Sure, there’s been the occasional flub during a broadcast. After all, no one would be perfect in 66 years on the job. In the eyes of many however, Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully does no wrong. Scully blessed the Dodgers fan base recently with news he intends on returning for the 2016 season even if it was accompanied with the caveat it will likely be his last behind the microphone.
Having spent so many years with the Dodgers, Scully’s had the opportunity to witness some of the greatest moments in baseball history, and call the careers of countless legends. Chief among them is Sandy Koufax — widely viewed as the best left-hander to step foot on the mound. However, before Koufax became a household name he worked out for the Dodgers.
In an interview on FOX Sports 1’s The Herd With Colin Cowherd, Scully shared a now-laughable anecdote of the time he scouted Koufax:
I had done an afternoon game at Ebbets Field and I heard a young left-hander was going to try out for the ball club. And I was single and in no hurry to go home, so I went down onto the field. The first thing I did was go in the clubhouse. When I walked in the clubhouse I saw the fella who was going to try out, and my first thought was, ‘he’s got a big back’ and my second thought was, ‘he’s all tan, fully tan. So he’s probably spent the summer on the beach, I can’t imagine he’s that good of a ballplayer.’ So, I failed as a scout. I went down to the bullpen at Ebbets Field and I stood along with maybe two or three other people and watched this kid throw. He threw hard, bounced his curveball. I had just finished playing ball for college the previous summer, so he was like I thought, a lot of the pitchers that I saw in college; threw hard and was wild. And of course the next thing I know, he is a magnificent pitcher, awesome, and inspiring and every adjective and participle you can think of. He was really special.”
Koufax spent all 12 seasons in the Majors with the Dodgers organization; three in Brooklyn and nine in Los Angeles. He was a rookie on the 1955 World Series team, which is the only to win bring a championship to Brooklyn, something Scully holds dear to his heart.
Koufax retired at the age of 30 due to an arthritic condition and was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1972 at the age of 36, making him the youngest player ever to be inducted into the Hall. Among some of his more memorable career accomplishments are winning the MVP and Cy Young in 1963, three overall Cy Young awards, 137 complete games, four no-hitters, one perfect game and 40 shutouts.