Inevitable, yes… but that doesn’t make it any easier to take. From the L.A. Times (via L.A. Observed) comes the news that the Dodgers are planning to announce today that the legendary Vin Scully’s career is indeed going to end someday. The
good great news is that his contract, which was set to expire at the end of this season, has been extended through 2008, meaning we’ve got three more glorious years with The Voice Of Los Angeles.
As a lifelong Angeleno and Dodgers fan, I can’t come close to capturing in words what Vin means to me, and dangit if I don’t almost get choked up at the very thought of a broadcast without him talking me through it. Hell, just his “Eastern most in quality, Western most in flavor ‚Äî Farmer John” spiel runs in a timeless and endless loop inside my head.
But I’ll stop short of spouting reverential lines from the ninth of W.H. Auden’s “Twelve Songs” and instead leave you with a link to history and the auditory poetry of Scully himself from a different ninth ‚Äî the ninth inning of the perfect game pitched by Sandy Koufax on Sept. 9, 1965 (via the awesome 6-4-2 Blog and Double Dog Music, which hosts the audio file).
Scully perfectly captures the tension and excitement of the final three outs, but my favorite moment comes when Koufax gets the final strike:
“Two and two to Harvey Keen. One strike away. Sandy into his wind-up. Heeeere’s the pitch. Swung on and missed! A perfect game!“
And then you know what Scully does? He clams up. For a full 40 seconds. All your hear is the crowd of going crazy and he let’s them tell the story. Brilliant. Then he comes back with:
“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 had done it four staight years and now he capped 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.”
Aw, just go listen for yourself. I gotta go get a tissue.