“It’s time for Dodger baseball!”
For those of us who grew up baseball fans in Southern California, we were privileged to hear those words before every Dodger game from the voice of the Dodgers, Vin Scully, arguably the best baseball announcer in history.
For 67 years, Scully entertained and informed the masses over the airwaves, detailing every pitch, hit, strikeout, home run, no-hitter or perfect game as only Vinny could.
“Fernando Valenzuela has pitched a no-hitter. If you have a sombrero, throw it to the sky.”
I recall the days where you could even hear Vin Scully while at Dodger Stadium, the result of so many people listening to him on their transistor radios in the days way before iPhones.
National audiences also often got to enjoy the words of Scully, who did his share of World Series. One of his most memorable calls came while announcing on NBC with Joe Garagiola. The host Dodgers trailed the Oakland A’s in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series when Kirk Gibson came limping up to the plate as a pinch-hitter to face Dennis Eckersley with a runner on first.
Gibson slammed a two-run, walk-off (or limp-off, as it were) home run in a 5-4 victory.
“In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!”
Not surprisingly, throughout his career Scully collected announcing awards, World Series rings, World Series trophies, bats, balls, letters and autographs from presidents, programs, photographs (like the one shown here from around 1950), golf clubs—enough memorabila to fill a wing of a museum. He even collected a Babe Ruth autograph on a business card; the Bambino handed it to a young Scully at the Polo Grounds.
Now, just as in 2016 when Vin Scully said goodbye to his fans and hung up his microphone, he’s saying goodbye to his collectibles, over 300 items amassed over his storied career. They are up for bid at Hunt Auctions, the last day of which is Sept. 23.
Scully told “CBS Sunday Morning” the proceeds will go to his five kids, 16 grandkids and a charity.
When asked if he was going to miss anything, the 92-year-old Scully answered, “You know, I must be very cold-hearted because there isn’t one thing that I really felt I hated to give up, not one.”
Not even the Babe Ruth autograph or the 1988 World Series ring he wore daily or the multitude of awards.
“The awards are gratefully received, but they’re only for the moment,” he told CBS.
In an earlier interview with the Associated Press, Scully was more succinct, saying, “I would much rather treasure the memories…There are things that mean a great deal to me, but now it’s time to let someone else treasure them.”
Million-dollar card: A 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner PSA 1 set a record with a winning bid of $1,169,875 in the Mile High Card Company’s September Auction. A Wagner card of a higher grade once held the overall record for highest price paid for a sports card—$3.12 million—until Mike Trout’s Bowman Chrome Superfractor recently sold for $3.9 million.
The Mile High Card Company auction, which broke a record in total sales of nearly $7 million, also saw a T206 Ty Cobb with a Cobb back card sell for $894,250, a 1968 Mickey Mantle jersey—perhaps worn in his last game—go for $465,000, and a 1948 Bowman nearly complete wax box sell for $368,126.
Investment pays off: A collector purchased a $10 pack of Upper Deck UD3 basketball cards in 1997 and was fortunate to hit the chase card of the set—a signed Michael Jordan “Season Ticket,” graded PSA 8/10. The collector hung on to the card for 23 years but decided the time was right to auction it off. The bid on the card at Goldin Auctions as of this writing, is $71,000 and is expected to hit $100,000 by the end of the auction on Sept. 20.
Interestingly, the same card graded a PSA 7/10 sold for $56,773 in the aforementioned Mile High Card Company auction.
Dave Strege is Editor of SCD. Contact him at email@example.com.