On This Day in 1950, Vin Scully Calls First Game for Dodgers

InsideSocal

While there’s certainly not much happening on the actual diamond these days, many fans of the Dodgers opt to get their daily dose of baseball by taking a journey through the history books.

A very significant moment occurred on April 18, 1950. A 22-year-old Vin Scully called the first game of his illustrious 67-year career with the Dodgers, detailing Brooklyn’s 9-1 loss to the Phillies on Opening Day at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park.

Despite a stacked lineup, the Dodgers didn’t have much going that day behind the arm of righty ace Don Newcombe.

Playing second base and hitting cleanup, Jackie Robinson hit a double and scored the only run for the Dodgers, crossing the plate on a Carl Furillo single in the top of the seventh inning.

Besides Robinson and Furillo, only four players had hits for Brooklyn—catcher Roy Campanella, left fielder George Shuba, third baseman Bobby Morgan and first baseman Gil Hodges.

Lasting just one full inning, Newcombe registered the loss after surrendering four earned runs on five hits.

Second baseman Mike Goliat went 4-for-4 for the Phillies with a double and two runs scored. Shortstop Granny Hamner and first baseman Eddie Waitkus both had three hits for Philadelphia.

Righty Robin Roberts went the distance and posted the victory, scattering seven hits while allowing just the one earned run with four punchouts and one walk.

Scully is considered by many to be the greatest broadcaster in sports history. In 2013, he began his 64th season with the Dodgers, the longest affiliation ever in baseball.  In August of 2015, he announced that he would be back in 2016 for a 67th and final season behind the microphone.

After studying at Fordham University, Scully served briefly in the U.S. Navy, where he was part of the radio communications program. He got his broadcast start at Washington, DC radio station WTOP in 1949, and caught his big break that fall when he stood calling play-by-play for a college football game between the University of Maryland and Boston University at Fenway Park.

Scully was noticed by Red Barber, who was the CBS network’s sports director, and a few weeks later, when an opening arose in the Dodgers’ broadcast booth as a result of Ernie Harwell leaving for New York, Scully was hired.

At 22, Scully worked with Barber and Connie Desmond. He gradually became the team’s primary announcer after Barber left to work for the New York Yankees, and Desmond became increasingly unreliable due to alcoholism. Scully first drew national attention when he worked the 1953 World Series in tandem with Mel Allen, the legendary voice of the Yankees.

Baseball fans know Scully’s voice instantly because of its smoothness. For many years, he was heard nationally calling the All-Star Game and World Series games for CBS Radio and NBC television. For NBC, he teamed up with Joe Garagiola for the Saturday afternoon Game of the Week starting in the early 1980s, while also being heard on World Series broadcasts in even-numbered years when NBC held the television rights. Scully also called NFL games on CBS television from 1975 to 1982, as well as tennis and golf events.

Among Scully’s most famous national calls are Bill Buckner‘s error in the 1986 World Series and Kirk Gibson‘s game-winning home run in the 1988 World Series.

Scully was one of the last broadcasters to work solo. Before his retirement, Scully called the first three innings of each Dodgers game alone, with the TV and radio signals simulcast, and then continued for the remainder of the game on TV only.

Scully himself said that broadcasting solo allows him to have a conversation with the listener rather than a broadcasting partner, as this created a rapport with the listener that could not otherwise occur.

Scully holds records for most World Series as a broadcaster with 28. He was also behind the microphone for 20 no-hitters and three perfect games.

Scully’s final home game was on September 25, 2016, against the visiting Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers ended up winning on a 10th inning walk-off home run by Charlie Culberson. In doing so, Los Angeles clinched the NL West Division title.

The final broadcast of Scully’s career was the Dodgers’ October 2 game at AT&T Park against the San Francisco Giants. His commentary during his final game was simulcast in its entirety on radio, instead of only the first three innings. After the game, he offered a prayer and a final message:

“You and I have been friends for a long time, but I know in my heart that 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, rest assured, once again it will be “time for Dodger baseball.” So this is Vin Scully wishing you a very pleasant good afternoon, wherever you may be.”

In 2016, in honor of his final season behind the microphone, the Los Angeles city council renamed the street on which Dodger Stadium is located “Vin Scully Avenue,” officially changing the ballpark’s address to 100 Vin Scully Avenue.

On November 18th, Scully received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House from President Barack Obama.

 

32 thoughts on “On This Day in 1950, Vin Scully Calls First Game for Dodgers

  1. Has it really been almost 4 years? Wow. I have many memories of Vin. When I truly came to love the game, he was painting the picture on radio. And for 7 innings of every game, that picture came to life. Jerry Doggett would do the 3rd and 7th innings, Vin would do the rest. Weaving the story unfolding in front of him. Back in those days, the only games televised, other than the game of the week on Saturday, were the games they played in San Francisco. And there were only 9 starting in 1962. I heard moon shots on the radio, Dick Nen’s game tying homer in 63, Sandy Koufax striking out 18 Giants. Wills running wild on the bases. Most of these were on a transistor radio under my covers. I never tired of hearing Vin. Missed him a great deal when I went into the Army. I was no where near where Dodger games were available. Once in a while we would get a game on AFRN. And it would bring back my childhood listening to him call the game. Even though we knew it was his last season, I kept hoping he would change his mind. I am not a huge Joe Davis fan, and I think Orel talks too much. But replacing Scully would be impossible for any announcer. Davis is what we have, and if you really check, that is wrong. They have 6 guys who combine to do what Scully did on his own. Davis, Hershiser, Nomar, Rick Monday, Charlie Steiner, and the new guy Tim Neveritt. Add Alana to the mix. Yep, replacing the Golden dulcet tones of Vin Scully is more than any one person could handle.

