Remembering Vin Scully and his iconic work in the 1986 World Series

Earned accolades and touching memories have been pouring in since the sad news of the recent passing of legendary Vin Scully. Of the many tributes paid to the beloved baseball and broadcasting legend, one of the most remarkable and eloquent came from Gary Cohen of the Mets, emphasizing how clearly and simply Scully was the broadcast goat.

Most definitely known for his 67 years working with the Dodgers starting in 1950, Scully belonged first to Brooklyn and then to Los Angeles – an impressive double for anyone to achieve – let alone a Bronx boy. However, his impeccable work naturally led him to the national stage in several television and radio sports, especially when he was paired with Joe Garagiola on NBC’s national baseball coverage from 1983 to 1989.

This fit well with a time when the Mets were baseball’s flagship team, giving Mets fans ample opportunity to appreciate Scully’s work through numerous National Game of the Week appearances. And it was in this post that the most notable and historic intersection between the voice of the Dodgers and the franchise that helped fill the void left by their departure from Brooklyn took place, as the voice of Scully woven into the fabric of Mets history as he called one. of the most memorable World Series of all time, highlighted by one of the most spectacular comebacks in sports history which he described with an iconic call that many would consider one of his most memorable .

There was no shortage of coverage of the 1986 World Series, with two major markets and two passionate, championship-hungry fanbases. Already a notable affair, on October 25, 1986, the fateful Game 6 kicked off with a skydiver landing on Shea’s infield, and it would only get more incredible from there. The details of this tenth inning are baseball legend, familiar to most baseball fans; etched in the minds of any Mets fan who lived through it. In two runs with none and until their last out of the series, three straight singles brought the Mets within one before Bob Stanley uncorked a wild pitch to bring the tying run. Bedlam erupts in the Queens baseball stadium, as Scully leads the viewers through what would become the most memorable run in franchise history,

“Can you believe this ball game in Shea?” – With both teams making multiple runs in extra innings of a potentially decisive World Series game and the second leg even at 5, Scully’s simple, heartfelt and stunning comment confirms what we all realize – that we’re watching a classic . A moment to appreciate the ebbs and flows of baseball as the game, the streak, the season — all but decided moments before — hang in the balance once again. The endless possibilities of a clockless sport simply enjoyed as the advertiser – like all of us – wonders what might be in store next.

“A small roll first…behind the bag!” It goes through Buckner! – the sudden change in tone from the seemingly routine baseball game the announcer has seen thousands of times – his predetermined outcome – before the shock of the mistake and the ensuing realization that the Mets will complete the miraculous comeback. With a perfectly timed cut to the winning inning around the third, Scully’s surprised voice seems to carry a leaping Ray Knight home: “There’s Knight, and the Mets win!”

I watched the video more for nostalgia purposes than quote checking – between experiencing it live and watching the highlights on repeat, this call feels as much like the soundtrack to my childhood as any radio hit of the 1980s. While it’s certainly been noted many times before, the length of the silence after Knight scored before Scully spoke again is astonishing—one minute 50 seconds In this video. The wisdom to let the images of the shocked and tumultuous joy of the Mets and the Shea crowd and the stunned disbelief of the Red Sox speak for themselves, the humility not to intervene or intrude on the moment – a pure grace. And maybe give him the perfect, eloquent arc time to wrap up this gift from the baseball gods. “If a picture is worth a thousand words, you’ve seen about a million words.”

Of course, I must admit that as a child, I preferred to hear the call of Bob Murphy. He was our (brilliant) guy and shared our joy. Looking back, though, it’s special to have an immortal moment tied to this immortal. For while Dodgers fans would naturally and possessively quibble, Scully ultimately belongs in baseball. The length and breadth of his career put him in a position to make many historic moments. But what a happy coincidence to cherish that for the Mets, theirs has passed into the hands of the master.

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