By Jon Weisman
Hardly standing on the ceremony of Vin Scully’s penultimate broadcast, the Dodgers and Giants raced through their game today in 2:15, the Dodgers’ fifth-shortest game this year.
But that didn’t stop Vin from weaving several stories into his call. One began with him commenting on the beauty of the setting at AT&T Park.
On a spectacularly lovely day in San Francisco, a canopy of brilliant blue overhead, that might be a good sign for the Dodgers.
Interesting that at one time, way back — I think it was the ’30s — the Giants wore blue. I mean, you always think of them as orange and black, but not necessarily so. There’s also the gag about that glove (behind left field). There are four fingers on that glove, and up here they say they gave that finger to Los Angeles.
Another was inspired by a picture shown on the SportsNet LA broadcast of Scully with John Wooden.
What an honor and what a joy to be alongside the great John Wooden in 2008 … all we did was sit and talk, and he was magical.
I can remember first coming to Los Angeles. We had a little apartment in Brentwood, and I was coming home with some groceries, both arms heavily filled. And I came to our little fence in front of the apartment house, and it had a hatch – you had to lift the hatch to open the gate – and I was really out to lunch because of all the packages. And I heard a voice say, “Just a minute – I’ll hold that for you.” This man came over – I had never seen him before – and he opened up the gate to let me in. And he said, “Allow me to introduce myself. I’m John Wooden, the basketball coach at UCLA.” Never forgot it.”
A third anecdote riffed off the sight of second-base umpire Joe West.
Cowboy Joe gave me a book – I have it at home. On the cover it says, “Everything I Know About Broadcasting,” by Vince Scully. And when you open it up, all the pages are blank. That was my gift from Cowboy Joe. He is a character.
Finally, Vin (shown before the eighth inning in a photo with Don Newcombe) commented on seeing Willie Mays before the game.
I’m sure the Dodgers’ pitching great Don Newcombe is taking in the game. And for Don, we send the message — I was chatting with Willie Mays today, and your name came up. And I said, “Willie, Don just celebrated his 90th birthday,” and Mays was in shock. He had no idea that Don was 90. Willie’s 85, in case you wondered, Newk.
Vin has a very good memory.