“High everybody, and a very pleasant good evening to you, wherever you may be.”
Vin Scully began his broadcasting career with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 18, 1950, and his time on the microphone ran through the 2016 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Scully’s 67 years in the booth made him the longest-tenured broadcaster with a single team in professional sports history. While Scully is synonymous with the Dodgers, he additionally called World Series games, was an NFL broadcaster and worked other marquee sporting events.
He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, the same year as receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Among other accolades, Scully was named National Sportscaster of the Year four times, earned an Emmy Award for lifetime achievement, and Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Dodgers celebrated Scully in their first home game after his passing with a pregame ceremony. It concluded with manager Dave Roberts leading Dodger Stadium in Scully’s trademark, “It’s time for Dodger baseball!” call.
Over the course of his career, Scully was on the call for some of the most memorable moments in baseball history, but his ability to turn the mundane into magic is what truly separated him from the rest.
Of course, the history-making moments are the ones that will always stand the test of time, and these are some of his best.
Best Vin Scully calls
Kirk Gibson’s walk-off home run in Game 1 of 1988 World Series
“And look who’s coming up. All year long they looked to him to light the fire and all year long he answered the demands until he was physically unable to start tonight with two bad legs. The bad left hamstring and the swollen right knee.
“And with two out, you talk about a roll of the dice, this is it. If he hits the ball on the ground, I imagine he would be running about 50% to first base. So the Dodgers trying to catch lightning right now…”
“4-3 A’s, two out, ninth inning. Not a bad opening act…”
“High fly ball into right field. She is gone!”
“In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.”
“And now the only question was, could he make it around the basepaths unassisted?”
“You know, I said it once before, a few days ago, that Kirk Gibson was not the most valuable player. That the most valuable player for the Dodgers was Tinkerbell. But tonight, I think Tinkerbell backed off for Kirk Gibson. And look at Eckersley, shocked to his toes.”
Hank Aaron’s 715th home run
“There’s a high drive into deep left-center field, Buckner goes back… it is gone!”
“What a marvelous moment for baseball. What a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia. What a marvelous moment for the country and the world. A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol.
“And it is a great moment for all of us, and particularly for Henry Aaron, who was met at home plate, not only by every member of the Braves, but by his father and mother. He threw his arms around his father, and as he left the home plate area, his mother came running across the grass, threw her arms around his neck, kissed him for all she was worth.
“As Aaron circled the bases, the Dodgers on the infield shook his hand, and that was a memorable moment. Aaron is being mobbed by photographers, he is holding his right hand high in the air, and for the first time in a long time, that poker face of Aaron’s shows the tremendous strain and relief of what it must have been like to live with for the last several months. It is over. At 10 minutes after nine in Atlanta, Georgia, Henry Aaron has eclipsed the mark set by Babe Ruth.
“You could not, I guess, get two more opposite men. The Babe, big and garrulous and oh so sociable. And oh so immense in all of his appetite. And then the quiet lad out of Mobile, Alabama. Slender and stayed slender throughout his career. Ruth, as he put on the poundage and the paunch, the Yankees put their ballplayers in pinstripe uniforms because it made Ruth look slimmer. But they didn’t need pinstriped uniforms for Henry Aaron in the twilight of his career. He looks almost the same as he did when he first came up 20 years ago.
“And so it was a memorable moment before the game, and now what a sweet moment it is here in the middle of the game. So Henry and the Babe, the two greatest home run hitters that have ever lived. And it is a marvelous, wonderful, enjoyable moment here in Atlanta.”
Sandy Koufax’s perfect game
“I would think that the mound at Dodger Stadium right now is the loneliest place in the world. Sandy fussing, looks in to get his sign, Oh and two to Amalfitano. The strike two pitch to Joe, fastball, swung on and missed, strike three. He is one out away from the promised land, and Harvey Kuenn is comingg up.
