LOS ANGELES -- Since stepping into the shoes of iconic Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully in 2017, Joe Davis has called play-by-play on two World Series, a combined no-hitter in Mexico and just about every ridiculous Cody Bellinger achievement.
But the call he considers his most memorable is an upset. It occurred on Sept. 22, 2019, in a 7-4 win over the Rockies that provided the Dodgers with their 100th victory of the year.
Ordinarily, the highlight of a game like that one would have been the second grand slam of the season for Bellinger, who would go on to become the National League MVP.
But the call Davis remembers best came in the fifth inning, when pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, on an 0-2 fastball from Antonio Senzatela, walloped his first MLB home run that included an epic bat flip for good measure.
Here’s Davis providing the back story:
“There have been so many incredible moments of the last few years, the team’s been so good, I don’t know if this would be my best call for a resume reel or an Emmy,” said Davis. “But the most special, the most fun, was Ryu’s home run.
“The call is, whatever, not a spectacular call, but Orel [Hershiser, analyst and Davis’ partner] and I had jokingly talked about it the entire season. You could go back to Opening Day [which Ryu started], and we were predicting he would hit one. Those of us who are around batting practice see how he swings, and we would joke every time he came up that this would be the time, and then it actually happened. It’s the only time Orel and I both stood up and high fived, just the incredible feeling it had actually happened.”
Ryu came tantalizingly close to a home run on May 25, 2019, in Pittsburgh with a double high off the wall. Davis was calling that game, but nationally for FOX, not with Hershiser for Sportsnet LA.
“I’m really glad that ball didn’t go out,” Davis said. “Part of what made it special when he did hit one is that we were in the booth, because it really had been a running joke all season. It wouldn’t have been as special for me if I hadn’t been on the air with Orel. Anybody who watches BP every day, you see the huge swings he takes and you know he has the ability to do it, but I don’t know if we ever truly believed it would happen until it did.”
For runner-up, Davis cited what he called his “absolute madness” call of the Dodgers’ 6-5 walk-off win over the Phillies in 2017.
“It was my first month or so on the job after Vin,” said Davis. “It was maybe the first time where the fan base seemed to say, ‘Hey, maybe this kid is not bad.’ Because of that, it will always be special to me.”