April 18, 1950: Vin Scully’s First Game

One of Scully’s more interesting days in baseball was Saturday, June 3, 1989. Scully was doing his usual play-by-play assignment for NBC’s Game of the Week at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, where the hometown Cardinals defeated the Chicago Cubs 6-5 in 10 innings. Meanwhile, the Dodgers were playing a series versus the Astros in Houston. After the Cubs-Cardinals game concluded, Scully caught a flight to Houston to be on hand to call the Sunday game of the series. However, the Saturday game was going into extra innings when Scully arrived in town, so he went directly from the airport to the Astrodome instead of to his hotel. He picked up the play-by-play to relieve the other Dodger announcers who were doing double duty on both television and radio. Scully coolly broadcast the final 13 innings of the marathon Dodgers-Astros game—after already calling 10 innings in St. Louis—as the game remarkably lasted 22 innings and took seven hours and 14 minutes to play. Houston won 5-4. Thus Scully uniquely broadcast 23 innings of MLB action in one day in two different NL cities. It was a feat that is not likely to be equaled or even attempted.

Over the years Scully has been given numerous important citations and honors in addition to the Frick Award. To date he has been named California Sportscaster of the Year an astonishing 29 times. The press box at Dodger Stadium has been named for him. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was the Grand Marshal of the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade. Because of advancing age, Scully rarely calls games outside of California anymore. Nevertheless, on July 29, 2014, the Dodgers happily announced that Vin Scully would return in 2015 for his 66th season of broadcasting Dodger baseball—a tenure unmatched by any sportscaster anywhere. (To put things in perspective, the Brooklyn Dodgers only existed for 68 seasons.) The official announcement was made during the second inning of an Atlanta-Los Angeles game at Dodger Stadium. The joyful fans rightfully gave the 86-year-old Scully a lengthy, heartfelt, standing ovation. Even the four umpires enthusiastically joined in the applause. “I love tradition,” Scully once joked. “It’s slightly disconcerting to have been around long enough to become one.” Later in 2014 Bud Selig surprised Scully by presenting him with the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award. Selig’s words represented the thoughts of countless baseball fans: “Just hearing your voice makes me feel better.”

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There will always be passionate baseball debates about limitless topics: who the greatest hitter or pitcher was, who the best baserunner was, and so on. But there should be no doubt as to the identity of the sport’s greatest broadcaster. It’s Vin Scully, period. End of discussion.

Brooklyn 1 @ Philadelphia 9
Game played on Tuesday, April 18, 1950 at Shibe Park
Brooklyn Dodgers ab r h rbi Philadelphia Phillies ab r h rbi
Reese ss 4 0 0 0 Ashburn cf 3 2 1 0
Shuba lf 4 0 1 0 Hamner ss 5 2 3 3
Snider cf 4 0 0 0 Waitkus 1b 5 0 3 1
Robinson 2b 4 1 2 0 Ennis rf 5 0 2 2
Furillo rf 4 0 1 1 Jones 3b 4 1 1 0
Hodges 1b 3 0 1 0 Sisler lf 4 1 1 0
Morgan 3b 4 0 1 0 Whitman lf 0 0 0 0
Campanella 3 0 1 0 Goliat 2b 4 2 4 1
Newcombe p 0 0 0 0 Seminick c 4 1 1 1
 Erskine p 0 0 0 0 Roberts p 4 0 0 1
 Belardi ph 1 0 0 0
 McGlothin p 0 0 0 0
 Abrams ph 1 0 0 0
 Barney p 0 0 0 0
 Hermanski ph 1 0 0 0
 Labine p 0 0 0 0
Totals 33 1 7 1 Totals 38 9 16 9
Brooklyn 000 000 100 – 1 7 0
Philadelphia 232 100 01x – 9 16 2


Brooklyn Dodgers IP H R ER BB SO
Newcombe L (0-1) 1.0 5 4 4 0 0
Erskine 1.0 3 1 1 0 0
McGlothin 2.0 5 3 3 1 2
Barney 2.0 1 0 0 0 0
Labine 2.0 2 1 1 1 0
Totals 8.0 16 9 9 2 2
Philadelphia Phillies IP H R ER BB SO
Roberts W (1-0) 9.0 7 1 1 1 4
Totals 9.0 7 1 1 1 4

E–Jones (1), Goliat (1). DP–Brooklyn 1. Reese-Robinson-Hodges, Philadelphia 2. Roberts-Hamner-Waitkus, Roberts-Seminick-Waitkus. 2B–Brooklyn Robinson (1,off Roberts); Shuba (1,off Roberts), Philadelphia Hamner (1,off Newcombe); Ennis (1,off Newcombe); Goliat (1,off Newcombe); Seminick (1,off Newcombe). U-HP–Babe Pinelli, 1B–Dusty Boggess, 2B–Scotty Robb, 3B–Lon Warneke. T–2:10. A–29,074.

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