MLB Network replayed the Sept. 19, 2006 game in which the Dodgers hit four homers in a row in the bottom of the ninth to tie the Padres. I remember that game very well. I was living in Sweden at the time and had MLB.com and could watch and listen to the games on-line. But the time difference (nine hours) made it very weird. I used to wake up around 6am and catch the ends of the Dodgers’ games on my computer.
That morning in Sweden, I was drinking coffee and turned the game on in the eighth inning . Vin recaps this late-season battle between teams tied for first as being ‘a roller coaster ride from depression to euphoria, with all the stops in between.’ The Pads get four runs in the first inning and the Dodgers slowly claw back until it’s 6-5 Pads at the end of eight innings.
In the top of the ninth, the Padres score three to make it 9-5. Things don’t not look good for our boys as the bottom half of the ninth begins and ‘fans’ are streaming out to the parking lot.
Then Kent slugs a dinger to dead center. 9-6. OK, no big deal. The J.D. Drew pulls one out to right center. 9-7.
Vin slips in, ‘What was that line? Do not go gentle into that good night.’
From Dylan Thomas to Trevor Time. On Trevor’s first pitch Russell Martin smashes a shot over the left center field wall. Vin is quiet and lets the crowd noise tell the story. 9-8. The camera shows stunned people in the parking lot turning around and coming back toward the Stadium.
‘The Dodgers are still a buck short.’ says Vin.
Marlon Anderson crushes Trevor’s next pitch out on a line.
Cheers, screams, disbelief, and Vin, ‘Believe it or not, four consecutive home runs and the Dodgers have tied it up again!’
I’m going absolutely crazy in Sweden. Cannot believe what I just saw and heard. I was at the Stadium when the Boys hit three in a row once. but this is amazing. My kids and wife are awake and wondering what is wrong (or right) with Papa.
Of course it can’t last and the Padres come back again to take a one-run lead in the top of the tenth. At this point it almost doesn’t matter who wins. I’m exhausted.
Then Nomar’s two-run blast wins it, and talk about emotional roller coasters…
Vin is quiet for a long time. ‘Unbelievable,’ he says. A long pause. ‘I forgot to tell you. The Dodgers are in first place.’
Right on the heels of being chosen top sportscaster of all time by the American Sportscasters Association, Vin will be inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place at a NAB luncheon in Las Vegas in April.
I first got fascinated with listening to Vin during the summer of 1977. I was attending UC Santa Barbara and was ‘between apartments’ for the summer, so my good friend Dave Gutierrez let me sleep on a cot on his balcony on Abrego Ave. in Isla Vista.
Vin Scully was just chosen as the top sportscaster of all-time by the American Sportscasters Association. Their list of the Top 50 Sportscasters of All Time was recently released by that organization with very little fanfare. It’s a good argument starter with baseball announcers Mel Allen, Red Barber and Curt Gowdy joining Vin in the top 4 spots (with Howard Cosell as number 5).
“I followed Mel’s lead. He started to count the outs, he handed the baton to me, I picked that up.”