Vin Scully's first pitch turned into a star-studded trip down memory lane
By the time the first pitch was thrown before the Astros' wild 7-6 extra-inning win in Wednesday's Game 2 of the World Series presented by YouTube TV, there wasn't a dry eye in the building. But it wasn't because of sweat dripping down everyone's face in the 90-degree October heat: It's because Vin Scully was on hand to throw out the first pitch.
In the first World Series since Scully retired, the legendary broadcaster stepped out to massive applause. As he crossed the chalk line onto the field, he said, "You know what I'm thinking? Somewhere up in heaven, Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Gil Hodges are laughing their heads off. 'Look who's throwing out the first ball in the World Series?'" The crowd burst out in laughter -- Scully was here and he was putting on the biggest -- and best -- standup show in history.
As he walked out to the mound, a chant of "Scully!" reverberated around the stadium.
"I don't need 'Scully!'" the legendary broadcaster said as he strode atop the mound, preparing to throw. "I need a catcher. Is there a catcher anywhere around?"
Moments later, Steve Yeager emerged from the dugout and Vin was immediately back in broadcast mode, highlighting Yeager's 14-year-career with the Dodgers.
But it wasn't over yet -- Scully took the ball, went to wind up and ... stopped. A hush fell over the crowd. Scully complained of arm pain and said he couldn't do it. A nervous laugh broke out. "Sure, it was probably a joke," the crowd seemed to think. "But what if it wasn't? What horrible omen could this be?"
But Scully was back at it just a moment later as he called to the bullpen for a left-hander. A left-hander that just so happened to have pitched against the Astros in the Dodgers 1981 postseason.
That's right, it was fan favorite Fernando Valenzuela.
After Valenzuela's strike to his old batterymate, there was one more thing Scully had to do before letting the game commence. It was something he had done every day for nearly 70 years, but this time he wanted the crowd to help "so they could hear it all the way to Houston." It was "time for Dodger baseball!"
You will see fans cheer for the first pitch. You will even sometimes hear chants for whoever steps onto the mound before the game. But you have never felt 50,000-plus people explode with such a fervent love for someone who -- despite the lack of any blood relation -- is a member of their family.
Check out the whole video at the top of the post and fall in love again and tune into Game 3 of the World Series presented by YouTube TV on Friday on FOX (7:30 p.m. ET air time, 8 ET game time).