“As the excellent ongoing radio voice of the Chicago Cubs, Pat Hughes has a deep and expert appreciation of the craft of baseball broadcasting…Who better then, to compile this valuable and truly enjoyable archive?” – Bob Costas
This can’t be a complete list without VIN SCULLY, just retired as the Dodgers long time announcer, perhaps due to some kind of legal rights OR Hughes will probably eventually get to this and others, too. So many great voices we grew up with.
9-25-16 Following Dodger’s Charlie Culberson fitting walk-off homer in last Dodger game he would broadcast, legendary announcer Vin Scully gives one last ‘thanks’ to fans singing ala Harry Carray ‘Wind Beneath My Wings.’ Is that really Scully singing?Pretty nice voice! All round talent will be missed
VIN SCULLY – The Last Class of Another Era Says Goodbye
‘Mr Story Teller’ personified 1950s ‘Happy Day’ values he grew up with-
– the consummate professional maintained a humbleness you no longer see
Dodger baseball announcer announced 67 years for the Dodgers – longer than anybody. Scully announced 53% of all Dodger games going back to the beginning- 1800s. Incredible!
Only Vin Scully could get away with saying whatever he wants. Because who he is and because he says it right – in a nice, constructive way.
Whether it was his comment about Venezuelan socialism or telling the Giants Brandon Crawford how NOT to slide, we loved hearing it from Vin.
Vin made us comfortable. Even though he’d been one of the few ‘non-homer’ announcers still going, he would make Dodger fans feel better in a loss just by hearing his dulcet tones. Scully made you feel good not only about baseball but about life. When things got bad he would remind you that there’s a lot more to life than the kid’s sport – even though Scully still refers to himself as the eight-year-old kid getting to do what he always wanted – for 67 years!
The ‘Master Story teller’ made you feel good about baseball and life – even if the Dodgers lost. He brought class from another era you don’t see much anymore. There are other good sports broadcasters but , still, nobody will probably ever fill Scully’s shoes.
Regarding the Venezuelan comment, Scully made headlines earlier this year not for a sports event but for a comment he made about Socialism in Venezuela. After talking about a particular player from Venezuelan he bemoaned the fact that ‘socialism doesn’t work, ‘ while expressing his sadness for this player and others from Venezuela because of the state of the government there. ‘We know that socialism doesn’t work’ or wordsto that effect. Any other sports announcer would likely not touch such a topic or get excoriated. Not that Scully does it often. He pretty much stays right withbaseball, but shows great interest in the human side of the players, and this comment derived from that interest
The other recent above mentioned note was when Scully recently offered constructive criticism for the Giants’ Brandon Crawford’s sliding ability. He first , however , made some very positive comments, noting Crawford’s exceptional skills in the field and at bat but then questioned the head first slide that cost Crawford to leave the game and be out a fwe days after getting scraped up on the hands and face. ‘Players are taught anymore not to slide head first,’ said Scully.’
Giants September mini-surge by some players shows Bumgarner and others appear to be drinking the Kool-aid again while displaying that Bondsian arrogance (Bumbarner) which cost the Giants a big game against the Dodgers. After a lack-luster July and August , Bumgarner once again has suddenly improved in September ala past years not only pitching but hitting monster home runs in batting practice, Meanwhile, not all this year but some of the usual ‘September surgers ‘ are back at it , hitting well above their normal averages, notably Hunter Pence (.350), Brandon Belt (.350) with newcomer Eduardo Nunez (.380) and even bench player Ehire Adrianza (.300). Whether it’s enough for the Giants semi-annual unlikely push to the playoffs this time we ‘ll soon find out
Even though I grew up in California I was a Minnesota Twinis fan as a kid and Harmon Killebrew was my favorite player. Even as a 12 year old I could see something special about him. He was the ‘gentle giant’ . I remember trying to hook up the TV antenna to get reception so I could see the Twins play on the Saturday Game of the week with Dizzy Dean announcing.
Golden Era of Baseball
Back then there was one game a week and usually a snowy picture on channel 13, which was the only channel carrying teh game, out of Sacramento.
