Advertisement

Scully Has a Night to Cherish

September 20, 2006|Larry Stewart | Times Staff Writer

A day after one of the most improbable victories in the history of the Dodgers, Vin Scully felt like so many of those who either saw it live at Dodger Stadium or on TV.

He still couldn't believe it.

"I'm not sure in what column you rank this game, but it had to be one of the greatest games in relationship to fan enjoyment," said the Dodgers' Hall of Fame broadcaster.

"What amazed me as I was leaving about 10 minutes after the end of the game was all the noise and the honking horns from the fans. It was like V-J Day," he said, referring to the end of World War II and the U.S. victory over Japan. "They were crazy with joy.

"I think one reason for that is there is nothing in baseball quite as electric as a home run. Another reason is because it was so unexpected. Here is a team with the least home runs in the league, so four home runs in a row would be the last thing you would expect.

"It was like an outrageous comic doing 'Hamlet.' "

Scully has held Dodgers listeners in awe for 57 seasons and is often called the best baseball play-by-play man in history. He has done so many big games, so many dramatic games, and yet his strongest moments are often without words, letting the roar of the crowd take over. It was no different Monday night.

In the instant that Nomar Garciaparra connected with his winning home run in the 10th inning, Scully's voice was there to take his listeners on that flight.

"And a high fly ball to left field, it is a way out and gone. The Dodgers win it, 11-10.

"Ohhuhu ... un-be-lievable!"

Then silence.

Except for all that noise from the fans, and the players, hooting and hollering en masse at home plate. Vintage Scully.

Then, just as those watching, perhaps still in disbelief, began to realize this was baseball history, just as the emotion built in the throat as the fans kept cheering, Scully finally spoke.

"I forgot to tell you. The Dodgers are in first place."

Scully equated the game to Kirk Gibson's home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, but cited one difference.

"Here, there was time for fans who had left the stadium to come back in and see the end."

As a broadcaster, Scully, 78, is the ultimate professional -- he is not a "homer" who roots for the Dodgers on the air.

That doesn't mean he is devoid of emotion. And that doesn't mean the adrenalin wasn't still flowing when he got home.

He said he got to bed about 12:35 a.m. but had a tough time going to sleep.

"I don't know how long I tossed and turned," he said. "I just couldn't turn off the game. I kept seeing balls and all these plays.

"And you know what? This game was worth being kept up for."

*

larry.stewart@latimes.com

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|