Stan Opdyke: A Fine Tribute to Vin Scully

Stan Opdyke (Stan from Tacoma) A SABR BioProject Biographies Contributor

Stan Opdyke
(Stan from Tacoma)
A SABR BioProject Biographies Contributor

 

Yesterday The Pecan Park Eagle received a link to a wonderful article that one of our longtime readers wrote about Vin Scully and Connie Mack back in 2009, when the iconic broadcaster’s incredible career had reached the 60th anniversary point, but actual retirement was still uncertain. The piece by Stan Opdyke was simply too good not to share with readers at this watering hole. Opdyke writes with a deep awareness of how Scully and Mack became unsuspecting career links in baseball history in the first game of spring training in 1950. The link was cinched when the young announcer worked his first game for the Dodgers – and Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics just happened to be the Brooklyn Dodgers’ first foe in the spring season.

How little could either man have realized what their brief path crossing that 1950 day had recorded for them in the great hall of baseball history. Together, the managerial personification of apparent eternal service and the arguably greatest broadcaster of all time were about to link by their own career contact in a simple, seemingly meaningless ST opener in Florida the possibly longest continuous span of service to the game ever recorded by two men and their own one-game joint participation. Connie Mack began his professional baseball career in 1886 and would not retire as manager of the A’s until the end of the 1950 season. Vin Scully would begin his MLB/Dodgers broadcasting career in that same ST game that united him as a participant with Mack in 1950 and would not retire until the end of the 2016 baseball season.

From the 19th to the 21st century (1886-2016), Mack and Scully were the direct links in a history chain spanning three centuries and a total of 130 years.

WOW!

As his tag identification from the piece he wrote in 2009 clearly states, “Stan Opdyke was a Dodgers fan as a kid during the Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, and Maury Wills era. His biggest baseball thrill was watching Koufax pitch the Dodgers to the National League pennant on the last day of the season at Connie Mack Stadium in 1966. He also got Vin Scully’s autograph at Connie Mack Stadium in the mid-1960s. Vin was standing in the dugout before the game, and he called out his name and asked him to sign his autograph book. Scully graciously did. Meanwhile, the other kids looked at him like he was nuts. Why would he want an autograph of someone who looked and dressed like their father?”

Here’s the link to Stan Opdyke’s wonderful December 17, 2009 “Designated Hitter” story for Baseball Analyst, entitled, “Connie Mack and Vin Scully”:

http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2009/12/connie_mack_and.php

Email for direct comments and questions for Stan Opdyke …. popup22nd@aol.com

Thanks for your contribution to the Scully footnoting that we are all now so caught up in recognizing, Stan – and please keep on hanging with us here at “The Eagle”. The voice of your quiet eloquence about all things baseball is very much appreciated – as is your baseball friendship.

____________________

eagle-0range
 Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas

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