The Twins had their own ‘Murderers Row’ with Killebrew, Bob Allison, Earl Battey, Don Micher and others..
Harmon could play thrid base or first base. But it was his power hitting that made him special – and it was all natural, Idaho-raised Potato Power, if you will. Yes, he struck out a lot, but then home run hitters do. But , when he did catch one it was usually no fluke.
I remember one of those TV games where the Twins hit four homers in a row. Pretty unheard of these days but back then you’d even have a single player hit four homeruns, such as Willie Mays, hometown hero.
One low point came when Harmon had an unfortunate accident in the 1965 All-Star Game, I believe it was, when he did the splits stetching out for a ball , while fielding first base. He was out the rest of the year, as I recall, and that was one of the few years he didn’t hit 40 homers ; Killebrew was the only player to hit 40 or more in 11 or more seasons, other than the Babe himself. Something to say for consistency. By comparison, Barry Bonds, regarded by many as the greatest player of the recent era, only hit 40 homeruns one time thru his first eight years, at Pittsburg; only after coming to San Francisco and becoming the lead instigator at ‘win at all costs, even if it means putting performance-enhancing drugs in your body. I doubt that even if Harmon were playing in this era he wouldn’t have considered doing such, himself.
It was a real thrill when Killebrew came to Oakland in the 80s, I blieve, to become part of the broadcasting team. He was as good a person as he was a ballplayer, maybe better. Soft-spoken, he was also known as ‘Humble Hjarm.’
In more recent years he has had health problems. The first time he said that if he got thru it he woudl dedicate the rest of his life to helping kids with similar health problems. That he has done, very quietly.
HARMON KILLEBREW PERSONIFIED BASEBALL’S GOLDEN ERA OF THE 1950S AND 60S
It was a sad day about 5 years ago when Bob Allison passed. Allison was like Roger maris was to Mickey Mantle, MoCovey to Mays. I thought about mortality and was glad that at least Killebrew was still around.
Haven’t heard much of Killebrew in recent years. I just happened to be turning down the radio dial and happened to hear a guest on a sports talk show talk about knowing Harmon and what a great guy he is. I was happy to hear the word ‘is’ because, for awhile I was afraid it was going to be a eulogy. You know how you don’t hear of someone for awhile and then suddenly it’s only when they pass that they’re heralded again.
I never heard the full detailsl on the radio show, other than how nice a guy Harmon was, as I tuned in late. I had to check the internet to find out that Harmon has had esophogeal (sp) cancer since December, 2010 and, that after initially being given a good prognosis, had decided to check into hospice for his remaining days. He had accepted this as you might exepct from a guy like him, expressing his gratefulness to his family and friends, and fans for their best wishes.
Harmon is only 74, which seems pretty young as U am older now. A lot of my boyhood idols lost the lustre as the got older, doing foolish things. Not Harmon. He’s always been the gentleman and fan favorite, on a team with many great guys… Versailles, Rollins, Carew, Pasqual, Kaat, Blyleven.etc. Those were some teams.
1965 was about the last year I could take time to follow the Twins as teenage-hood brought on many unwanted responsibilites. But it was a miracle year and couldn’t have been more exciting as my farefwell to baseball as a kid. I decided to start a fan club for the Twins. Ran an ad in Sport Magazine and ended up with over 200 members. Even Calvin Griffith, owner of the team, would answer my letters to him, which I still have somewhere. I didn’t agree with a lot of his ‘secret ‘ decissions’ such as bringing up players who would never make it. Fortuantely, there must have been a GM that made most of the decisions, as the Twins went on to make it to the World Series that year! I always say that I take partial credit for their first -ever entry into the series with my little fam club. I was even given a baseball, autographed by the entire team. But, like the gullible person I can be, I agreed to sell it to one of the fans, mailing it even before I got the money. Never did get the money….
So, Harmon, here’s to a great career and life and hope for oas many more peaceful, comfortable days as possible. I’ll be thinking of you daily and will never forget the greeat joy you breought me and many others , both as a boy and adult. They don’t seem to make them like you anymore. Thanks.