Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Gold Standard, and Still Going Strong

Vin Scully, in his 57th season as an announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers, returned to New York yesterday. And once, again, all the Hall of Famer needed do was speak to remind what national treasures both he and his golden pipes are.

Scully's presence makes the postseason complete. What better forum for one who's graced the booth not only during 18 no-hitters, but seven Dodger World Series?

Scully transcends time. He can paint the present-day game as eloquently as any voice on the air. And he can take you back, as he did yesterday when discussing the legendary 1951 playoff game between Brooklyn Dodgers' Ralph Branca and the New York Giants' Bobby Thomson.

Bedside reading prompted Scully's memories. He's currently devouring Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thompson, Ralph Branca, and the Shot Heard Round the World, a new book by Joshua Prager.

"I knew those guys," said Scully of all the writers whose works Prager quoted.

Scully knows the story, too. He lived it that day Thomson's walkoff home run gave the game the moment forever known as The Shot Heard Round the World.

Yesterday he relived it as if it were, well, yesterday. And he described the outfield fence peephole where the Giants allegedly inserted a telescope to read opposition catchers' signals, the supporting players, from the electrician allegedly who rigged the crude, battery-operated relay signal system, you were there.

That's magic. That's Vin Scully.

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