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  2. For me it was vin, Jerry Doggett, and Ross Porter, but I did like it when DD came on board, because if the team was having a bad day Don had no problem saying something about it, he didn’t sugar coat things.

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  3. Bear is right when he says no one person could replace Vinnie. I was never a Jerry D. fan, nor do I enjoy listening to Rick and Charlie. I’m a huge Ross Porter fan and I’m only sorry he was forced to retire before stats became a big thing. He always used to throw lots of numbers into his broadcasts even before it was popular. Also loved to listen to Dick Enberg when he did the Angel games. In my book, he’s another all-time great broadcaster.
    Contrary to some of you, I’m just fine with Joe Davis. I think he does a nice job and he and Orel make a good team, although Orel does tend to go on and on at times. Also think Nomar has something to contribute when they let him.

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    1. I much prefer Nomar to Orel. and I enjoy listening to Steiner, simply because he does not take himself to seriously. Monday is just one of those guys who is more laid back. Neverette is ok, but I have had enough of Alana, I do not need in game interviews at all. My favorite Steiner line, he is deader than Julius Caesar, a line he uses when a player is out by a long way.

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      1. I like Alanna, but I think she’s by far at her best when she’s just free wheeling it. I really hate her post game interviews and, although she’s never said anything about it, I think she hates to do them. They just seem very stilted. That said, they’ve got to be the toughest part of the broadcast for any broadcaster. How many different ways can you ask “how did you feel when you hit that homer?” Actually, I kind of like her in-game interviews because they seem much more relaxed than the post-game ones. Oh well, to each his own.
        I first saw her on Intentional Talk on the mlb network before she got her current gig and she was great there. She has a very sardonic personality which I love.

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      2. I saw her long before that. She used to do the same stuff for the Rockies. I just am not down with all that stuff. I know it is the way the game is presented now. I remember many nights listening to Scully do the post game interviews on radio. I would have loved to been there to see those. Mays, Musial, Aaron, Mathews all of those great players. I think most announcers and in game analyst’s now a days talk way too much.

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      3. You know that the next thing is to live mic the players and coaches during the games. How are you going to feel about that? I like it, but it’s more talking so you probably won’t.

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      4. First off, they cannot really add much to a game. I think it is ok sometimes, but they have to watch to not curse on live TV. I just do not think you have to talk incessantly, like Davis and Orel, to describe a ball game. Maybe on radio, but on TV, the action is right there in front of you, and unless you are a total novice to the game, you know who is who, and what is happening from moment to moment. So why ruin the action with some blabbering about how tight Kike’s pants are? Yep, that was a topic of conversation, not only with Orel and Joe, but with Alanna during a game last year. Please. Inane BS.

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  4. I think the director tells Alana what questions to ask, so I give her a pass when she asks some of those, questionable questions.
    I would rather watch Alana do the post game interview than David Vassegh, any day, he just seems out of sync in front of the camera, I don’t mind listening To him do the post game on the radio though.

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    1. I would bet almost anything that the director has nothing to do with the post game questions. I think that’s all Alanna. I agree that I’d much rather see Alanna do the interviews than Vassegh who from everything I’ve been able to ascertain must be an extremely nice guy. Although the players and coaches ride him unmercilessly, they all really seem to like him. And I agree that the camera seems to make him a little nervous, at least when he’s interviewing a player. I’ve seen him do some reporting on MLB tv and he seems fine there.

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  5. Hey guys … bill d here. Been watching and reading for awhile, but here’s my first comment. I will be 74 in June, a Dodger guy and Vinnie fan forever. Too many memories to recount … seems like yesterday, that I was laying in the back yard, transistor radio on my pillow, used to sleep outside most of the summer. Vin and KFI (640) every night under the stars, nothing like it. One other quick comment … I always knew it would be impossible to replace Mr Scully … just like when John Wooden stepped down at UCLA … but the Dodgers struck gold finding Joe Davis. I like him alot, and Orel, well his passion and genuine heart for the game … so glad he’s in the booth. Most likely I won’t be saying much, but I’ll be reading every word. Thanks for letting me be part!

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    1. Welcome Bill. Your opinion will always be welcome. A tad younger than you, but Vinny was my guide to baseball in my youth. I am not as enamored with Davis as some. I just think he is a Joe Buck clone, and both talk too much. Orel has passion, I will give him that. But I like Nomar as an analyst better.

