Of all the stories in Tom Verducci’s profile of Vin Scully in this week’s Sports Illustrated, this has to be the most incredible.
In high school, Scully was friends with a guy named Larry Miggins, and in his conversation with Verducci, Scully recalls in the piece a conversation he had with Miggins in the Fordham Prep auditorium.
“I remember I said, ‘Larry, when we get out of here, what do you want to do?’ And he said, ‘I’d love to be a big league ballplayer.’ “And I said, ‘I wonder what those odds are.’ And then I said, ‘Well, you know, I’d like to be big league broadcaster. I wonder what those odds are.’ “And then I said, ‘How about this one for a long shot: How about you play, I broadcast, you hit a home run?’ And we said, ‘The odds, no one would be able to calculate that!’ ”
Sure enough, in 1952, Miggins got his first shot at regular big league playing time with the Cardinals. When the Dodgers played host to St. Louis that May, Scully was behind the microphone and had the chance to call Miggins’s first career home run, just like they mused about years earlier.
“Incredible, isn’t it?” Scully says. “I mean, really, absolutely incredible. And probably the toughest home run call that I ever had to call because I was a part of it. He hit the home run against Preacher Roe, I’m pretty sure. And I had to fight back tears. I called ‘home run,’ and then I just sat there with this big lump in my throat watching him run around the bases. I mean, how could that possibly happen?”
Even 64 years later, Scully was right. It was Preacher Roe that gave up the homer.
- Dan Gartland