Alternate title: Why Vin Scully don’t need no color man.
Transcript of Vin calling the Yankee-Dodgers game on July 31, 2013, fourth inning.
I always remember the 1963 season for one reason, and I should say the World Series. Course, the season was great, too.
One ball, no strikes. One and one.
I remember going to Yankee Stadium, sitting in the dugout, talking to the manager, Ralph Houk. And he got talking about Sandy Koufax.
And Ralph said, “How good is that kid?”
Whoop, ball two.
And I said to him, “Ralph, I just hope on the national stage he can show you how good he is.”
And he shook his head and said, “Okay, we’ll see.”
Well, Sandy struck out fifteen in that game. He beat Whitey Ford in Game Four to complete it, and the Dodgers swept the Yankees.
But I’ll always remember Houk wondering, “Well, how good is he?” [small laugh] Fifteen strikeouts later.
A drive to left, Crawford reaches up to snare it, and we have one away.
People have always asked me over the years, and I tell it now, ’cause the Dodgers are playing the Yankees, about the biggest home runs I ever saw.
One of course would be Bobby Thomson’s home run, the Giants beating the Dodgers way back in ’51. Another one, Henry Aaron’s home run that broke Babe Ruth’s record. We were in Atlanta to watch that one. And then of course Kirk Gibson’s home run here.
One more — and there’s a line drive by the diving Uribe. So Soriano blisters one for a single. No score in the fourth, and Vernon Wells coming up.
In 1963, Dodgers and Yankees are going to meet in the World Series. Mel Allen, the great Yankee broadcaster, had a bad throat. It happens to all of us. And in September of ’63, the doctors told Mel, “Whatever you do, stay subdued.” You know he had that great call, “Going, going, gone,” for a big home run.
And all through September, he did just that, getting ready for the World Series. And for three games — three games — he was subdued, kept his voice down.
Vernon Wells a flare…a leaping catch by Schumaker, back to first goes Soriano. Well, if the Schu fits, play it, and Schumaker comes up with a big play on that flare by Wells. Little looper heading to right field, that would have been a big play had he not made it, but he did, so the batter will be Lillibridge. Up and at ’em.
Anyway, it was the fourth game of the World Series, 1963, Dodgers are winning one to nothing, Koufax and Whitey Ford. Doesn’t get much better than that. And Mel is on the air, and Mickey Mantle came up and hit a home run against Sandy Koufax to tie up the game one-one.
And when Mantle hit the ball, everything went for broke. Mel forgot all about the cautions about his voice and everything else, and he gave it a great — whoops! The pickoff. Soriano is hung out to dry.
So Kershaw, who has a great move to first, just has him exposed, Schumaker handles the tag. We’ll get back to Koufax and Mantle and the ’63 Series, no score.
Anyway, when Mantle hit that home run, and Mel Allen gave that great call, but it was too loud and too hard for his throat, and he just came apart.
Check swing, no swing, one ball, one strike.
Tom Gallery was the head of NBC Sports in those days. Mel tried to speak after calling the home run and nothing really would come out. I was supposed to go down to the clubhouse if the Yankees lost and I would do the Dodgers’ celebration. You’ve seen that all the time.
Gonzalez fouls it away, one and two.
However, Gallery tapped Mel on the shoulder, pointed to me as if to say, “Give the microphone to Vin.”
And I felt awful.
I’m telling you my heart was broken for Mel. I thought here on the world stage in this great moment, after a big home run by Mickey Mantle, and you can’t speak anymore?
That was a valuable lesson for me. There but for the grace of God go I. It could happen at any time, anywhere. So that one strikes a particular chord in my heart. Mantle’s home run here.
Then again it’s only fifty years ago.
Two and two the count to Gonzalez. No score, bottom of the fourth inning. Kuroda deals, and down goes Adrian. Three strikeouts for Hiroki. He’d gotten Crawford twice and Gonzalez. Ball just seems to die. That might be that shuuto, that reverse screwball.
Hanley Ramirez, with an eleven-game hitting streak, grounded out in the second inning.
And fastball, strike. Kershaw has not walked anybody. Clayton has struck out two. Kuroda has not walked out anybody until Schumaker in the third. He has struck out two. The starting pitchers tonight come in with the identical record, ten wins and six losses.
One ball and one strike. Popped in the air foul, out of play. One and two the count.
You wanted to pick up a thread of the World Series between the Yankees and the Dodgers. And you were talking about ’63. 1977, Yankees win, and remember, that was the series when Reggie Jackson hit three home runs in one game. It was Game Six.
Look out! So Ramirez strikes out, four strikeouts for Kuroda. He is really coming back to cast a spell on the Dodgers, and at the end of four, no score.
You could read this stuff like a book.