Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Tag: Red Barber

Vin Scully in Variety, January 1950


Vin Variety 1950 excerpt

Vin's first mention in VarietyBy Jon Weisman

We greet you this morning with a treat — a peek at Vin Scully on the brink of his Dodger career.

Last week, my former employer Variety ran a piece with TV legend Norman Lear talking about his first mention in the publication — which came way back in 1950.

That year, of course, is a magic year, because it’s the year of Scully’s debut with the Dodgers after impressing Red Barber with his professionalism during the broadcast of a college football game at a freezing cold Fenway Park. So I decided to look in Variety’s archives to see if Scully was also mentioned in 1950.

Turns out he was — months before his Dodger career began, in this letter from William A. Coleman, chairman of the AM-TV Division of Scully’s alma mater, Fordham University. Coleman was promoting his recent alumni as potential announcing stars of tomorrow.

Or take a lad from last year’s June class — “Vin” Scully. Graduation day found him working at WTOP, CBS’s Washington outlet, and in the fall the nation heard him reporting in each Saturday for Red Barber’s football and sports roundup. Now, we hear that Barber has signed him as his assistant for next season to broadcast and telecast the Brooklyn Baseball games. Here is one of the Ted Husings of tomorrow.”

Husing, if you’re wondering about the reference, was a prominent New York announcer — among other things, a mentor to Mel Allen and a predecessor of Barber as CBS radio sports director.

The Mac McGarry mentioned by Coleman also went on to great success, hosting Washington D.C.’s “It’s Academic,” the longest-running quiz program in TV history, according to the Washington Post, which credits Scully for urging him to apply for a summer job at WRC-TV in 1950.

“Ten years from now, Variety may well run another ‘those were the good old days article and point out the headliners who stepped out from this talent incubator,” Coleman wrote. Yes, you could say Vin Scully validated this prediction.

Part 2 of Alanna Rizzo’s interview with Scully airs tonight on SportsNet LA at 7 p.m.

Born in Brooklyn, televised baseball turns 75 today

tv cachetToday is the 75th anniversary of the first televised baseball game. Mark Langill wrote about it for the August issue of Dodger Insider magazine. (Click the image to enlarge.)

— Jon Weisman

First TV Game

The return of the Cool-a-Coo?

Dodgers at Cubs, 11:20 a.m.
Matt Kemp is resting a tight left hamstring but is available to pinch-hit, according to pregame reports. Kemp has started 123 consecutive games, according to Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A., and played in 392 in a row.

However, the start of today’s game is delayed by rain. 

Dee Gordon, SS
Mark Ellis, 2B
Andre Ethier, RF
Juan Rivera, LF
Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B
James Loney, 1B
A.J. Ellis, C
Tony Gwynn Jr., CF
Aaron Harang, P

Apparently, a Cool-a-Coo resurrection is possible after all.

All my research had shown that Cool-a-Coos, the greatest dessert treat in sports history, had disappeared when the company had gone out of business, but according to Bill Shaikin of the Times, they’re being manufactured by a small company under the name of “Mr. Cool.”

If it’s the real deal, then the Dodgers absolutely need to bring them back as soon as possible. And please, don’t try to sell me on the Its-It. It’s not the same thing.

Elsewhere …

  • Looking ahead: After today’s game, the Dodgers have four consecutive series against their four National League West rivals. Three of those series are at home.
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats & Information), Chris Capuano had an 0-1 count on 20 of 26 batters he faced Saturday.
  • Teams are starting to shift against Matt Kemp, writes Christina Kahrl for – taking into account his tendency not to pull the ball.
  • John C. McGinley will play Red Barber in the upcoming Jackie Robinson movie 42, writes Dave McNary of Variety.
  • Tommy John surgeon Dr. Frank Jobe, Jim “Mudcat” Grant, and Luis Tiant have been elected to the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals. They finished in the top three by receiving at least 33 percent of votes. Just missing election this year were Lefty O’Doul (32%), Dizzy Dean (30%), Manny Mota (29%), Don Zimmer (29%), Steve Bilko (27%), Charlie Finley (25%), and Glenn Burke (24%). Induction day is July 15.
  • Steve Dilbeck of the Times becomes the latest to wonder why Jerry Hairston Jr. wouldn’t be the Dodgers’ regular third baseman even when Juan Uribe is healthy. The argument is that Hairston would wear down – the response would be whether Uribe isn’t already worn down.
  • Alex Castellanos and Scott Van Slyke were named Triple-A all-stars for the month of April by Baseball America.
  • Wrightly or wrongly, third baseman David Wright, an obvious trade target for the Dodgers, is likely to remain a Met, writes Ken Rosenthal of
  • The Cubs have designated Blake DeWitt (.305 OPS) for assignment.
  • A shoutout to Scott of venerable Rancho Park Pharmacy, thanks to Scott mentioning these words last week when I picked up my prescription: “R.J. Reynolds.”


And once more around the block for Brett Tomko …

You didn’t see him mentioned in my last post because he hasn’t gotten into a game yet, but Brett Tomko is back in the majors, with Texas. Richard Durrett of has the story.

Here are some other links from the past week …

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén