Bid farewell to Vin Scully's Dodgers career with 10 of his most enthralling stories
You could build Vin Scully's legacy with his calls of some of baseball's most iconic moments -- the walk-offs, the perfect games, the World Series wins. But what made him so special, what made him America's voice, has always been all the stuff in between: his ability to fill in the gaps with bits and pieces that breathe new life into the game, day after day, for more than six decades. The man can turn a grocery list into poetry.
So, now that Dodger Stadium has said its tearful, joyous goodbye, what better way to honor Vin's career than with some of his very best yarns? Like, for example:
The time Jonny Gomes was almost eaten by a wolf
When he was 12, Jonny Gomes was doing some work on his grandmother's house when a hired hand showed up to help ... with a pet wolf on a leash. Gomes, having always wanted a dog (and also being Jonny Gomes), decided to walk up and pet it. The wolf, as you might imagine, did not react well. How does this tale end? You'll just have to listen to Vin tell it:
The time Madison Bumgarner chopped up a snake and saved a rabbit
Madison Bumgarner: Giants ace, World Series MVP, real-life Paul Bunyan. He's the perfect match for Scully: a man whose life might as well be myth, as told by a man who can turn even the most mundane details into legend. Case in point: During the Giants-Dodgers game on April 16, Vin regaled us with one of MadBum's tallest tales -- the time he hacked up a snake to save a rabbit. No, seriously:
The Beatles narrowly escape Dodger Stadium
Fifty years ago, on Aug. 28, 1966, the Beatles played Dodger Stadium -- their penultimate live performance (not including the rooftop of Apple Records, of course). After an 11-song set, it was time for John, Paul, George and Ringo to say goodbye to L.A. ... if they could escape the throngs of screaming fans. Would they make it? You'll just have to let Vin answer that:
Vin Scully's Fun Flag Facts
If baseball is America's national pastime, Vin Scully is America's narrator. And so, last July 4, Scully took the opportunity to give us a valuable history lesson about the stars and stripes. Did you know that the current version of the flag was designed in part by a 17-year-old student? No? Then watch on, and be amazed:
Yogi Berra made sure he protected himself during a brawl
Yogi Berra was a veritable fount of wisdom: It ain't over til it's over. You can observe a lot by watching. No one goes there anymore, it's too crowded. So it's no surprise that, when a brawl broke out during a Royals-Yankees game, Berra came prepared ... with a catcher's mask.
The plight of the endangered redheads
On the day noted Dodgers redhead Justin Turner selected a redheaded young fan to throw out the first pitch, Scully took the opportunity to tackle a serious issue: The survival of red hair. Vin was deeply troubled to learn that there were a finite number in the world, and they could be extinct by 2030.
But wait -- as he announced two nights later, it was all a false alarm. No, redheads will not be extinct by 2030, though Scully was a bit surprised at the "fire storm on the Internet." Stand down, everyone.
The little-known tale of J.D. Salinger, D-Day hero
On the 71st anniversary of D-Day last season, Scully spent some time between innings honoring some of the brave veterans who stormed the beaches that day. One, in particular, caught his eye: He was a young author, slated to land on Utah Beach that morning -- until the current moved his boat farther down the coast to an area less-heavily defended by the Germans, helping him survive the day. His name? J.D. Salinger.
A Dodgers fan and a Giants fan become a moral parable
The average viewer probably looked at the two young fans below and saw a couple of cute kids, enjoying their night out at Dodger Stadium. Poet laureate Vin Scully, however, saw a study in contrasts that reflected life's infinite complexity:
He thought Sandy Koufax was too tan
Vin Scully is great at a lot of things. As he explained during a game earlier this season, however, "scouting" might not be one of them.
Scully and Sandy Koufax are Dodgers institutions at this point. But the first time Vin met the lefty, he got to look in on Koufax's tryout, and he wasn't quite sold -- because he thought he spent too much time at the beach:
The proliferation of beards in Major League Baseball
One of the most remarkable things about Scully is his timelessness; his ability to fit in with any age. His career has spanned 11 different presidencies, yet he's still out here marveling at selfie technology. So when he found himself calling a start by Andrew Cashner and his marvelous facial hair, he didn't tell the beards to get off of his lawn -- he crafted an ode in their honor.
Mike Matheny owes his college career to bird poop
A testament to the fact that, yes, Scully can make quite literally anything sound fascinating. When Matheny's Cardinals visited Dodger Stadium back in 2014, it gave Scully the chance to trot out one of his greatest anecdotes: The story of how a defecating pigeon helped determine whether Matheny would enroll at the University of Michigan or go pro after being drafted.