Honoring a legend

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 8/10/22

Last week, the baseball world lost arguably one of the best broadcasters and storytellers to ever sit behind a microphone.

Serving as the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers for 67 years, Vin Scully …

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Honoring a legend

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Last week, the baseball world lost arguably one of the best broadcasters and storytellers to ever sit behind a microphone.

Serving as the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers for 67 years, Vin Scully passed away last Tuesday at the age of 94.

One of Scully’s most memorable calls was during game one of the 1998 World Series between the Oakland Athletics and the Dodgers.

Scully gracefully called pinch hitter Kirk Gibson’s game-winning home run off of Dennis Eckersley  before letting nearly 40 seconds pass while his listening audience hear the crowd roar in applause while at the same time Jack Buck called the same home run with his infamous saying “I don’t believe what I just saw.”

In honor of Scully’s passing, two former Owensville Dutchmen head baseball coaches chimed in with memories of their favorite sportscasters and/or calls by one.

Now living in the St. Louis area, former Dutchmen head baseball coach Mark Jett recalled listening to Harry Caray and Buck while they both called St. Louis Cardinals baseball together for KMOX radio.

“I grew up as a little kid listening to Harry Caray and Jack Buck,” Jett said. “I really loved those broadcasts listening to the little transistor radios.”

Staying with Buck, Jett’s favorite call was Ozzie Smith’s game-winning home run in game five of the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers in which Buck told fans to “Go crazy folks, go crazy.”

Jett’s favorite broadcast was when Bobby Diestelkamp called the 1996 district championship basketball game for KTUI radio out of Sullivan in which his Dutchmen defeated St. Clair’s Bulldogs 83-44.

Now living in Florida, former Dutchmen head baseball coach Kevin Lay agreed with Jett in choosing Jack Buck as one of his favorite broadcasters. Lay’s other favorite is Al Hrabosky.

“Jack Buck was a tremendously gifted storyteller,” Lay said. “In his broadcasts, you could always picture yourself where he was setting the scene.

Still in the broadcast booth at times, the Mad Hungarian (Hrabosky) is Lay’s other favorite baseball broadcaster.

“Al Hrabosky was and still is fun to listen to,” Lay said. “His background and tenacity in baseball carried over well into the booth and he always had an account of his experience and life that he shared with the viewers.”

Personally, I constantly find myself playing back game six of the 2011 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers.

On that October night in 2011, I had just witnessed Owensville Dutchmen football survive an 80-75 shootout with St. James’ Tigers in Phelps County.

On the way back to Owensville, I had the radio on tuning in to game six only to hear Mike Shannon’s famous words of “Get up baby, get up, get up” on David Freese’s home run that sent the World Series to a deciding seventh game.

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