50 years ago today: the Sandy Koufax perfect game

It’s hard to believe that it was 50 years ago today that Sandy Koufax pitched his perfect game.

I remember that evening. The entire family was at home in our living room. The television was off and the radio was on. I remember the tension build as Vin Scully’s play-by-play made clear that something special was happening. I remember Vin noting the time on the scoreboard clock.

In his Press-Enterprise column yesterday Jim Alexander quotes Scully:

quoteBud Furillo (of the L.A. Herald Examiner), I think it was, wrote a column about how dramatic and exciting (including) the time was, and everybody was giving me a lot of credit for being a theatrical genius, or whatever.

I sure thought so. “One and two the count to Chris Krug. It is 9:41 p.m. on September the ninth …”

It turns out that dramatic effect was not the intent. Alexander writes: “[Scully] tried to make the ninth inning call of any no-hitter, whether by a Dodger or an opposing pitcher, a little extra special — adding the date, for example, so that pitcher could have the recording as a keepsake. Since Koufax had already thrown three no-hitters, he came up with the idea of adding the time of day.”

It doesn’t matter. The drama was there and palpable in our living room on that hot September evening.

quoteOn the scoreboard in right field It is 9:46 p.m. in the City of the Angels, Los Angeles, California. And a crowd of 29,139 just sitting in to see the only pitcher in baseball history to hurl four no-hit, no run games. He has done it four straight years. And now he’s capped it. On his fourth no-hitter, he made it a perfect game.

It’s one of those childhood moments I’ll never forget. I got chills reading Alexander’s column last night, and I am getting chills as I write this.

Now here it is fifty years later. Vin Scully is still doing Dodger games and I am back in Hemet after 41 years away. You never know what twists and turns life will take.