“So Harvey Kuenn is batting for Bob Hendley. The time on the scoreboard is 9:44. The date, September the ninth, 1965, and Koufax working on veteran Harvey Kuenn. Sandy into his windup and the pitch, a fastball for a strike. He has struck out, by the way, five consecutive batters, and that’s gone unnoticed…
“One and one to Harvey Kuenn. Now he’s ready, fastball, high, ball two. You can’t blame a man for pushing just a little bit now. Sandy backs off, mops his forehead, runs his left index finger along his forehead, dries it off on his left pants leg. All the while Kuenn just waiting. Now Sandy looks in. Into his windup and the two-one pitch to Kuenn, swung on and missed, strike two. It is 9:46 p.m.
“Two and two to Harvey Kuenn, one strike away. Sandy into his windup, here’s the pitch. Swung on and missed, a perfect game!”
“On the scoreboard in right field, it is 9:46 p.m. in the City of the Angels, Los Angeles, California. And a crowd of 29,139 just sitting in to see the only pitcher in baseball history to hurl four no-hit, no-run games. He has done it four straight years, and now he caps it. On his fourth no-hitter, he made it a perfect game.
“And Sandy Koufax, whose name will always remind you of strikeouts, did it with a flourish. He struck out the last six consecutive batters. So, when he wrote his name in capital letters in the record books, that ‘K’ stands out even more than the ‘O-U-F-A-X.’”
Game 5 of 1956 World Series
“Got him! The greatest game ever pitched in baseball history, by Don Larsen. A no-hitter, a perfect game, in a World Series. Never in the history of the game has it ever happened in a World Series. Only the second time in baseball history. A World Series where a perfect game has been pitched. 64,517 have seen it, millions more on television.
“Don Larsen pitches a perfect game, retiring 27 Dodgers in a row. The history of the other perfect game, and many other baseball facts, found of course in the encyclopedia of baseball, but here at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx in New York, the most dramatic baseball game ever played…
“Only one perfect game has ever been pitched, but that was in the course of the regular season. So when you put it in a World Series, you set the biggest diamond in the biggest ring. And so hats off to Don Larsen,no runs, not hits, no errors, no walks, no baserunners. The final score: The Yankees, two runs, five hits and no errors. The Dodgers, no runs, no hits, no errors, in fact, nothing at all.”
Game 6 of 1986 World Series
“Can you believe this ballgame at Shea? So the winning run is at second base with two out. Three and two to Mookie Wilson. A little roller up along first, behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight, and the Mets win it!
“If one picture is worth a thousand words, you have seen about a million words. But more than that, you have seen an absolutely bizarre finish to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The Mets are not only alive, they are well, and they will play the Red Sox in Game 7 tomorrow!”
Fernando Valenzuela’s no-hitter
“Fernando ready and the strike two pitch, is hit back to the box, dribbling to second, Samuel on the bag, throws to first, double play! Fernando Valenzuela has pitched a no-hitter at 10:17 in the evening of June the 29th, 1990. If you have a sombrero, throw it to the sky!”
Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter
“And there is one out to go. One miserable, measly out…
“Oh and two. Got him! He’s done it.
“Clayton Kershaw pitches a no-hitter, a career-high 15 strikeouts. And although it’s lost in the excitement, the Dodgers are four games behind the San Francisco Giants. Kershaw made six pitches in the ninth inning, you talk about getting it over in a hurry. He made 107 pitches in the game. It is the 22nd no-hitter in Dodger history, 12 here in Los Angeles, 10 in Brooklyn.”
Steve Finley’s division-clinching grand slam
“Oh and one the count to Finley. The outfield is shallow, the infield is up. Finley today is 1-for-4. Franklin set, Wayne ready and deals. High fly ball to deep right field! Wherever it goes, the Dodgers have won! And it’s a grand slam home run!
“I have always felt there are no words to describe a situation like this, except the roar of the crowd. And for those of us privileged to be here watching the Dodgers just about jump out of their uniform. What a finish as Steve Finley hits it into the seats in right field. And the Dodgers come up and roll a seven in the bottom of the ninth inning and beat the Giants, 7-3. And in all the storied history, and glory, frustrations and heartbreak that both of these teams have inflicted upon the other, this one had to be a killer. The infield up, the outfield shallow, and Finley hits it in the seats. And the Dodgers do the unbelievable, but then again, they’re the Dodgers!”
Yasiel Puig’s debut week
1. “And a high fly ball into deep left-center! Havana Cuba has arrived! And we have a 5-5 tie.”