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    2. Welcome Bill. Hope you’ll comment on a regular basis. All opinions are valued here, especially those that agree with mine (Joe is very good). We understand that Bear is wrong about most things, but he’s a nice guy so we put up with him. 🙂
      Those of us in our 70’s all have transistor radio/Vinnie stories we can tell. It’s a big part of our youth and a huge part of why baseball is such a big part of our lives.
      By the way, Joe tweeted a video of himself grilling a two-pound tomahawk ribeye last night. I’m salivating just thinking about how hungry it made me. He ain’t just good at announcing.

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      1. Ah, the Master Schlemming speaks. Wrong? opinions are never wrong, they are simply opinions. You get facts wrong. Bear is often also right. And I never skew the facts. I understand Davis’s popularity with some folks. I just do not share their sentiment nor their enthusiasm for the team of Orel and Joe.

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      2. I must bend to the Wisdom of the Bear, high up in the mountains of Colorado, where the elevation and lack of smog results in clarity not known by others. You speak truth, my friend. Opinions are never wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Aww gee Jefe, I am touched. I left the smog years ago and have never regretted it one bit. But just so you know, when I am wrong I admit it. I was totally wrong that AF would not go get Betts, and for what he traded and got back, it was a pretty good trade. Hopefully we will get to see Mookie play in a Dodger uni. If not, I will not put the blame on Ol Andy. You cannot predict occurrences like Covid-19. No one saw this coming.

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      1. How are you holding up there Dennis? It is like Tombstone here. Nothing moving on the streets, although there are folks up at the lake, keeping their distance and fishing. But it is pretty chilly up in them thar hills!

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      2. Know the feeling my friend. It is a ghost town downtown. Markets parking lots are full, but everywhere else, it is just nothing. Been getting some new cards. Got a 74 Jimmy Wynn. Pretty cool card.

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  6. They posted a list of available free agent corner outfielders on MLBTR. Joc and Mookie on the list naturally. I think Joc is for sure gone. Being traded, and then not actually being traded, the arbitration process. Joc will be looking to score some bucks and for a new start. He will always be considered a platoon guy. But he is at least as good as Kole Calhoun and younger. I think Mookie will get a huge offer from AF. He almost HAS to do that. Dodger fans want to see that guy in a Dodger uni, and they will have enough free cash to do it.

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    1. I agree that AF will throw a large offer at Mookie and if no one tops it I’m also looking forward to $25 Dodger Dogs.
      Still have snow up there Bear? We’re expecting 90 degree weather here in the valley this coming weekend.

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      1. No snow because it is too warm, but we have rain coming for the next several days. 25 dollar Dodger Dogs? Wow, a beer there will be close to 100 by that reckoning. Last time I was in Cali, I got a good friend of mine some Dodger Dogs from Smart and Final. Think they were about 12 bucks for a box of 18. Froze them in my cooler on the way home.

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  7. Took my boy for his first Dodger dog when he was about 5. Grilled, of course! Never has worked out to be in Dodger Stadium on $1 night … maybe next year!

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    1. Sorry Bill, just talked to Friedman and they’ve had to adjust concession prices immediately in order to stockpile funds for the Mookie bid. There will still be a $1 Dodger Dog night but it will consist of half a bun with unlimited mustard. If you want relish, onions and the actual hot dog, the price will be $25. Suggest you just take your son to Smart & Final, as per Bear’s suggestion. Also, I believe AM/PM sells them at ridiculously low prices. Do that a few times and you can by season tickets for what you’ll be saving.

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  8. Welcome Bill, nice to hear from you. Please pipe up whenever you feel like it, we love to hear from new posters, even if you don’t feel like it Jeff, bear and scoop can be pretty entertaining at times.

    I think AF will be right in the middle of the Mookie talks next off season. Mookie should be plan A, is there a good plan B, if not that could drive up Mookie’s value to the Dodgers.

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  9. My Dad never took me to a ballgame of any kind, he wasn’t a sports kind of guy, but he did take us camping and fishing, but I do wish I could have had a Dodger dog with him.

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  10. That last line sounded funny, my dad lives in Prescott Arizona now, but I would have never got him to go to a stadium with that many people.

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    1. This is your big chance Keith. Get him to take you to the first game that’s played when they start up again. You’ll be the only two fans in the whole place.
      My dad wasn’t a big baseball fan either so I went to very few games with him when I was a kid. Luckily I had other relatives and friends who were more than happy to take me.

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      1. My dad and mom split when I was 6. So I do not know if my dad liked baseball at all. I never saw him again. My foster father was not a sports fan period. When I lived at a home for kids in Highland Park was when I went to my first big league game at the coliseum. My uncle took me a couple of times when I was about 7 to see the Angels of the PCL play at old Wrigley Field. My first game at Dodger Stadium was in 1962. The home got free tickets and we sat in the pavillion. Norm and Larry Sherry lived right up the block from the home, and I met Tommy Davis when we opened our gym.

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  11. Played my Little League in San Bernardino, can still remember that first home run. Grew up with Sandy and DD … ate, drank, and slept baseball. Much simpler times back then. Couldn’t wait to coach my son, and now watch as my son coaches my grandson. He’s only 7 … wears Dodger blue everyday!

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