Willie Mays was Vin Scully's favorite player, even though he 'wore the wrong uniform'


Vin Scully was a Dodgers legend.

But his all-time favorite player was a longtime member of the hated Giants: Willie Mays.

Scully made the revelation to Mays when the two of them met, possibly for the first time, the night before Scully called his final Dodgers game after 67 years in the booth. A heartwarming video from that Oct. 1, 2016, interaction resurfaced on social media Tuesday after news broke that Mays died earlier that day at age 93.

“You’ve always been my favorite player, even though you wore the wrong uniform,” Scully told a laughing Mays.

Scully died Aug. 2, 2022, at age 94.

The Dodgers finished the 2016 season with a series against the Giants in Oracle Park, which meant Scully’s farewell tour was going to wrap up in San Francisco of all places. Before the start of the second game of that series, Mays made a surprise visit to the broadcast booth, much to Scully’s delight.

Somehow, the legendary broadcaster felt the need to introduce himself to the “Say Hey Kid.”

“I know who you are,” Mays said.

Scully went on to shower Mays with compliments, saying he was “dazzling” in the field and “the greatest player I ever called.”

“You charged every base hit like you were a shortstop,” Scully told the former center fielder. “That’s what amazed me, and I used to tell people, do you realize that he charges and he gets the throw in, it could go 483 feet?”

Perhaps the most famous play in Mays’ Hall of Fame career was “The Catch,” a spectacular on-the-run grab with his back to the infield that robbed Cleveland’s Vic Wertz of a hit during Game 1 of the 1954 World Series.

Scully told Mays he was even more impressed with the throw that came after “The Catch,” which prevented both runners on base from advancing.

“That ball that you caught that Vic Wertz hit in the World Series, that was probably 440 at least. I mean, that’s how far out that was,” Scully said.

Scully added that another catch by Mays was the greatest he’d ever seen. It happened on opening day in 1952, with the Giants holding a 7-6 lead against the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Brooklyn’s Bobby Morgan drove a line drive to center field.

“You hit the warning track, no helmet, you hit your head on the concrete wall, you rolled over on your back holding the ball in your glove on your chest,” Scully recalled to Mays. “Henry Thompson came over, reached in, took the ball out of your glove, held it in the air and they called Bobby out. That was the end of the game. That’s the greatest catch, the greatest catch I’ve ever seen.”

Mays told Scully, “Nobody talks about that.”

Scully replied, “I do!”

On the night the two all-time greats met at then-AT&T Park, Scully also introduced his wife, Sandy, to “my favorite, Willie Mays.”

The next day, Mays appeared in the booth again before Scully’s final game to help dedicate a plaque honoring the announcer in that box. As he received a roaring ovation from the fans in San Francisco, Scully stood at the front of the booth, waving to the crowd with one hand and clutching Mays’ hand with the other.

“Who would have thought that I would be holding hands with you?” a beaming Scully said to Mays.



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top