For Dodgers, It’s a Long Lost Weekend : For Scully, It’s 45 Innings in 29 Hours

<i> Times Staff Writer</i>

Call Guinness. And Ripley, too. Iron Man Vin Scully had an unbelievable weekend.

Scully announced two games in two cities Saturday, which alone is quite a feat.

Even more amazing is that the first game, in St. Louis, went 10 innings, and the second, in Houston, went 22 innings.

That’s 32 innings in one day, which, if such things were kept, would surely shatter all records.

Then, for good measure, Scully came back to work 13 more Sunday, bringing the total to 45 innings in a 29-hour span.


The stage was set for Scully’s incredible weekend Thursday evening when partner Don Drysdale came down with a case of laryngitis. It got so bad that Drysdale had to be relieved, literally, in mid-sentence.

By Sunday, Drysdale was able to do pregame and postgame interviews but wasn’t ready to chance doing any play-by-play.

Originally, the plan was for Drysdale and Ross Porter to handle the radio and television play-by-play Friday and Saturday in Houston while Scully went off to an NBC assignment in St. Louis. This is standard procedure in these situations.

But Drysdale’s ailment changed everything.

First, Scully had to alert NBC he would miss the Friday evening production meeting in St. Louis.

Instead of flying to St. Louis Friday, he went there Saturday morning, courtesy of a private jet hired by Dodger owner Peter O’Malley.

Scully figured he could fly into St. Louis and be back in Houston in plenty of time to make the start of the night game there.

But things didn’t go quite as planned.

First, the game in St. Louis, in which the Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs, 6-5, went 10 innings and lasted nearly 3 1/2 hours.

Then there was a traffic jam going from Busch Stadium to the airport, and he made it back to the Astrodome in Houston just in the nick of time.

Scully, on the phone from Houston after Sunday’s game, recalled the moment: “The national anthem was just finishing when I stepped into the booth and said, ‘Good evening, ladies and gentlemen,’ as though I’d been there waiting for an hour.”

Then came 22 consecutive innings of play-by-play. Scully signed off the air barely before 3 a.m., CDT, and he made it back to his hotel a little before 4 a.m.

“By then, I was overtired, that awful kind of tired when you know you can’t get to sleep,” he said. “So I read for about 20 minutes, turned off the light and then tossed and turned before finally getting to sleep.

“I got up at 9 a.m., had some breakfast and felt OK.

“The adrenaline is still going, and I feel fine right now. But I imagine that by the time we get to Atlanta, I’ll really be feeling it.

“But the last thing I want to do is complain. This was really nothing.

“You know, as a youngster growing up in the Bronx, I had a lot of tough jobs. I washed silverware in a hotel, I shoveled snow, I slotted mail, I was a milkman.

“A lot of people have it tougher than I do. I love my work and am well paid, so I’m the last person who should ever complain.”

(Orange County Edition) * MARATHON MAN: Vin Scully has an unbelievable weekend, announcing 45 innings in a 29-hour span. Larry Stewart’s story, page 13.