Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Vin Scully, on Memorial Day

Vin Scully, from last night's broadcast:

...to remind myself of the tremendous debt that I owe to people down through the years who served in uniform, as Chris Young takes ball one, one and oh. And I'm more concerned really for the youngsters who might be watching or listening as we take in this game today.

The one-oh pitch on the way is swung on and missed, one and one.

So if you don't mind, I'm just going to duck in a couple of numbers along the way, as the G.I.'s are here, taking in the game. And we'll start — and we're only going to use the number for the total dead and wounded — in a few of our country's wars.

The one-one pitch in for a strike, one and two.

Let's go all the way back to the Revolutionary War. There were fifty thousand dead and wounded.

Let's then move to the Civil War, and there were a lot of other wars in between.

The one-two pitch to Young is way off the plate.

The Union, in the Civil War, suffered a total of dead and wounded: 646,000. And the Confederates at least 260,000.

Two-two pitch on the way is a high fly ball into deep left center. Kemp is watching that head for the seats, and it's outta here. And just like that, the Diamondbacks have a three to nothing lead on home runs by Upton and Young.

So the D'backs are a hungry ball club. They have now hit sixty-two home runs. Compare that to the Dodgers, who have forty-one. And for Young, who is not hitting at all on the road trip, his eighth home run and his thirty-ninth run batted in.

So D'backs three, Dodgers nothing, and Gerardo Parra, a left-hand batter coming up, with a .244 batting average and seven runs batted in.

Billingsley into the windup now, the right-hander delivers, and it's low, ball one.

Let's move to World War I. The total dead and wounded: 320,518.

The one-oh pitch on the way, in for a strike.

Let's move to World War II. 1,076,000 dead or wounded, plus over thirty thousand missing.

The one-one pitch, waved at and missed.

Let's go to the Korean War. And if you're old enough to remember the Korean War, they never called it a war. They called it a police action. Police action? Holy mackerel! 128,000 were killed or wounded, with forty-seven hundred missing.

The pitch inside, two balls and two strikes.

The Vietnam War. Total wounded and dead in combat: 211,454.

The two-two pitch is swung on and missed, and down goes Parra.

In the Vietnam War, there were also about twenty-five hundred among the missing. And then just to bring it up to date, and we're going to forget about all the battles and the Persian Gulf, but the War on Terror, right now, over a hundred thousand. In Afghanistan, seven thousand dead or wounded, and in the Iraq War, over thirty-six thousand wounded or dead.

So those are the reasons we're here today, and those are the reasons why Memorial Day means so much to so many of us. And we want to make sure the little guys and girls who are coming up behind us understand what is behind this day. Not just a ballgame.

Here's the one-oh pitch on the way to Snyder....


Josh S. said...

I caught the "Police action? Holy Mackerel!" on the replay last night. That got me a little bit.

Kyle Baker said...

I thought Vin got a tad preachy/political on that line...

Technically Vietnam was never a war, either. It's not disrespecting the fallen soldiers to refer to these military incursions in a way other than war.

Wicks said...

Do you guys have what he said at the start of the game???? Something to the tune of It's the veteran not the priest who gives is pol freedom etc........

Nostradamus said...


Yeah, the whole Congressional authority to declare war was/is a bit of a roadblock (as it was intended to be, I'm sure). That's a political issue, not a military issue. Military service is military service regardless, and they've got my respect for that, regardless of semantics.