Vin Scully has always been known for his storytelling abilities on the air, and at 88 years old, he still has the trick to make fans think about the combination of history and baseball.
Last week, we took a look at the top 10 Vin Scully calls of all-time. This week, we will examine Scully’s 2016 season, and the best stories that come along with it.
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How ridiculous is this?
In an era when big beards are making its way back onto the baseball scene (as they had grown in the 1970s and 1980s), Scully found it interesting enough to look up the history of why they are so appealing to the human eye. Through his research, Scully found that growing beards make women become more affectionate towards men and that the sight of beards frightened wild animals.
Another nugget Scully found was that in Greek history, there were laws condemning the use of shaving. That all changed when Alexander the Great conquered the world, for he was clean shaven.
When the Padres and Dodgers clash this season, fans have gotten to witness some intense facial hair. Scully still found it superbly easy to connect these wondrous growths of facial hair to the game of baseball.
On Survival And Perseverance
“Jackie Robinson Day” in baseball is not normally associated with animals, but Scully made this story a priority on this night.
San Francisco Giants starter Madison Bumgarner is from the rural countryside of North Carolina, where he still live during the offseason. While roping cattle during spring training in Arizona two years ago with his wife Ali, Bumgarner encountered a snake, so what was the logical motive for this roughed man? He chopped the snake to bits and pieces with an ax. After observation, Bumgarner’s wife noticed that there were two jackrabbits that had been eaten by the rattlesnake, but as Scully said: “There’s more to the story.
One of the rabbits seemed to be moving within the inside of the pieces of the snake, alive and well. The Bumgarners took the rabbit back with them and took care of it for a few days until it was nursed back to health.
For a pitcher received by many Dodgers fans as a villain, Scully touches on his soft side and the message of tenacity and toughness that was not only applied to Bumgarner’s game, but a universal lesson to anyone.
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On The Atlanta Brave Franchise
We wrote earlier this year about Scully’s memories of the games he has called featuring the Atlanta Braves.
In the interview with Braves broadcaster Chip Caray, Scully discusses a wide variety of topics, from his health to the art of quiet during games to the first game he ever broadcasted in 1950.
One of Scully’s most famous broadcasting calls came when the Dodgers played the Braves on Apr. 8, 1974. Braves slugger Henry Aaron broke the record for career home runs hit that day, and Caray, the grandson of former Chicago Cubs legendary voice Harry Caray, touched on Scully’s use of silence as the record was captured.
For anyone who needs to be caught up on the history of Vin Scully in less than eight minutes, this is the go-to video to watch.
On The Meaning Of “G.O.A.T”
What do you think Vin Scully thought when he researched this story?
To him, he probably thought San Diego Padres outfield Jon Jay used the word out of context. What Scully thought was a word was an actual phrase: G.O.A.T, or “Greatest of All-Time”.
This story would come about during the first series of the year as Jay encountered basketball superstar Michael Jordan in a shoe store. When Scully interviewed Jay about the experience, the outfielder said he had just met the G.O.A.T. Scully seemed confused, and expressed his wonder for the phrase on-air with, “Why is Michael Jordan G.O.A.T?” and, “You ever heard that?”
If Scully had heard it all in baseball, this was the tip of the cap for his farewell.
While Milwaukee Brewers infielder Hernan Perez was taking hacks against Louis Coleman on June 17, Scully brought up the situation in Venezuela, Perez’s home country.
The soundbite was important for Scully to get on the air because he wants to let the fans know that there is more in the world than just baseball. Scully noted:
You talk about giving everybody something free and all of a sudden there’s no food to eat. And who do you think is the richest person in Venezuela? The daughter of Hugo Chavez. Hello!
Sports are an escape to all of the world’s events, good or bad, and Scully realizes that it is necessary to tell the story of the concept of socialism and how its ideas destroyed yet another country.
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