Legendary play-by-play announcer Vin Scully gave a special tribute to Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz on Friday. On Saturday, the Red Sox returned the favor.
Ahead of Boston’s second game against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, NESN play-by-play man Dave O’Brien and radio play-by-play announcer Joe Castiglione joined Scully in the booth to present him with a special memento.
A closer look at the gift reveals Scully’s broadcasting connection to Fenway Park, which comes with a pretty cool backstory.
Scully, who is retiring after the season, has been calling Dodgers games since 1950. But his professional broadcasting debut actually came one year earlier — at the home of the Red Sox, no less.
As the story goes, Scully made a connection with Red Barber, then the Brooklyn Dodgers’ play-by-play man. Barber also did broadcasting work in college football, and when he needed a fill-in announcer for Boston University’s game against Maryland on Nov. 16, 1949, he gave Scully a call. CBS Radio didn’t have a booth at the game, however, so Scully had to call the game from the roof in the frigid Boston conditions.
To recap: The iconic Vin Scully, one of the best play-by-play announcers ever, made his broadcasting debut on the roof of Fenway Park at a college football game.
Just when you thought his legend couldn’t grow any larger.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images