06 April 2012

sportscaster goodness - keeping score with vin scully in the dodger stadium dugout seats

vin scully started his 63rd year behind the microphone for the dodgers yesterday.  although he is more commonly referred to as an announcer, he is a sportscaster and in his honor i will be posting some fantastic 1977-79 sportscaster cards over the next few days or so.  the first one is a generically themed baseball card with a tie to scully himself, although i am sure that was unintentional.  i am thankful that the good folks in italy decided to illustrate their 'keeping score' card with a fantastic shot of dodger stadium.
the photo was taken from the old 'dugout seats'  that ran in a semi-circle from dugout to dugout at true field level before frank mccourt came along and replaced them in 2005 or so.  yours truly never had the opportunity or the good fortune to sit in these seats, unfortunately.  i did, however, keep score at dodger stadium countless times, using a scorecard similar to the one the smartly dressed lady is using.

i never used a pen (kudos to the lady for her confidence in scoring), and the last inning would sometimes get forgotten as the game ended and we began our trek to the parking lot, but i don't think there was a game i attended without keeping score until i was in college.

there are lots of other things that i appreciate about the picture.  certainly, the view of dodger stadium from that level is fantastic.  the fact that i can tell the dodgers are hosting the padres (thanks to those great brown and yellow uniforms) is great.  and, the fact that there is a lurking john hale on deck just makes the card that much better.  i wish i could read her scorecard better and see if hale is pinch-hitting for someone or if it were one of his rare starts.  there's really no way to know which game this is from (he appeared in 7 games against the padres at dodger stadium in 1977 alone, and surprisingly, 5 of them were starts and at least two were day games!

i also like the fact that the kid is holding the same small wax cup of pepsi that i used to clamor for at the stadium, although i regret that no one is eating a dodger dog in the photo.

lastly, i love love love that the lady is holding in her left hand her transistor radio.  those of you who never attended a game at dodger stadium in the late-1970's and early 1980's (and before that, too although i have no personal experience) do not realize just how prevalent the transistor radio was among the fans in the stands.  everybody was listening to vin scully.  he tells a couple of stories where he used this fact to lighten the mood, such as encouraging the fans to wish an umpire 'happy birthday' at a given moment.

[as luck would have it, dylan hernandez of the la times wrote a column the other day which touched on both the dugout seats and scully playfully taking advantage of his in-stadium radio audience.]

i am pretty happy to have this card.  i can imagine this lady taking pause from her scorecard as john hale waits to bat against dan spillner or some such friar, and vin scully is waxing poetic about some tow-headed kid in the stands who dropped their ice cream.

thank you, vin scully, for making it so easy to enjoy dodger baseball.

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