The great lefthander Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitched a perfect game 50 years ago Friday. It was at home against the Chicago Cubs. As usual, Vin Scully called the game. Scully, who is now 88 years old, will conclude his 67-season run as the voice of the Dodgers in a game on October 2 in San Francisco against the Giants. I bring up Koufax’s perfect game of long ago because Scully’s call of its last three outs was just about perfect. If you want to discover the soon-to-retire Scully, who is merely baseball’s greatest announcer, tune in his play by play of those final outs.
The two teams entered the ninth inning with Los Angeles leading, 1 to 0. No Cub had reached first base; every Cub who came to the plate had made an out. So a perfect game was in sight—each of the three batters scheduled to hit would have to make an out. And who better was there in baseball to get those three outs than Koufax, author of three no-hitters already in his sensational career? On the other hand, baseball being baseball, maybe a batter could reach first base, denying Koufax a perfect game. Maybe the Cubs might score a run, tying the game and sending it to the bottom of the ninth? Maybe they could even take the lead and hold it and actually win the game?
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