Vin Scully, Fernando Valenzuela part of Astros-Dodgers Game 2 festivities

ByArash Markazi ESPN logo
Thursday, October 26, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- Perhaps the most memorable moment of the 2017 World Series so far occurred before Game 2 at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night, when Vin Scully, the play-by-play voice of the Dodgers for 67 seasons before retiring last year, stepped onto the field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Or so we all thought.

"You know what I'm thinking right now?" Scully said as he walked toward the pitcher's mound to a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd. "Somewhere up in heaven, Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Gil Hodges are laughing their heads off. Look at who's throwing out the first ball at the World Series."

Holding a microphone in his right hand and the ball in his left as he addressed the crowd, Scully said, "There's a lot of pressure. You've been practicing for a week. Don't mess up. Oh, I need a catcher."

Scully, who will turn 90 next month, almost couldn't be heard as the crowd began chanting, "Scully! Scully! Scully!"

"I don't need a Scully," he said. "I need a catcher. Is there a catcher anywhere around here?"

Moments later, Steve Yeager, who was the Dodgers' catcher for 14 seasons and the MVP of the 1981 World Series, stepped out of the dugout and up to home plate.

"It must be terrifying for you to look out here and see me," Scully told Yeager. "I must warn you, I worked all week playing catch with my wife and she said that I had good stuff. My problem, Steve, is my fastball is the same as my changeup, so I hope that doesn't confuse you. OK. Are you ready?"

As Scully prepared to throw the pitch, he stopped midway through to reveal a curveball.

"Oh, wait a minute," he said. "I think I hurt my rotator cuff. I can't do it. I'm really sorry. I'm going to have to go to the bullpen. I need a left-hander."

Dodger Stadium again started cheering when Fernando Valenzuela, who won two World Series with the Dodgers, in 1981 and 1988, and ignited "Fernandomania" when he captured the National League Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards in 1981, stepped out of the dugout to throw out the first pitch to his former catcher.

"I feel like I'm almost defiling the mound," Scully said as he handed the ball over to Valenzuela. "I'm going to get out of the way. Fernando, see if you can get one over for me."

After the first pitch, Scully left fans with the phrase he uttered before every Dodgers game that he called from Brooklyn to Los Angeles before retiring.

"There is one thing you and I always did every day, before every game," Scully said. "So I'm going to ask you to do it on three, so they can hear it all the way to Houston. One, two, three ... It's time for Dodger baseball!"

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