Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Voice of the Game

Before I head off for the Ryder Cup, I want to thank the legendary Vin Scully for an entire lifetime of sports memories.  The Los Angeles Dodgers play-by-play man will call his final game this weekend--ending a 67-year career.  I'm a San Francisco Giants fan--so I hate anything associated with the Dodgers--but I love Vin Scully.

Unlike today's sportscasters, Vin doesn't script his comments for big moments in games (a lesson for Jim Nantz).  He doesn't yell at the top of his lungs for the most common plays (I'm looking at you Wayne Larivee and Gus Johnson). Even at the age of 88 he still follows the action and calls a nearly flawless game (unlike John Sterling of the New York Yankees--Google some of his blown calls).  And despite never calling a game from the bleachers or doing TV commercials or opening his own restaurant, he is beloved by not just his hometown fans--but baseball lovers everywhere.

So strong is LA's devotion to Vin Scully that when Frank McCourt bought the Dodgers back in the 1990's and tried to put Vin out to pasture, there were near riots.  McCourt has come and gone--and Vin Scully remained in the booth.

Think about the history this man has seen.  He called games while Jackie Robinson still played for the Brooklyn Dodgers.  He was on the mike for Brooklyn's only World Series victory.  He called perfect games pitched by Sandy Koufax.  He was on hand for the greatest moment in the history of baseball--and managed to put it in perfect perspective:

He also called one of the most dramatic home runs in the history of the World Series:

Vin Scully's greatest talent was to weave all of the history that he had gathered in his time around the ballpark into the call of today's modern game.  When he would talk about "Jackie" or "Sandy" in stories that always seemed to perfectly fit into the length of a half inning, it took us all back to the greatest time in the greatest sport.

The one good thing about losing this legend is that we actually get to thank him and enjoy these final few moments together--and to honor him while he is still here to enjoy it--unlike so many of our other heroes that get such praise only after they have passed.

Thanks for all of the memories, Mr Scully.

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