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Sunday, February 27, 2005

A Love Offering: Vin Scully Calls The Koufax Perfect Game

One of the serendipitous things about this blog is the number of people willing to simply give me things -- tickets, mostly, but sometimes other things, too. About this time in January, I received the following e-mail:
I enjoy your blog and the comments you make on Jon's site. I have a tape of the one and only Vin Scully that I think you would enjoy. Actually I should change "think" to "know," given your comment about Vin today on Dodger Thoughts. If you send me your address I will get the tape in the mail to you. I won't spoil the thrill of discovery by telling you in advance what is on the tape. No fair asking Jon what you will be getting, but I sent a similiar tape to him about a month ago. Feel free to contact him if you have any question whether I am legit.
A quick e-mail to Jon -- who had already received his -- suggested that the tape was in fact legit, and very interesting. Jon wrote back that he wanted to write about it "as soon as I can", but I suspect the duties of fatherhood have distracted him, and so some of the responsibility falls upon my shoulders. Allow me to say this: while I will leave to Jon's superior artistic abilities the description of the many rubies and emeralds on this tape, I can only hope you appreciate this love offering, this diamond, as much as I did: Vin Scully calls the ninth inning of Sandy Koufax's perfect game. As a little extra treat, at the end, an interview with Vin about why he called the ninth the way he did. (Any audio artifacts are a side-effect of removing tape hiss, distortion, and other related problems.)

Stan: thank you so much. And for everyone else: well, get it while you can before Lon Rosen makes me pull it down.

Update, 3/2: Thanks to LA Observed for the link today. And on 3/3, I discovered that Jay Jaffe linked to me. Well, that's about as high praise as you can get. Thanks, guys.

Rob, thank you thank you thank you. I remember listening to this live as a child, and what a thrill to hear it again. One question: how do I save it to my computer? When I clicked on the link, Quicktime opened and played it, but I'm not sure how to save it for the future. Anyhow, thanks so much...
Right click on the link and then "Save as".
Oh man, I had tears in my eyes. I was in the Sierras on a camping trip with my family when he threw that perfect game. They were on KFI then which was an incredibly powerful station so we were able to listen to it on a transistor radio way up in the mountains. My mother was the real Dodger fan in the family at that time and she went nuts during the ninth inning. I still remember wondering who the heck Harvey Kueann was at the time. Later, I found out how good a hitter he was in his prime.
thanks so much for putting that up, rob. that was way before my time, but man, what a gem.

I was almost two. Heh.
And another thank you! I remember the game very well, being 16 at the time. I vaguely recall thinking about recording the 9th inning myself, but didn't, probably because I thought I'd "jinx" Koufax.

What many readers might not realize is that in the 1960s, we didn't have radios with "line out" connections and tape recorders with "line in" jacks. This obviously (to me at least) was recorded with the radio speaker set right next to the microphone of the tape recorder. But, the diminished audio quality is perfect for me, since I used to listen to games on LA station KFI all the way up in Fresno, where the reception was not always the best.

I could write several pages about the impact Vin Scully had on his industry. Suffice it to say for now that he was about the ONLY baseball announcer of his day who would discuss the fact that a no hitter was being pitched (or in this case a perfect game). The rest of the herd clung to the old superstition that it was never mentioned until it was over.
Uncle Al -- I suspect the original recording was off a vinyl record, which had, in addition to the flaws you heard, pops and clicks typical of that medium. My wife cleaned those up in her studio, in addition to bringing up the level of the recordings, especially the interview at the end. I didn't want her to spend too long on it, so I the fades throughout the early part of the broadcast are still in place. (Yes, one reason I did leave them in there is because it does sound like an old AM radio listened to from far away -- reminds me of my days as a boy when I used to listen to my dad's amateur radio, trying to get "DX" contacts from distant stations.) Some of the processing left "pling" sounds as artifacts (this is especially audible in the Scully interview at the end), but it's not so bad as to ruin anything.
Just saw this from Jon's blog... what kills me in listening to Vin's explanation is precisely what makes him so great -- he's just talking to one person, me. God help us, he's great because he's just thinking how he can make this broadcast special for Sandy. Amazing.
WOW! Thanks for posting the recording. I listened to it 5 times in the last half hour -- it gets exciting each time. Does anyone know if, and where, David Smith's recording of the 7 innings of the game is available for purchase? Thanks again!!
Hmm. Tough one. Last time I looked, there wasn't any source available for this (one reason I posted it in the first place).
That really was something special. I've never heard this call before and I'm just blown away by it. The game happened 40 years ago, and it's amazing to hear for the first time so many years later. Vin Scully is truly one of the greatest broadcasters of all time. I would like to be the radio broadcaster for the Red Sox someday. If I were to follow in Scully's footsteps, I would have 9 more years to accomplish my goals. He first went into the booth at age 26 w/ Red Barber, and I'm only 17. Again thank you so much for posting Scully's call of the 9th inning. I know many people who would love to hear this also.
Thank you for this most wonderful memory of 9-9-65. It's 40 years to the night since I listened to Vinny's marvelous call of Sandy's perfect game on KFI and I still get goosebumps. I love the way he just let the crowd's cheers flood the air after the final out instead of talking over such an historic moment. Vinny and Sandy are both sports treasures that will never be duplicated.
Just hearing it now for the first time. Wow. Thanks for sharing this. It's really special.
Hello my name is Ben Schneider and I live in Portland Oregon. I am a lifelong Dodger fan and I recently made my first trip to Dodger Stadium with my father. I am a third generation Dodger fan. My dads birthday is coming up and I am wondering if anyone would have a recording of Sandy Koufax's Sept. 9th perfect game. My dad always talks about listening to it as a kid and I thought it would be great for him to take a walk down memory lane. If anyone has any info I would appreciate your help.
My dad was listening to the game in SEATTLE. He would put his radio on top of the phone to get better reception. I was in bed (I was 10 years old) and I heard my dad yelling. So I got up and celebrated with him. Special memory.
For several years after Sandy's perfect game, the Dodgers (remember"Danny Goodman" concession) sold Vin Scully's call of the 9th inning on a small 33 1/3 record. I have had one for years and listen to it -- it reminds me of that night when I heard the game live under the covers with a little transistor stuck to my ear --
from a Dodger, Koufax, Vin fan, now in Colorado
Thank you so much for posting this. I've looked for it for years. I was 8 days shy of turning 14 when Vinnie pitched his own perfect game. This was one of those moments that you always remember where you were. I was laying on my back on my family's couch in the living room with the transistor radio plastered to my year, the volume down so I didn't interrupt their television show. When Vinnie got to "a perfect game!!" I couldn't stand it and dialed the volume up to full blast. I think I scared the daylights out of my parents. Thanks again for bringing this back to me. I'm still dabbing the tears from my eyes now that I've listed to it for the second time in the last 15 minutes (and the third time in the last 43 years). Thank you.
I have too much to say about the perfect game, so I won't bore you. What I would like is to congratulate Mr. Scully on his 60 years with the Dodgers and to sincerely thank him for honoring us fans with yet another year of 'pulling up a chair'.
Snowcone seller 1962.
Hi A Love Offering: Vin Scully Calls The Koufax Perfect Game yeah it is a perfect game i would like to play this lovely games . also i love to Buy viagra so cool.

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