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My Shot

My Shot: Vin Scully

Continued (page 3 of 3)

MY KIRK GIBSON home-run call [1988 World Series] is brought up to me quite often, and my answer is, sometimes God helps you through these things. I honestly believe that, because before he blasted the ball into the right-field bleachers I had no inkling I would say, "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!" It just spilled out of me, and it was a good line, but it was God's line, really, not mine.

I'M A BIG READER. I buy a lot of books, but I get a lot of books sent to me. They accumulate like you wouldn't believe. When we moved from the Palisades to Hidden Hills, I donated close to 400 books to a local library. I do enjoying reading a lot. For a realistic view of baseball at the major-league level, get Three Nights in August by Buzz Bissinger. If you want to know how sports can impact a man and his family for better and worse, get When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi by David Maraniss. If you want a highly entertaining, funny golf novel, get Dead Solid Perfect by Dan Jenkins.

ROBERT REDFORD wears a solid-color necktie because attention naturally will be drawn to his face. As you can see, I often wear striped ties. Here's the handkerchief in my pocket, and here's my watch. I'm not Robert Redford. With my face, I need all the distractions I can provide.

WHEN I WAS about 15, I heard about a job opening in "the silver room" at the Hotel Pennsylvania in Manhattan. The name sounded almost romantic. I jumped at it. Well, the silver room was not much more than a walk-in closet down in the bowels of the hotel. Down a chute came every dirty piece of silver in the hotel. Coffee creamers, silverware, serving bowls, you name it. You put the silver in a wire basket and placed it in the "tabernacle," a device with canvas curtains around it. You pulled a wooden lever, and scalding hot water would come down on the silver and clean everything off it. When the cleaning was finished, you reached in with your heavy gloves and pulled out the baskets. Steam and the smell of decaying food would pour out. Twice a day, I would pass out from this. I would wake up in a small hallway where my partner would drag me. To this day, mention of the word "silver" brings on a slight wave of nausea. Through the years, when there was a tough road trip or a long doubleheader, I'd think of the silver room. And how, all things considered, my gig wasn't so bad.

Vin Scully

Photo: George Rose/Getty Images

SINGLES HITTERS drive Fords; home-run hitters drive Cadillacs. It will always be so. The long ball is the big thing, not just in baseball but golf as well. The appeal of measuring things--the distance a golf ball flies, tape-measure home runs and the speed of a fastball, are eternal. At Dodger games, they flash on the scoreboard the speed of the last pitch as shot by the most recent incarnation of the radar gun.

TONY GWYNN, one of the best hitters in the history of baseball, says there's no way the radar guns are accurate. I happen to like the speed going up there because it's great theater. But between you, me, Tony Gwynn and many experts, the radar gun is off.

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