vin so great. We also cannot forget his storytelling, which I have been a fan of since high school. I vividly remember studying for an exam in 2013, watching the Dodgers versus Giants. The game is going about normal, and here I am listening to Scully tell me about how Giants pitcher Javier Lopez met his wife. I now know that Javier’s wife refused to marry him until he got his college degree, Thanks, Vin! The little stories like that were everyone’s favorite, without a doubt. Who can forget this gem about Madison Bumgarner?
Whether it was his stories, calls, or just his amazing attitude, we will all miss Vin for something. His legacy will forever live on with the Dodgers, as there will never be another Vincent Scully. Thanks for everything Vin, the baseball world will miss you, especially Dodger Nation.