Sunday, September 25

Vin Scully, Babe Ruth and Baseball History

There will be many people who will say many more things about Vin Scully as he enters his last week as the Dodgers broadcaster, and most will say it all much more eloquently than I ever will. I wanted to relay one story while it was fresh on my mind, and while I can't stop thinking about it.

I watched Vin's last broadcast from Dodger Stadium today. Vin was in fine form, telling some amazing stories. This man is a monument to the game of baseball. Sure, the game will outlive him, as it will outlive all of us, but one story really made me think about Vin Scully's long reach into baseball history.

Vin was telling a story about being at the Polo Grounds as a kid. I don't recall if he mentioned a year, but since he was born in 1927, it's safe to say he was a "kid" in the 1930s. He said that during the game, all of a sudden there was a ruckus out in the upper right field stands. So, being a kid, like all kids, he ran to the scene to check it out. There, was Babe Ruth. Retired from baseball, just there at the game. The Babe wasn't signing autographs that day. Instead, he was handing out business cards that contained his signature. Vin did not mention whether the card had anything else on it, or if it was just a white business card with a signature.

Vin finished the story by saying that he got one of the cards that day at the Polo Grounds.

What happened to the card? Vin said he has no idea, that he lost it somewhere along the way. Here is a man, retiring from the Dodgers broadcast booth after 67 years, and this man met Babe Ruth in the 1930s at the Polo Grounds. It's mind-boggling to think about, even as I write these words.

 It is fun to think back on the great Dodgers (Brooklyn) and Yankees rivalry and think about all the great teams and the great games that Vin saw and got to broadcast. But I'm still struck by the fact that as a little red-headed boy back in New York in the 1930s, Babe Ruth had a card with his signature on it, and he handed it to that little boy, who close to 80 years later would be telling that story during a Major League Baseball game.

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