Dodgers announcer Vin Scully made many baseball fans' day Tuesday when he announced he'll return for an unprecedented 66th year in the broadcast booth. It's a wonder that the prolific play-by-play man, now 86, has ever found time to do anything other than call games — but being in Hollywood's backyard, he has managed to make his way into more than a few films over the years. Here are some highlights.
"For Love of the Game" (1999): Scully's biggest movie role came in this Sam Raimi-directed drama starring Kevin Costner as Billy Chapel, a veteran pitcher reflecting on his career and personal life while throwing what could be a perfect game — as well as his MLB swan song.
Though the story is fictional (and Costner's character is a Tiger, not a Dodger), Scully calls the game with all the poetry and drama baseball fans have come to expect over his decades-long career. Of course, Scully is no stranger to perfect games, having called three — by Don Larsen, Sandy Koufax and Dennis Martinez — during his time in the booth.
"Bachelor in Paradise" (1961): Long before "For Love of the Game," Scully appeared in this Bob Hope-Lana Turner romantic comedy directed by Jack Arnold. Hope plays a bestselling author who goes undercover in a SoCal suburb to dodge the IRS and research his next book, and Turner plays his landlady and love interest.
Scully and announcing partner Jerry Doggett cameo as themselves calling a Dodger game, and the film also references how Dodger fans in those days frequently toted transistor radios into the stadium to listen to Scully's broadcasts.
"Wake Me When It's Over" (1960): Scully's first big-screen appearance arrived a year before "Bachelor," in this comedy directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Ernie Kovacs and Dick Shawn, who play a pair of World War II veterans accidentally called back into service in the Pacific.
Scully, who himself served in the Navy for two years as a young man, had a small role in the film as a CBS news reporter. (Scully also started his professional broadcasting career at CBS.)
"Fireball 500" (1966): Scully put his famous pipes to use as the narrator of the prologue for William Asher's hot-rodding rebel-youth movie starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.
Over a combination of claymation and live-action footage, Scully traces the evolution of the wheel from caveman days to ancient Rome to the Prohibition era to the stock-car tracks. He also introduces our hero, Dave "Fireball" Owens (Avalon). "He's young, but he's good — and he's coming up," Scully says.
"Experiment in Terror" (1962), "Zebra in the Kitchen" (1965), "The Party" (1968), "Game 6" (2005), "The Bucket List" (2007), etc.: Over the years, Scully's broadcasts have frequently made their way into the background of movies and TV shows. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times in 1999, the ever-humble Scully downplayed his popularity in Hollywood.
"I've had some small parts and I've done some TV stuff," he said. "People will call and ask for 30 seconds of tape, and we won't charge them, so you'll hear my voice sometimes. But I love baseball, and I don't want to be part of anything that would cheapen it or vulgarize it."
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