Legendary Scully warmly received in return

Hall of Fame broadcaster brings out Valenzuela to throw first pitch

October 26th, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- If there's one figure in Dodgers history who needs no introduction, it's Vin Scully, which is fitting, considering for 60-plus years in the broadcast booth, he was the one doing the introducing.

Among the many things Scully was famous for during his Hall of Fame broadcasting career was his penchant for letting the great moments play out without going overboard with too much chatter. He was a master at knowing when to talk, and holding back when that moment could speak for itself.

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So it seemed appropriate that when Scully walked onto the field as a guest during the Game 2 pregame ceremony at the World Series presented by YouTube TV on Wednesday, the public address announcer at Dodger Stadium didn't say a word.

After all, what needed to be said? Fans needed about two seconds to realize what was happening, and immediately, they were on their feet, welcoming the beloved announcer, only a year removed from retirement, back to Chavez Ravine.

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The decibel level of the cheers increased with each step Scully took to the mound.

"Boy, it's a long walk," Scully said before the Dodgers' 7-6, 11-inning loss to the Astros. Fittingly, he carried a microphone with him, so he could do what he did for six decades in Los Angeles -- talk directly to the fans.

"I'm thinking right now, somewhere up in heaven, Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Gil Hodges are laughing their heads off," he said. "'Look who's throwing out the first ball at the World Series.'"

Then Scully pretended to talk to himself, giving a little pep talk as he revved up his left arm.

"All right, Scully, in front of this big crowd, there's a lot of pressure," he said. "I've been practicing for a week. Don't mess up."

"Scully! Scully! Scully!" the crowd answered.

"I need a catcher," Scully continued. "Is there a catcher anywhere around here?"

And out from the home dugout popped Steve Yeager, who played in six postseasons with the Dodgers, including four World Series.

"It must be terrifying for you to look out here and see me," Scully joked to Yeager.

Scully's first pitch turned into star-studded trip down memory lane

"I must warn you," Scully continued, "I worked all week playing catch with my wife. She said I had good stuff. The problem is, my fastball is the same as my changeup."

Then, Scully stopped short of throwing the pitch, feigning a rotator cuff issue.

"I can't do it," he said. "I'm really sorry. Like all managers in this game, I'm going to have to go to the bullpen."

Peering into the Dodgers' dugout, Scully called for a left-hander, and he got one -- another Dodgers legend, Fernando Valenzuela.

After rattling off a few of Valenzuela's gaudy numbers -- eight shutouts one season, 21 wins and 20 complete games in another -- Scully said, "Fernando, see if you can get one over for me."

Valenzuela delighted the crowd with a perfect strike to Yeager, and Scully then prompted the fans to help him finish off the ceremony with that signature call so familiar at Chavez Ravine.

"I'm going to ask you to do it on three, so they can hear it all the way to Houston," Scully said. "One, two, three -- It's time for Dodger baseball!"

Star power wasn't limited to just Dodgers legends. The anthem was performed by award-winning country music singer Brad Paisley, who in his career has sold over 12 million albums and won three Grammy Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association Awards and two American Music Awards.

Before the first-pitch excitement, the pregame ceremony included a moving tribute to six veterans of the Vietnam War, all California natives, as part of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, which began on Memorial Day 2012 and concludes on Veterans Day 2025.

The colors were presented by Marines from the Marine Corps Recruiting Los Angeles Metro Station, and the U.S. Navy provided the flyover.

The game ball was delivered by Alanna Moore, 17, from the Challengers Clubhouse of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles. She was escorted to the mound by Dodgers legend Steve Garvey.