Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vin Scully, on Motor City Celebrations

Vin Scully, from Sunday's telecast:

Remember the trivia question? The fact that Sparky Anderson, one of two managers ever to win a World Series in both leagues? Who's the other? And you're right on the money if you said Tony LaRussa, with the A's and Cardinals. Sparky of course won with the Reds and with Detroit.

When Detroit won in 1984 and we were broadcasting the World Series, and the Tigers won at home, that was one of the scariest days we have ever spent, as Garret Anderson singles to left field.

I mean, it's one thing to win a World Series, but there was a large group of people in Detroit who went wild. Wild! Turning over buses and cars. I remember seeing the police of two hundred in lockstep. Shields, truncheons, plastic masks, walking towards Tiger Stadium. Scary stuff.

They tore up the infield. They had big clumps of infield grass and they were throwing it up towards the broadcasting booths after the game. And I wondered what caused them to do that. I didn't know that the late Jack Buck, God rest his soul, was in the radio booth with a glove on, encouraging the people to throw the grass and dirt.

And Joe Garagiola and I were doing the game, and a big clump of dirt landed on Joe's balding head, and he was furious, and he stormed out of the booth. And I still had to read, oh, about a minute and a half copy about "This broadcast was brought to you by" and blah blah blah.

But all the dirt and clods were flying into the booth. So the last minute and a half of that final broadcast of the '84 World Series, I was flat on my back under the counter reading it while the fans were throwing the dirt up there.

Yeah...yeah, Sparky, I remember '84. Indeed I do.

Two out, Anderson at first....

photo by Jerry Wachter/Getty Images


Fred's Brim said...

That's hilarious. God I love Vin.

I got to Tiger Stadium a couple of years before they replaced it. It was quite the place. It was so enclosed, with the roofs and closed centerfield. And the broadcasting booth was nearly hanging right over the plate. Some AL broadcaster would talk about the screaming liners that would come back at them. Maybe this was hyperbole, but they said that the broadcasters were physically closer to the plate than the guys in the on-deck circle.

I also remember the concession stands. It was typical ballpark fare but the distance from the stands to the seats was so small that you could easily stand in line for dogs and beer and still watch the game, just turned around in line with your back to the stand