Hear Vin Scully’s most legendary calls

August 3rd, 2022

There has never been a play-by-play broadcaster like Vin Scully, who passed away on Tuesday at age 94. His legendary voice was a constant companion for baseball fans, and particularly Dodgers fans, for 67 years. From his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950, to his final sign-off on Oct. 2, 2016, the inimitable style with which Scully brought us the game and regaled us with stories and anecdotes is unparalleled.

Here's a look at 20 of Scully's most famous calls as voted upon by Dodgers fans in 2016, the final year of his incredible career. Note that these are all Dodgers-related calls, though Scully had many great calls in games not involving the Dodgers -- perhaps the most famous of those is his call of the final play of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series between the Red Sox and Mets, when a Mookie Wilson ground ball went between the legs of Boston first baseman Bill Buckner, enabling the winning run to score for New York.

Scully also had many memorable calls in sports other than baseball, such as "The Catch" by Dwight Clark that sent the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in 1981.

Here are Scully's top 20 calls from 67 years in the booth, as voted upon by Dodgers fans:

1. 'The impossible has happened' -- 1988 World Series Game 1; Oct. 15, 1988

One of the greatest home runs in baseball history -- and one of the most improbable -- was matched by an iconic and timeless call by Scully. With the Dodgers trailing the heavily favored A's in the bottom of the ninth inning, 4-3, the Dodgers had a runner on base but were down to their final out against the game's best closer, Dennis Eckersley. The big storyline going into that year's Fall Classic was whether or not the Dodgers' best hitter and the driving force of that year's team, Kirk Gibson, would be able to play despite two injured knees.

Scully masterfully set the scene in the ninth, seizing the tension of the moment and accentuating it with the discussion of whether Gibson would pinch-hit. As the camera panned the Dodgers' dugout, there was no sign of Gibson. But when he eventually emerged, Scully uttered the famous words, "Look who's coming up."

There were so many incredible lines from Scully in those suspenseful moments -- "You talk about a roll of the dice, this is it;" and "Not a bad opening act" are just two. And on a 3-2 pitch from Eckersley, a hobbled Gibson used all arms to launch a walk-off home run into the right-field stands, sending Dodger Stadium into seismic pandemonium. Scully's call was unforgettable, as much for what he said as what he didn't say.

"High fly ball into right field," Scully exclaimed, with his tone steadily rising. "She is gone!"

Following those words, Scully didn't say another for the next 70 seconds, allowing the viewer on NBC to soak in the moment, unvarnished. It was a brilliant exhibition by Scully, and it was voted the No. 1 call of his career by Dodgers fans.

2. Sandy Koufax's perfect game -- Sept. 9, 1965

What made this call great was not only the call itself, but once again, the magnificent build-up to it that only Scully could weave together.

Koufax had already thrown three no-hitters in his Hall of Fame career, but not a perfect game until this Thursday night in early September at Dodger Stadium. Scully set the scene on the radio for those who weren't among the 29,139 in attendance.

"Listen to the whole inning, not just the last pitch to Harvey Kuenn," said Bob Costas, a Ford C. Frick Award winner who worked with Scully for many years at NBC. "Listen to the whole ninth inning of Sandy Koufax's perfect game -- the attention to detail, the perfect turns of phrase. I think it's that framing of great moments, rather than just the call of the moment itself that sets Vin apart."

Scully worked his magic to paint an unforgettable word picture.

"You can almost taste the pressure now," he said as the ninth inning got underway. " ... There are 29,000 people in the ballpark, and a million butterflies."

When Scully had worked his way to the crescendo moment, the final pitch of the game was thrown.

"It is 9:46 p.m.," Scully said. "Two and two to Harvey Kuenn. One strike away. Sandy into his windup, here's the pitch ... swung on and missed, a perfect game!"

After several seconds of just the sound of the Dodger Stadium crowd cheering, Scully continued.

"On the scoreboard in right field, it is 9:46 p.m. in the city of the angels, Los Angeles, California. And a crowd of 29,139 just sitting in to see the only pitcher in baseball history to hurl four no-hit, no-run games, and he's done it four straight years. And now he's capped it; on his fourth no-hitter, he made it a perfect game."

3. 'A marvelous moment' -- April 8, 1974

It was only fitting that in the game that Hank Aaron famously broke Babe Ruth's career home run record of 714, Scully was on the call.

The Dodgers were at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta to play Aaron and the Braves, with the legendary slugger tied with Ruth. Left-hander Al Downing was on the mound for Los Angeles, and on a 1-0 pitch in the fourth inning, Aaron crushed a Downing pitch over the wall in left-center field for the historic shot.

"One ball and no strikes, Aaron waiting, the outfield deep and straightaway," Scully said. "Fastball is a high drive into deep left-center field, [Bill] Buckner goes back, to the fence, it is gone. ... What a marvelous moment for baseball, what a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia, what a marvelous moment for the country and the world -- a Black man is getting a standing ovation in the deep South for breaking the record of an all-time baseball idol."

4. A reassuring voice in a time of national grief -- Sept. 17, 2001

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, forever changed America and the world, and amid the unspeakable grief and horror in their aftermath, the time came for the nation to, as President George W. Bush said, "go back to work." There are few voices as reassuring as the one that came through the television broadcast prior to the Dodgers' first game after 9/11.

"Good evening, and welcome to Dodger Stadium," Scully said to open the telecast. "All of us have experienced a litany of emotions, whether it would be shock, disbelief and horror, followed by grief, mourning and anger. All of us, indeed, have lost a lot. We've lost thousands of lives, we have lost some of our self-confidence. We have lost some of our freedom, and certainly, we have lost a way of life.

