September 2016

Vinathon: Vin Scully’s ‘tryout’ with Brooklyn in center field

Los Angeles Dodgers Fanfest

By Jon Weisman

In his how-could-it-not-be-lovely feature on Vin Scully for the Washington Post, Chuck Culpepper passes along this anecdote from the legend.

… All along, he has sustained an appreciation for the skill on the field. That began in earnest his first year, 1950, in Brooklyn Dodgers days, when manager Burt Shotton had heard of Scully’s Fordham center-field days — good field, good throw, jammed too often as a hitter — and asked him to don a Gil Hodges uniform one day before an exhibition in Battle Creek, Mich.

“Gil Hodges was a marble statue,” Scully said. “And here I am, ‘Dodgers’ is down by the belt. My number is halfway down the back of my pants. But I got the uniform on, and I have a glove and all that. And I go out, and I remember, I played pepper with Carl Furillo, he was our right fielder, terrific guy. And it was just like college, playing pepper and everything. And then, I went out in the outfield, and Shotton said, ‘I want to see you shag some balls.’ And I said, ‘Okay.’

“I went out to center field, and there was a left-hand pitcher named Joe Hatten. And Joe and I were standing out there, maybe 300 feet from home plate during batting practice. And Roy Campanella got into the batting cage. And he swung, and he hit what I would call a high line drive. It just stayed straight. And I said, ‘Joe, I’ve got it.’ And he said, ‘Okay.’ And I caught it, but you know, the impact was like no impact I ever felt before. It was like maybe I was playing third base. And as soon as I caught it, I remember I turned to Joe and said, ‘Joe, I don’t belong out here.’ And you have no idea how fast that game is that they play.”

And: “And I watch them day after day and I think, ‘How good they are. Ho-oh-ly mackerel.’ And that’s what I love about it.” …

Read the entire piece here.

Originally published June 27, 2015

Vin Scully and the flower children


Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

In his third-to-last game behind the mic, Vin Scully almost avoided mentioning his impending departure entirely, except for a thank you to the night’s umpires for their pregame salute.

But the night didn’t leave us bereft of Vin providing his own color, thanks to a couple of spectators crashing the field in the fourth inning.

As is typical, the telecast steered clear of them, but Vin couldn’t avoid talking about them — and listeners were rewarded by a little flashback to a decade gone by …

Salty sixth sinks Dodgers in San Francisco


By Jon Weisman

In a game that prioritized roster reconnaissance over home-field hunting, the Dodgers got more information than they bargained for.

With the Dodgers leading 3-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth, Brandon McCarthy entered for a relief tryout and faced six batters — all of whom scored — in a 9-3 loss to the Giants.

Though Washington lost to Miami tonight, the Dodgers remain two games behind the Nationals with two to play, meaning that unless Los Angeles sweeps and Washington gets swept Saturday and Sunday, the Dodgers will open the National League Division Series in the nation’s capital October 7.


Vinathon: ‘What is a Dodger?’

Originally published May 15, 2015

Vinathon: Vin Scully talks to Roy Firestone, 1990

Here’s 20 minutes of Vin Scully talking to Roy Firestone in 1990 on ESPN’s “SportsLook,” which also includes an unforgettable clip of his Hall of Fame speech at Cooperstown.

Scully on the post-war Brooklyn Dodgers: “It was a team with nicknames that stuck to the ribs.”

– Jon Weisman

Originally published May 16, 2015

Vinathon: ‘Wild Child, I will take that’: Vin Scully on Satchel Paige

Of Satchel Paige, Whitey Herzog and holes in fences  … in the words of Vin Scully from Tuesday’s broadcast.

— Jon Weisman

Originally published May 12, 2015

Vinathon: Vin Scully guests on Letterman, 1990

I wonder if David Letterman thought he’d retire before Vin Scully when they met up for this 1990 interview.

Pace of play is part of the conversation, and — go figure — so is the Grateful Dead.

(Thanks to Tom Hoffarth of the Daily News for the link.)

— Jon Weisman

Originally published May 7, 2015

Vinathon: Vin Scully chased by giant clam

If you didn’t get to hear Vin Scully at FanFest on Saturday, above is a special video capturing his words, where you can hear about his nightmare of “being chased by a giant clam screaming ‘Linguine!'” That’s right.

— Jon Weisman

Originally published February 5, 2015

Vinathon: Vintage Vin

vin 2vin 1By Mark Langill

How does an oversized Vin Scully collectible stay hidden for nearly 50 years?

Gary Cypres, the owner and curator of the Sports Museum of Los Angeles, couldn’t believe his ears recently when he received a phone call from a collector in Texas, describing an advertising banner used at Union 76 stations in 1966 promoting the company’s Dodger record collection.

“I’ve never seen something like this before,” Cypres said. “I didn’t even know it existed.”

Cypres jumped at the chance to add another one-of-a-kind item to his exhaustive collection, which this season was on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.


Vinathon: The 4+1 Game turns eight

4+1Today is the eighth anniversary of the Dodgers’ remarkable 4+1 game, which Sports Illustrated and Tom Verducci called the game of the year.  SportsNet LA has produced a remembrance of the incredible night through the eyes of Vin Scully. You can also read my own essay about the game here.

— Jon Weisman

Originally published September 18, 2014