Sitting down in my living room with my laptop on my lap, I turned on the television and changed the channel to the World Series pregame show, preparing myself for some more great baseball between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros. The pregame fanfare was background noise as I focused on typing out my work and debating whether or not a beer would help me enjoy game two more. Yes, it would. Once my decision has been made, I begin my journey to grab a cold one from the fridge and as I stand, I hear an absolute uproar from the fans at Dodgers Stadium. This was the kind of uproar you usually only hear after, a much-needed key out or a big home run which didn’t make sense since the game hadn’t started. The uproar was not caused by either of those things, it was something oh so much better. Vin Scully.
The broadcasting and Dodgers legend retired after the 2016 season but he was in the stadium and he was here to throw the first pitch. I don’t often care about first pitches, I usually ignore them but this made me forget all about my frosty little water, hops, grain and yeast buddy in the fridge and sit my rear back down. Scully, age 89, was the voice of the Dodgers for 67 years before retiring and of course everyone was disappointed that he wouldn’t be returning to the booth to call this world series. Though he wouldn’t be making the call, Scully wouldn’t leave the Dodger faithful without one last show, not in this moment, not on this stage.
After addressing the crowd, Scully made his way to the mound to simply throw the first pitch, right? Wrong. Scully couldn’t throw the first pitch without a catcher. He called on another Dodger legend, Steve Yeager, who was one of the three World Series MVPs in 1981 for the Dodgers. Ok, Scully has his catcher, now he’s going to throw the first pitch, right? Wrong, again. Scully teased us by raising his arm to throw when he reached for his right shoulder and informed the crowd, “Oh, my gosh. I think I hurt my rotator cuff.”
Don’t worry though, Scully had a solution to his new and completely real rotator cuff injury. (it wasn’t real, Scully’s ok). Scully turned it over to the bullpen with a specific request, “I need a left hander to come out here and help me.” And to his rescue, 1981 NL Rookie of the Year and Cy Young winner Fernando Valenzuela came out of the dugout and threw the first pitch.
Scully put on quite the show and ended it perfectly by saying his pre-game catchphrase over the stadium PA, “It’s time for Dodger baseball!”
Wow, that was awesome… oh yeah, my beer!