"The president of the United States has said it is time to go back to work. And so, despite a heavy heart, baseball gets up out of the dirt, brushes itself off, and will follow his command, hoping in some small way to inspire the nation to do the same. All of the ballplayers in the Major Leagues are wearing the American flag. Out of patriotism? Yes. Out of love of country? Yes. But more so out of duty and out of courage, and to pronounce a national firmness of will. God bless us in our efforts, and God bless America."

5. Fernandomania returns -- June 29, 1990

Fernando Valenzuela took the baseball world by storm in 1981, when as a rookie left-hander for the Dodgers, he opened the season with eight consecutive complete games, including five shutouts. Fernandomania was in full force, but it wasn't until nine years later that Valenzuela finally threw a no-hitter. Scully, of course, was on the call, and with his signature brilliance, described the moment at Dodger Stadium on June 29, 1990.

"Fernando ready, and the strike-two pitch is hit back to the box, dribbling to second, [Juan] Samuel on the bag, throws to first for the double play!" Scully exclaimed. "Fernando Valenzuela has pitched a no-hitter at 10:17 in the evening on June the 29th, 1990. If you have a sombrero, throw it to the sky!"

6. Roy Campanella Night at Memorial Coliseum -- May 7, 1959

Before Dodger Stadium opened in 1962, the Dodgers played their first four seasons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. One of the most memorable nights in that venue came on May 7, 1959, when Dodger great and future Hall of Famer Roy Campanella was honored after a car accident left him paralyzed from the shoulders down and ended his playing career.

Scully beautifully described the scene, which included a crowd of more than 93,000 people, many of whom were holding candles:

"Right now at the Coliseum, all of the lights will be turned out as Pee Wee Reese wheels the chair that holds Roy Campanella across the first-base foul line and heads him toward the pitcher's mound. Let there be a prayer for every light, and wherever you are, maybe you, in silent tribute to Campanella, can also say a prayer for his well-being."

7. 'The greatest game ever pitched in baseball history' -- 1956 World Series Game 5; Oct. 8, 1956

It's only ever been done once, and its magnitude can't be overstated. That's exactly why the perfect voice had the call at Yankee Stadium in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series between the Dodgers and the Yankees, when Don Larsen threw the only perfect game in postseason history -- it's also the only no-hitter in World Series history.

The Dodgers' Dale Mitchell was all that stood between Larsen and baseball immortality with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

"Got him! The greatest game ever pitched in baseball history, by Don Larsen!" Scully said. "A no-hitter, a perfect game, in a World Series. Never in the history of the game has it ever happened in a World Series. Don Larsen pitches a perfect game, retiring 27 Dodgers in a row."

8. Monday makes 'a great play' -- April 25, 1976

In the middle of the Dodgers-Cubs game at Wrigley Field, two protestors ran out onto the field and attempted to set fire to an American flag. But that wasn't going to happen on Rick Monday's watch. The outfielder swooped in and snatched the flag before it could be set ablaze, and Scully described another iconic moment:

"I'm not sure what he's doing out there," Scully said. "It looks like he's going to burn a flag and Rick Monday runs and takes it away from him. And so Monday -- I think the guy was going to set fire to the American Flag. Can you imagine that? Monday, when he realized what [the protestor] was going to do, raced over and took the flag away from him. And Rick will get an ovation and properly so.

"And on the message board it just says, 'Rick Monday, you just made a great play.'"

9. 'We go to Chicago!' -- Sept. 29, 1959

With the NL pennant on the line, the Dodgers and Braves played the decisive game of a three-game series to determine which club would advance to play the White Sox in the World Series. Scully had the call from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum:

"Big bouncer over the mound, over second base. Up with it is [Felix] Mantilla, throws low and wild -- Hodges scores! We go to Chicago! The Cinderella team of the National League -- for the first time in history, a seventh-place club has come back to win the pennant the following year. And it had to be the Dodgers."

10. 'He's done it' -- June 18, 2014

Clayton Kershaw is a lock to one day be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. And one of the most prominent highlights of his career, which will surely be reflected on many times when that day comes, is his no-hitter of the Rockies at Dodger Stadium on June 18, 2014. It was one of the most dominant no-no's in baseball history, coming with 15 strikeouts and no walks.

Scully, who called Koufax's perfect game 49 years earlier, was still behind the mic to call this no-hitter for Kershaw, who has often been compared to Koufax in Dodgers lore:

"There is one out to go -- one miserable, measly out. ... Oh and two ... Got him! He's done it. Clayton Kershaw pitches a no-hitter!"

Here are the best Scully calls from No. 11 to No. 20 as voted on by Dodgers fans in 2016:

11. Joe Ferguson's throw to the plate in the 1974 World Series -- Watch >

12. Fernando Valenzuela throws the first of eight complete game wins to open the 1981 season -- Watch >

13. R.J. Reynolds drops a squeeze bunt to score the winning run against the Braves in 1983 -- Watch >

14. Nomo throws the only no-no in Coors Field history in 1996 -- Watch >

15. Dodgers hit four straight homers in the ninth, Nomar Garciaparra's 10th-inning homer wins it -- Watch >

16. Controversial foul ball call preserves Don Drysdale's consecutive scoreless innings streak -- Watch >

17. Mike Piazza's second home run in 12-1 victory to knock Giants out of postseason contention -- Watch >

18. Yasiel Puig hits his third homer -- and first grand slam -- in his fourth MLB game -- Watch >

19. Manny being Manny: Ramirez launches pinch-hit grand slam on his bobblehead night -- Watch >

20. Big Mac crushes a homer completely out of Dodger Stadium in 1999 -- Watch >