A few weeks ago one of those stupid viral thread posts went around talking about the celebrities who were actually great in real life, the true national treasures.
If we ever did something like that for the world of sports media, we could write one name in right now: Vin Scully. Truly a legend in the field, Scully is now 93, a few years removed from calling his last game for the Dodgers. He’s still active with various projects; just this week he was featured in a documentary on Gil Hodges, making the case for why the late Dodger great deserves enshrinement in Cooperstown.
Along those lines, Scully shared a story on Twitter today he told to Michael Schiavello for a different project. In a two-minute video, Scully describes the ways in which he adjusted his ninth-inning calls during potential no-hitters, knowing that the pitcher in question would be getting a tape of it if he accomplished the feat, and that he’d likely be revisiting it for years. It’s enthralling, as you’d expect when one of the great storytelling broadcasters in history takes the time to reveal a bit about his craft.
Here's a story I shared with @SchiavelloVOICE, the author of "The Commentators: 100 Years of Sports Commentary" about calling no-hitters, including Sandy Koufax's perfect game. Now I'd like to share with all of you. pic.twitter.com/DWiCXNaAsQ
— Vin Scully (@TheVinScully) November 10, 2021
Hearing Scully describe how he felt the need to make a Sandy Koufax perfect game stand out even more than his normal no-hitter tactic, leading him to improvise timestamping the inning as it went along, is fantastic. The reveal that in the aftermath Scully received adulation for how that move made proceedings feel impossibly dramatic is also great, but the best part is Scully downplaying it with a smile as something he merely lucked into.
That may be true, of course, and his modesty is admirable. But it’s a pretty clear example of what happens when someone like Scully (if anyone like that exists) trusts his instincts for how to capture a moment in sports; even the unintended outcomes tend to work out for the best.