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Vin Scully really did race Jackie Robinson on ice skates

vin-scullyDuring a Los Angeles Dodgers broadcast back in May of 2012, legendary announcer Vin Scully told a short story about the time he raced Jackie Robinson on ice skates. Scully, who fancies himself an avid skater, said he took a trip to a resort with Jackie and his wife Rachel when he decided to go skating. Jackie offered to go with him, though he had never been on ice skates.

“Now Jackie’s putting his skates on alongside me in the dressing room and he says, ‘When we get out there I’d like to race you,’” Scully recalled. “I said, ‘Jack, I didn’t know you ice skated. You’re from southern California, I knew football and baseball but I didn’t know ice skating.’ Jackie said, ‘I’ve never been on skates in my life.’

“So I started to laugh and said, ‘Hey, Jack, let’s face it — I’m not a great skater but I can skate.’ He said, ‘I know. I want to race you because that’s how I’m going to learn.’ If you’ve never been on skates before, the first thing you do is walk on your ankles. And, sure enough, he was running on his ankles on the ice trying to beat me.”

Scully may have been 85 years old at the time he shared that story, but this is a man who still very much has his wits about him. And now, we have photo proof.

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Vin Scully: Brian Wilson’s beard reminded me of Smith Brothers cough drops

Brian Wilson Smith Brothers

Vin Scully truly is one of a kind.

The legendary Dodgers announcer regularly brings up the level of sports broadcasting with his combination of historical references, poetic language, and masterful storytelling. On Monday night, the 85-year-old broadcaster sent fans scrambling to their search engines to understand one of his references.

Per Pedro Moura and others on Twitter, Scully said that Dodgers relief pitcher Brian Wilson reminded him of a Smith Bros cough drop box:

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Vin Scully doesn’t understand hashtags or Dog TV (Video)

Vin Scully was in peak form on Wednesday night when doing a read to promote a Twitter poll.

Prime Ticket wanted fans to say whether they preferred watching games in a hitter’s or pitcher’s park, and the fans were asked to vote using a hashtag. The result was a fantastic rant by the legendary 85-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster, who wondered aloud what the heck a hashtag was.

“Can I ask you an honest question? What in the world is ‘hashtag?’” asked Scully.

The true golden part of Scully’s comments came when he segued into a rant about Dog TV, which is a new channel in San Diego on Cox TV and Time Warner. It’s a channel dedicated to 24/7 programming for dogs, aimed at dogs who are at home by themselves.

“It is to comfort pets when the owner is not at home,” a perplexed Scully explained.

But the real gem of the highly-amusing minute-long speech from Scully came when he got down to the bottom line.

“How do you sell a sponsor to a pet?”

Don’t worry, Vin, I’m 29, use Twitter and social media for my profession, and I still don’t get what a hashtag is. I also wonder about that Dog TV, too. You’re not alone, my friend.

Want more awesome Vin Scully broadcasting moments? We’ve got you covered.

- Vin Scully lip-reading an ejection in hilarious fashion

- Vin Scully baffled by teams’ inability to execute a rundown

- Vin Scully joking about Jack McKeon’s lack of Twitter knowledge

Vin Scully supposedly turned LA against Mike Piazza in this interview (Video)

Vin Scully Mike PiazzaMike Piazza ventured into a territory generally considered off limits when he criticized iconic Dodgers announcer Vin Scully in his new book, “Long Shot.”

Piazza’s book was released this week, and news outlets have been sharing various excerpts from the autobiography. Many of the reviews have been positive, such as when it was revealed Piazza began taking karate lessons to prepare for a fight with Roger Clemens. But there has been backlash toward Piazza for his criticism of Scully.

According to the Los Angeles Times, in his book, Piazza blames Scully for turning the city of Los Angeles against him during his contract dispute with the club in 1998.

Piazza was in the final year of a two-year, $15 million deal and wanted a large contract extension. He was believed to be seeking a seven-year, $105 million deal from the team. The Dodgers were supposedly offering a six-year deal worth either $76 or $80 million, depending on whether you believe the team or Piazza. Piazza’s representative had set a Feb. 15 deadline for the team to reach an agreement with him that was not met. The contract dispute led to the Dodgers trading Piazza to the Florida Marlins in May, who in turn dealt the catcher to the New York Mets eight days later.

