Vin Scully may have started his baseball broadcasting career in Brooklyn, New York, and in fact, the Dodger announcer grew up in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood. But since the Dodgers moved west in 1958, Scully has embodied the ultimate in L.A. cool.
He proved once again Friday night that even at age 86 after 65 years in the booth, it takes plenty to ruffle his feathers when he gave a play-by-play account of the 5.1 Los Angeles earthquake without so much as a hitch in his silky voice.
The earthquake, centered southeast of Los Angeles near the Orange County city of Brea, lasted about 30 frightening seconds and though it caused no serious damage, set nerves on edge throughout the L.A. area. Except for Vin Scully’s nerves.
Vin Scully was calling an exhibition game at Dodger Stadium, which is in Chavez Ravine not far from downtown Los Angeles, about 20 miles from the quake’s epicenter. The Dodgers were taking on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the two teams’ annual pre-season “Freeway Series,” as they ready for the official Major League Baseball 2014 season opener Sunday.
And then, with the Dodgers batting in the bottom of the sixth inning, trailing 4-2, things started getting shaky at Chavez Ravine.
“A little tremor in the ball park,” Vin Scully announced, in his smooth, dulcet tones. “I am not sure if the folks felt it, but we certainly felt it here.”
After a fleeting pause, Scully added, “A tremor and only that thank goodness.” And he went on calling the game, which the players continued without further incident until the Dodgers came from behind to win it, 5-4 in 10 innings.
”I felt it,” said Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen said. ”I thought I was tripping, to be honest with you. I felt the shaking, I looked at everybody and we all were just looking at each other. Nobody said nothing. Then I said, ‘Did you feel it?’ And everybody said, ‘Yeah, we felt it.’ Then Luis, the security guy, came in and said, ‘Yeah, it was an earthquake — 5.1.”’
Vin Scully later in the game recalled the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California which struck just before the third game of the World Series, to be played at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s. That much larger earthquake delayed the World Series by 10 days.
Check out the oh-so-cool Vin Scully call of the Friday earthquake, in the video below.