Vin Scully’s iconic voice on the videoboard welcomed a sellout crowd to Game No. 162, the regular-season finale, yes, and – more notably – the last of his decorated, Hall of Fame broadcasting career.
“It’s time for Giant-Dodger baseball, the greatest rivalry in all of professional sports,” Scully declared.
Scully attended morning mass in the ballpark as is his usual Sunday routine and then headed for his booth to work as he has done for an astounding 67 years – exactly 80 years after he became a Giants fan at age 8 in the Bronx.
“It was as if it was ordained,” Scully said during San Francisco’s 7-1 win that secured the Giants the second NL wild card. “I hope you’re enjoying it and I hope I’m not interrupting it too much.”
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy cherished his chance to visit with Scully last week at Dodger Stadium, and to be part of Scully’s special farewell Sunday.
“This is his last game, and we’re honoured to think he’d come up here, 80 years to the day that he became a Giants fan,” Bochy said. “That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? Not just a tremendous body of work but how long he’s been doing it and how great he still is. So it’s pretty cool.”
Fans in the sellout crowd turned to look up at Scully with their standing ovation and held signs as a Scully video welcomed fans on the scoreboard shortly before first pitch at AT&T Park, where he has been riding in and out of the ballpark on Hall of Famer Willie Mays’s golf cart and had some time to reminisce with the Say Hey Kid on Saturday.
The 88-year-old Scully politely declined any kind of on-field celebration offered by the Giants. San Francisco then jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first.
“Just as it has been for two years, the Dodgers are in trouble at AT&T Park,” Scully said. “The sun has broken through the clouds and it is shining on the Giants for the moment.”
Scully’s booth featured a special security detail all weekend, and Scully had several personal drivers to get around the city. He handled the Giants’ broadcast in the third inning, then said while San Francisco fans might consider it no big deal, it was for him, noting his appreciation of the thoughtful gesture.
Scully offered some memorable phrases early in his finale:
During Hunter Pence’s first-inning at-bat, Scully noted, “He would make coffee nervous. … He’s just been a wild man swinging the bat this series.” Scully noted later in the broadcast Pence is one of his favourite players because “he tries so hard,” but noted the right fielder is trying too hard right now.
“A room-service fly ball to Angel Pagan,” he called Adrian Gonzalez’s fly to left in the second. Later, Scully described Pagan’s “piercing eyes.”
Everybody involved seemed to appreciate the moment, being a tiny part of it or simply playing witness to the end of an era in baseball.
“It’s hard to repeat what happened last Sunday at Dodger Stadium, but the finality now, Dodgers-Giants, I know there might be a tear in Vin’s eye,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “To be a part of what he’s done in his last game, I’ll give him a little salute at some point.”
Afterward, Roberts called it a “huge honour” to be part of Scully’s finale and also “sad day, but it’s something that definitely should be rejoiced. He’s had an amazing career.”
Mike Krukow and the other Giants broadcasters told Scully how much they loved him and led Take Me Out to the Ball Game in the adjoining booth from Scully during the seventh-inning stretch.
How did Scully finish his career?
After pinch-hitter Rob Segedin flied out to left field to end the game in San Francisco, Scully spotted the umpires bidding him farewell from the field.
Scully closed his broadcast by telling viewers, “I have said enough for a lifetime and for the last time I wish you a very pleasant good afternoon.”
His work wasn’t done just yet.
Scully narrated a video of his own career highlights before he returned to the screen with a message that was taped before the game. He told viewers he’d “miss our time together more than I can say.”
Then he closed again, reciting a familiar and favourite line among Dodgers fans: “This is Vin Scully wishing you a very pleasant good afternoon wherever you may be.”Report Typo/Error