By Joe Snyder
For almost all Dodger fans, they definitely remember the times that the legendary Vin Scully announcing the play-by-play of virtually all Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodger games for 67 seasons, dating from 1950 through 2016.
He had been retired for six years before his death in his Hidden Hills (located near Westlake Village) home on Aug. 2, during the time when the Los Angeles Dodgers were visiting the San Francisco Giants. It was when the Dodgers were in San Francisco, playing the Giants, that Scully would call his final game in 2016. Scully was 94 years old.
On Aug. 2 shortly after hearing about Scully’s death, the Dodgers went on to top the Giants four-game sweep of their long time rivals. It was the second consecutive four-game sweep of the Giants for the Dodgers, who swept them at Dodger Stadium from July 21-24. After that, the Dodgers extended their winning streak to eight games in their three-game home sweep of their other rivals; the San Diego Padres, who are in second place at 15 1⁄2 games behind the Dodgers in the National League Western Division as of last Sunday. They are definitely dedicating the rest of the 2022 season to Scully and his family, hoping to win the World Series for the second time in three seasons.
Scully is definitely one of the best, if not the best, radio and television sports commentators ever.
In his 67 seasons (63 as the Dodgers’ head announcer), Scully made numerous famous calls, not only with the Dodgers, but in other various sporting events. He called 12 World Series including the Dodgers’ champion- ships in 1955 (Brooklyn), 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981 and 1988. The 1955 title is the Dodgers’ only World Series crown in Brooklyn when they were finally able to top their crosstown rival New York Yankees in seven games. The other six, including 2020, were in L.A. The Dodgers lost World Series, also announced by Scully, in 1966 (Baltimore Orioles), 1974 (Oakland Athletics), 1977 and 1978 (Yankees). In the post-Scully era, the Dodgers lost series to the Houston Astros in 2017 and the Boston Red Sox a year later.
I followed the Dodgers since the days of pitching legends Sandy Koufax and the late Don Drysdale (died in 1993) from 1965 and always loved to hear the voice of Scully on the radio, television and even in the background while attending Dodger games. In 1965, the Dodgers outlasted the Minnesota Twinsin seven games. It also included the season that Koufax threw his fourth no-hitter which was a perfect game against the Chicago Cubs in a 1-0 win on Sept. 9.
He went on to call the late Henry Aaron’s (1934-2021) Major League record breaking 715th career home run for the Atlanta Braves against Dodger pitcher Al Downing on April 8, 1974 in Atlanta.
Another great moment by Scully was his call on Kirk Gibson’s famous two-run homer that helped the Dodgers top the Oakland A’s 5-4 in the first game of the 1988 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Scully said, “A high drive to deep right field and she is gone.” With a painful knee injury, it was very doubtful that Gibson was going to play at all in that series. He came up as a pinch hitter and hit that walk-off homer and limped his way around the bases and back to home plate. Gibson did not play after that, but the Dodgers stunned the heavily favored A’sin five games, a revenge from their five-game loss to Oakland 14 years earlier.
He also made a famous call in a 1981 National Football League championship game that saw the San Francisco 49’ers rally past the Dallas Cowboys on a winning touchdown pass by Joe Montana.
Scully also commentated various professional golf and tennis association events.