Friday, January 16, 2009

Vin Scully's first West Coast Dodger Game

Vin Scully

Vin Scully's been in the news these past few days: he's been named the Top Sportscaster of All Time, (as opposed to a previous, now-lesser title of the Top Sportscaster of the Century) and is celebrating his 60th season with the Dodgers. His 1956 self, calling the second half of Don Larsen's perfect game (the only perfect game in a world Series) is heard on the new MLB channel sporadically.

Vin Scully's first mention in the Los Angeles Times was April 26, 1958. Scully had already called 1500 games over eight seasons with the Dodgers, but they were the Brooklyn Dodgers then, so his name never appeared in our paper. He had just called his first game in the Coliseum (Dodger Stadium was still being built) and felt it was his worst ever. "All I could see is 77 rows of people." Everyone--players too--agreed that it was difficult to follow the ball against such a background.

Six weeks later Scully penned a column for the Times in which he credited Sister Virginia Maria, his 8th grade teacher, for making him a sportscaster. How? She knew he was interested in radio, and made him read aloud to the class every day. "She corrected and improved, criticized and encouraged and, above all, paid me the highest compliment--she listened."

Awww...Scully also told a great story about the head of Fordham Preparatory School--a priest--who was troubled that Scully had no black shoes to wear with his suit when he represented Fordham at a speech contest. So, he borrowed black shoes from every priest in the school and called Scully in to try each of the 13 pairs on till he found some that fit.

Double Awww. Scully ended the column by thanking Angelenos for their kindness and patience as he transitioned to the new ballpark, with new products to sell during the games. And he hoped he would be a success for the sake of his family.

Don't think they've got any complaints...

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