According to the Times, Piazza says Scully expressed displeasure with the “ultimatum” during an interview for Dodgers TV partner KTLA in 1998 (seen below):

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Rainbow appears by Dodger Stadium on Vin Scully Bobblehead night (Picture)

The Dodgers honored Vin Scully with a bobblehead giveaway on Thursday night, and the heavens honored Scully in a way he deserves: with a beautiful rainbow. The Dodgers shared the amazing photo you see above from their Twitter account on Thursday, the night the Hall of Famer was honored.

The team had been trying to do a Vin Scully bobblehead giveaway for years, but the veteran broadcaster wouldn’t agree to it. He finally relented because it’s Dodger Stadium’s 50th anniversary. The bobblehead apparently was a big hit among his family.

“They think it’s hysterical really,” Scully told the LA Times’ Helene Elliott. “There’s no honor in your home. But they will all have to to remember grandpa, if nothing else.”

Scully also had a unique first pitch that fit in perfectly with his thoughtful and classy style. Rather than throw the ball to manager Don Mattingly, he involved 15 of his 16 grandchildren:

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News anchor Rebecca Hall talking about Vin Scully: ‘Get your sh** together’ (Video)

Dodgers fans had plenty to be excited about over the weekend. For starters, their team pulled off one of the biggest transactions in MLB history and brought huge names Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to L.A. in a trade with the Red Sox. As if that wasn’t enough of a gift, the team later announced that legendary commentator Vin Scully will be returning next year for his 64th season on the job. What would a championship contender be without Vin?

As you can see from the clip above that Jimmy Traina shared on Twitter, one particular news anchor found herself a bit too excited about the Scully news. Big League Stew has identified the young lady as KTLA’s Rebecca Hall, and if you didn’t know who she was prior to this weekend you should get used to seeing her face over the next couple of days. Who typed the s-word on the teleprompter, dammit!?

Hall may not have embarrassed herself quite as badly as this news anchor did during the NBA playoffs, but it’s a blunder she’ll likely be hearing about for the rest of her life.

Vin Scully once considered Yankees announcing job

Vin Scully has been one of the most stable forces in baseball over the last 63 years. The legendary announcer is synonymous with the Dodgers after calling the team’s games since 1950 and moving with the organization from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. It’s difficult to imagine Scully as anything other than the Dodgers announcer and, while he says he never really came close to leaving the team, he did consider an offer that would have drastically changed the landscape of baseball announcers.

In a lengthy podcast interview with SI’s Jimmy Traina, Scully discussed being presented with an offer to announce Yankees games. The tidbit is mentioned in Scully’s Wikipedia page and was written about by Keith Olbermann a few years ago, but listening to the podcast was the first time I had heard about it.

Traina asked if Scully ever came close to leaving, and that’s when he mentioned the Yankees.

“Well no, not really leaving,” Scully told Traina. “I did many many years ago, shortly after we moved to California. A friend of mine in the advertising business who had to do with the Dodgers and other teams because of the major sponsorship, and he asked me if I would consider coming back to New York to broadcast the Yankees. He said, ‘Why don’t you think about it and let me know?’

“My heart was where I was. I was settled, and I said ‘I really do appreciate it, and I have nothing but admiration and respect for the Yankees, but I’m going to stay where I am.’”

Scully told Traina that he could have easily stayed with either ABC or NBC, for whom he broadcast other sports on a national stage, but he did not want to give up the Dodgers.

“There was no real tug in any other direction,” Scully said. “I felt I had found my home, and I was really reluctant to leave.”

Scully rarely does interviews of this length anymore, so it was a real treat to hear him answer so many questions. He talked about blending in with today’s digital age and his brushes with Twitter. He talked about learning what a soul patch and mullet are. He also discussed many aspects of his broadcasting career and philosophy.

Scully told Traina he accepted jobs calling golf and the NFL nationally because he wanted to challenge himself, and that he decided to end his time calling football after broadcasting Dwight Clark’s “The Catch,” figuring that was an excellent point to leave. The Hall of Fame broadcaster also explained why he believes a one-man booth is the best approach, why he doesn’t listen to other announcers, and why he doesn’t fraternize with the players much.

The entire interview is well worth a listen.