2. “And a fly ball to deep right, Blanks to the track, it is gone! He has hit another one! Que viva Cuba! Viva Puig! And it’s 8-6, Dodgers, can you believe it?”
3. “And a high fly ball to right field, I don’t believe it! A grand slam home run!”
“I have learned over the years, that there comes a rare and precious moment, where there is absolutely nothing better than silence. Nothing better to be absolutely speechless to sum up a situation. And that was the moment. Holy mackerel.”
Dwight Clark’s ‘The Catch’
“Tom Landry is six yards away from his sixth Super Bowl. And of course, for the upstart 49ers, they’re six yards away from Pontiac. Third and three.
“Montana, looking, looking, throwing in the end zone. Dwight caught it! Dwight Clark! It’s a madhouse at Candlestick! With 51 seconds left! Dwight Clark is 6’4, he stands about 10 feet tall in this crowd’s estimation!”
Scully’s final Dodger Stadium call
“10th inning, 3-3, Dodgers and Rockies. Oh and one to Charlie. Swung on, a high fly ball to deep left field, the Dodgers bench empties. Could you believe a home run? And the Dodgers have clinched the division and will celebrate on schedule.
“Leave it to the Dodgers, Charlie Culberson a game-winning home run. What a moment to have it. And would you believe his first home run of the year? So the Dodgers did what they hoped to do. It was a struggle, but they won it on their own merits, 4-3. The last home run that Charlie Culberson hit would be two years ago in 2014 against Cincinnati.
“So the Dodgers for the fourth straight year have won the National League division title in the West. And what a guy to do it. Charlie Culberson, after a dramatic triple and a home run by Seager to keep them alive. So now they don’t care about the Padres and the Giants. Care not at all. And boy did it work out perfectly for the final home game of the regular season. They have a lot of work to do for sure still ahead of them.”
Scully’s final words
“You know, friends, so many people have wished me congratulations on a 67-year career in baseball, and they’ve wished me a wonderful retirement with my family, and now, all I can do is tell you what I wish for you. May God give you, for every storm, a rainbow; for every tear, a smile; for every care, a promise; and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life seems, a faithful friend to share; for every sigh, a sweet song, and an answer for each prayer.
You and I have been friends for a long time, but I know, in my heart, I’ve always needed you more than you’ve ever needed me, and I’ll miss our time together more than I can say. But, you know what, there will be a new day, and, eventually, a new year, and when the upcoming winter gives way to spring, ooh, rest assured, once again, it will be time for Dodger baseball. So, this is Vin Scully wishing you a pleasant good afternoon, wherever you may be.”
Best Vin Scully quotes
1. “Andre Dawson has a bruised knee and is listed as day to day… Aren’t we all?”
2. “How good was Stan Musial? He was good enough to take your breath away.”
3. “Roberto Clemente could field the ball in New York and throw out a guy in Pittsburgh.”
4. On Maury Wills: “When he runs, it’s all downhill.”
5. “As long as you live keep smiling because it brightens everybody’s day.”
6. “It’s easier to pick off a fast runner than to pick off a lazy runner.”
7. “Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamp post: for support, not illumination.”
8. “The only difference between a winning team and a losing team is one game. The winning team can win two out of three games—the losing team can only win one out of three.”
9. On Bob Gibson: “He pitches as though he’s double-parked.”
10. “I really love baseball. The guys and the game, and I love the challenge of describing things. The only thing I hate, and I know you have to be realistic and pay the bills in this life, is the loneliness on the road.”
11. “I’m really up to date now on Twitter. But I do think for all of you folks who are Tweeting out there, we’ve got to get something trending. Whoa, so maybe we’ve ought to get something trending about A.J. Ellis, and if you do that, you know what, I’m cool. I’m really cool.”
12. “‘That’s fertilizer,’ says Kemp, over and over. ‘That is fertilizer.'”
13. “Losing feels worse than winning feels good.”
14. “It’s a mere moment in a man’s life between an All-Star game and an old-timer’s game.”
15. “That is the way this game is — you win, you lose, you celebrate and you suffer.”
And of course, the words that are recited before each and every Dodgers game, “It’s time for Dodger baseball!”
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