Sunday, June 06, 2010

Vin Scully, with a D-Day Reminder

Vin Scully, from today's telecast:

...but I think we've been friends long enough, you'll understand.

Today, to me, is a far more important day than a baseball game. It is extremely important for those of us who have lived through it to make sure the kids in the country are extremely aware of it. And what took place on this day, June the sixth, 1944.

Oh yeah, you could just sum it up and say oh sure, Allied forces invaded Normandy. There is so much more, as Troy Glaus checks in. Ely's pitch, fastball inside, ball one.

First of all, "D-Day." The "D" in front of "Day" doesn't mean anything. It just meant the day of a military operation.

The one-oh pitch on the way, outside.

And it used to be D-Day for any military operation, but as the years have gone by, when you say "D-Day," they're talking about this day in 1944.

The two-oh pitch, fouled away.

It actually had two names. It was Operation Overlord and Operation Neptune. Overlord was the complete plan. Neptune was the assault phase.

The two-one pitch to Troy Glaus, waved at and missed, two and two.

Now before they could invade, they had to supposedly soften up the area. In April and May, Allied air forces lost twelve thousand men and over two thousand airplanes just trying to get things ready for the invasion.

Two-two, Glaus takes inside, ball three.

And then the day came, June the sixth, 1944. There were five beaches involved, in the, I think it was the Cotentin Peninsula.

Here's the three-two pitch and Glaus swings and misses and strikes out. One away.

Basically the Canadians had three beaches. They had Sword, Gold and Juno. And the United States forces had two beaches, Utah and Omaha. And of all five beaches, without a doubt, the bloodiest was Omaha.

Now, while the ground forces were going on, again, there were huge battles in the air. And there were over fifteen thousand killed, Allied, in the battle in the air.

The one-oh pitch, inside to Eric Hinske, who is hitting .323. Two and oh the count.

When D-Day finally concluded, when you include all of the people involved, the enemy, the Germans, and the Allied forces — and the pitch to Hinske inside — 425,000 men were killed.

As far as casualties are concerned — well, I shouldn't say just killed. The three-oh pitch, that's high, ball four. That included dead, wounded and missing in action.

For the United States, on D-Day, there were twenty-five hundred Americans killed, about several thousand seriously wounded and MIA.

And what is left of that gray day if we don't talk about it, if we don't convince the kids to take a moment and realize the unbelievable sacrifice that was made on this day? We would be really guilty.

The pitch at the plate is whacked to center. Kemp has a play and Matt makes the catch, and Hinske goes back to first base.

Well, I tell you what, make the trip over to Normandy, there are twenty-seven cemeteries, from Normandy straight up towards Belgium. There are 77,000 Germans buried along the way. Ninety-three hundred Americans have left themselves over there. Seventeen thousand Britons, over five thousand Canadians and another 650 Polish soldiers.

That's what they did and that's what happened on this day.

The pitch at the plate, ground ball by the diving Carroll into left field, so Melky Cabrera a single and that'll bring up Tim Hudson.

So anyway, I realize it's an intrusion, maybe you don't want to hear about something negative, but that's not negative. Any time we talk about a sacrifice in baseball, you can just about break down and laugh. The sacrifices that were made on this day in 1944, heartbreaking but at the same time inspirational.

So if you have children, please don't let the day go by. 1944, D-Day. The invasion of Western Europe.

Okay, let's get to the ballgame. Here's Hudson, two out, two on, no score, second inning....

Earlier at SoSG:


Fred's Brim said...

After Vin, who will remind the general public of things like this?. It will probably be left to just the history books.

theunwrinkledear said...

I've been in Atlanta for the last month b/c my dad is in the hospital, so i was excited that they were playing the Dodgers, as I'd finally be able to see a game. Well, right before the series began and I had to listen to the Braves commentators I realized how bad listening to them was going to be.

Reading an account like this from Vin makes me really miss what we have back home in LA. (I think I'm going to need to pay for that MLB thing so I can hear him.)

What surprised me the most about the Braves commentators was not necessarily what big homers they were (they are) but how negatively they talked about every aspect of the Dodgers (and I assume they do that for every team the Braves against, as there is no special animosity b/t these two teams.)

Even in comparison with Lyons and the other post game/ away game cover guys - those guys always talk about the genuine strengths and weaknesses of the clubs the Dodgers face; the Braves guys were just insulting and condescending.

I knew Vin was a treasure, but experiencing the flotsam that other teams put out there really put it in even starker relief for me.

Orel said...

Thanks for the comment. You're right, how lucky we are. And you might enjoy our new permanent feature, The SoSG Vin Scully Repository.

Kyle Baker said...

Let's just hope it's not left to Texas history books!

Kyle Baker said...

Orel, et al:

Thx for the newly formalized repository and handy link!

David Hargrove said...

I was listening duing this and immediately did a little reasearch on D-Day to fill in any gaps and because he whet my appetite for more! I was hoping that others were paying attention.

Vin Scully is a national treasure. Thank you for this transcript.