Tip Your Cap

Baseball lost a great one Tuesday. Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, the voice of the Dodgers for an incredible 67 years, passed away at the age of 94. In his memory, I’m repeating a post from 2016, when Vin retired. So long, Mr. Scully, you were the best. Larry

 

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The end of an era is upon us, sports fans.

Vin Scully, legendary baseball announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers, is retiring this season, after an astonishing 67 years in broadcasting.

Sixty…seven…years. Let that sink in for awhile.

Nobody has ever done his job so well, for so long. Nobody even close.

It makes me envious of Dodger fans. He’s more than just their announcer. He’s more than just their buddy, inviting them to sit back and enjoy a ball game with him.

He’s their dad, the one with all the memories of former Dodger heroes like Jackie Robinson and Duke Snider, Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, Steve Garvey and Davey Lopes, Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser and Kirk Gibson, on and on and on.

Wow!

This man is inextricably intertwined with the history of the Dodgers; indeed, of baseball.

He is in the Baseball Hall of Fame, of course, as a recipient of the annual Ford C. Frick award, presented to a broadcaster for “major contributions to baseball.”

And boy, has this guy contributed.

 

Back in ancient times, before television, radio was the only way to broadcast a ballgame. The announcer, therefore, was an artist; it was up to him to paint a complete picture for the listener, to describe the brilliant blue sky, the gentle breeze blowing in from left field, the smell of the freshly cut grass, the jubilant roar of the crowd…every sight, sound and smell of the game brought vividly to life, transporting the fan listening at home right to the best seat in the ballpark.

Vin Scully has skillfully painted these pictures day after day, game after game, for decades.

Not only does that take a great deal of talent, which he certainly has, and a singularly mellifluous voice, which he also has. It takes a true love and passion for the game, and a warm, inviting, friendly manner that makes people want to tune in and listen to him. Vin Scully checks both those boxes, as well.

Baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams once said, “If there was a guy born to play baseball, it was Willie Mays.” I say, if there was a guy born to announce baseball, it’s Vin Scully.

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My two favorite ball games, called by Vin Scully:

1986 WORLD SERIES, GAME 6: As the New York Mets mounted a crazy ninth-inning, two-out comeback to defeat the utterly gobsmacked Boston Red Sox at New York’s Shea Stadium, Vin asked rhetorically, ” Can you believe this ballgame at Shea?”

As the infamous game-ending ground ball rolled improbably through the legs of first baseman Bill Buckner, allowing Ray Knight to score the winning run for the Mets, Vin described it like this, the shock and disbelief at what was unfolding, clearly heard: “Little roller, up along first…BEHIND THE BAG!! IT GETS THROUGH BUCKNER!! HERE COMES KNIGHT, AND THE METS WIN IT!!!”

Minutes later, after letting the television audience take in the raucous celebration in the stadium, except for the stunned, silent Red Sox dugout, he declared, “If one picture is worth a thousand words, you have seen about a million words!”

(Which is another skill of his: letting the images on television tell the story. As valuable as his words are, he knows when they aren’t needed.)

 

1988 WORLD SERIES, GAME 1: Dodgers vs. Oakland A’s, Dodger Stadium. Bottom of the ninth inning. Dodgers trail by one run with two outs and one man on base. Kirk Gibson, pinch-hitting despite a badly hurt right leg, is at bat. Three-ball, two-strike count. Here comes the pitch. Mr. Scully, take it away:

“High fly ball, into right field, she is GONE!!!”

In that call, you can hear the hopeful anticipation of what could happen, followed by the amazement and joy at what just did.

And then, amid all the resultant pandemonium, he added, “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!”

Side note: At that moment, another legendary announcer, Jack Buck, delighted the radio audience with his own immortal line: “I DON’T BELIEVE WHAT I JUST SAW!!”

 

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Vin Scully will announce his last Dodgers home game this Sunday, September 25, at 4:00 PM, Eastern Time. It will be broadcast live on MLB Network, as well as the Dodgers’ and Colorado Rockies’ local networks. Do yourself a favor; take a break from football this Sunday.

And enjoy a baseball game with a living legend.

The Party of “No More”

Our friend Jill at Filosofa’s Word is, like most of us, quite fed up with the continued indifference of the United States Congress toward the issues that matter to us ordinary citizens.

Many in Congress are now concerned with only one thing: Power. How to get it, how to keep it, and how to wield it as forcefully as possible.

Meanwhile, Jill suggests a few things that concern us their time would be better spent addressing, such as:

“Addressing climate change in the most aggressive way possible, which would include phasing out all fossil fuels and replacing them with renewable energy sources ASAP…

“Passing voting rights legislation prior to the November mid-term elections to ensure that every person age 18 and over has not only the right, but the wherewithal to cast his/her vote…

“Passing legislation to protect women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and other civil rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ultra-dereliction of duty in their latest session and their threats of more to come going forward…

“Raising the minimum wage to a livable wage…

“Passing gun regulations that actually do something, that ban military-style weapons, that enforce strict background checks, and that incarcerate those who violate these regulations…

“Passing legislation to ensure that corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes…

“Addressing education in such a way that ensures our children are learning the facts about such things as the history of this nation, about other cultures, about life.”

All good suggestions, Jill, thank you. I think most of us who call ourselves Americans can get solidly behind every one of them.

And it’s high time we all made ourselves heard. I’m sick of these noisy fools who get all the attention; let’s show what power really looks like.

Let’s show the Party of No, as Republicans have come to be known, that we are the Party of No More.

You in?

Republican Voices of Experience Speak Loudly — Filosofa’s Word

You, and everyone you know, and everyone they know, needs to read this. Thanks, Jill Dennison, for sharing it. Larry

It’s one thing for someone like me, a mere political observer, to say that Donald Trump must be prosecuted for his crimes, particularly the crime of inciting an attempted coup to overturn an election, to kill the voices of We the People.  You and I can say it all we want, but our words carry […]

Republican Voices of Experience Speak Loudly — Filosofa’s Word

Black and White — Andrew Pratt Online Ministries

This is for all the “Christians” who are trying to shove their doctrine – which they mostly don’t even practice – down America’s throat. Your behavior is antithetical to the very nature of the god you claim to justify it. As minister Andrew Pratt pointedly asks, “God doesn’t force his moral law on humanity, therefore why should Christianity force its interpretation of God’s moral law upon people?” Makes sense to me. Larry

Black and White — Andrew Pratt Online Ministries