By the numbers: Vin Scully’s 65 years in the booth

Broadcaster Vin Scully will return in 2015 to call his 66th season of Dodgers baseball.

Mark Sullivan/WireImage

The announcement made Tuesday night that Vin Scully will return in 2015 to call his 66th season of Dodgers baseball — a spell that outlasts even the very concept of the "Los Angeles Dodgers" — was met with universal praise and joy, simply because Vin Scully is a national treasure who transcends the idea of fandom and regional homerism. As a statement of fact, there will come a day when Vin Scully no longers calls baseball games. Contractually speaking, that sad day will not come before October 2015, and we are better off as baseball fans for that realization. 

But how much baseball has Scully actually witnessed in his 65 seasons behind the mic? Can we even start to quantify such a life and appreciate all the baseball excellence that has come and gone during his tenure? We can try, thanks to the wonders of the Baseball-Reference Play Index, which can isolate not only the Dodgers from the past 65 seasons but also who they played. The result is a fascinating glimpse into a specific slice of baseball history, one that has been narrated, seemingly without end or even slowing down, by one of the greatest sports announcers of all-time.

So let’s take a deeper look at baseball’s Vin Scully Era: 

• Starting in 1950, Scully was an announcer for the Brooklyn Dodgers for eight seasons before the team moved to Los Angeles in 1958. Even in just those eight seasons, Scully saw some incredible baseball:

Duke Snider alone hit 288 home runs in that span, followed by Gil Hodges (263) and Roy Campanella (211). In fact, no one in all MLB hit more dingers over that time than Snider and Hodges. (Stan Musial was third with 235.)

The most home runs hit against the Dodgers in that timeframe? Willie Mays (41). Highest batting average, minimum 100 games? Mays again (.331). Most hits? Stan Musial, with 213 in 174 games.

Among pitchers, Robin Roberts of the Phillies had the most wins (25) as well as the most losses (28). And though Roberts had only one of the 24 single-pitcher shutouts thrown against the Bums in that era, the Giants’ Sal Maglie did have five against his inter-borough rivals.

• But let’s look at the whole body of work, all 65 years of baseball Scully has watched from his perch in the press box:

Most games played, Dodgers

Bill Russell, 2,181
Jim Gilliam, 1,956
Willie Davis, 1,952
Steve Garvey, 1,727
Gil Hodges, 1,688
Duke Snider, 1,684
Eric Karros, 1,601
Maury Wills, 1593
Ron Cey, 1,481
Mike Scioscia, 1,441

Most home runs, Dodgers

Duke Snider, 361
Gil Hodges, 326
Eric Karros, 270
Ron Cey, 228
Steve Garvey & Roy Campanella, 211 

Highest OPS, Dodgers (minimum 800 PAs)

Manny Ramirez, 1.012
Gary Sheffield, .998
Mike Piazza, .966
Duke Snider, .954
Yasiel Puig, .935

Most stolen bases, Dodgers

Maury Wills, 490
Davey Lopes, 418
Willie Davis, 336
Steve Sax, 290
Jim Gilliam, 203

Most strikeouts (batter)

Eric Karros, 1,105

Most strikeouts (pitcher)

Don Sutton, 2,696
Don Drysdale, 2,486
Sandy Koufax, 2,396
Fernando Valenzuela, 1,759
Orel Hershiser, 1,456
Clayton Kershaw, 1,347

Lowest ERA (minimum 100 starts)

Clayton Kershaw, 2.53
Andy Messersmith, 2.67
Sandy Koufax, 2.76
Kevin Brown, 2.83
Don Drysdale, 2.95
Tommy John, 2.97

Most pitcher wins

Don Sutton, 233
Don Drysdale, 209
Sandy Koufax, 165
Claude Osteen, 147
Fernando Valenzuela, 141 

• There were some all-time greats just among the Dodgers, but the Dodgers’ opponents over 65 years have also given Scully no shortage of in-game material:

Most home runs, Dodgers opponents

Willie Mays, 98
Hank Aaron, 95
Ernie Banks & Barry Bonds, 64
Eddie Mathews, 60

Highest OPS, Dodgers opponents (minimum 350 PAs)

Brad Hawpe, 1.014
Ralph Kiner, 1.003
Willie Mays, .995
Barry Bonds, .977
Stan Musial, .972

Highest on-base percentage, Dodgers opponents (min. 500 PAs)

Barry Bonds, .435
Stan Musial, Matt Holliday and Tim Raines, .413
Larry Walker, .409
Willie Mays, .400
Frank Robinson and Keith Hernandez, .399

Most hits, Dodgers opponents

Willie Mays, 437
Hank Aaron, 436
Roberto Clemente, 395
Pete Rose, 391
Ernie Banks, 312

Most walks, Dodgers opponents

Barry Bonds, 262
Willie Mays, 212

Most strikeouts, Dodgers opponents

Willie McCovey, 212
Willie Mays, 209

Pitchers who gave up the most Dodgers home runs

Robin Roberts, 93
Murry Dickson, 52
Bob Friend, 49
Lew Burdette, 47
Phil Niekro & Warren Hacker, 44

Pitchers who struck out the most Dodgers

Robin Roberts, 326
Juan Marichal, 305
Phil Niekro, 300
Tom Seaver, 299
Larry Jackson, 268

Most shutouts against the Dodgers

Juan Marichal (10)

Most Dodgers walked

Bob Buhl (249)

Best ERA against the Dodgers (minimum 20 starts)

J.R. Richard, 1.86
Juan Marichal, 2.36
Ken Forsch, 2.40
Bob Veale, 2.41
John Candelaria, 2.46 

There are some names here that I’d completely forgotten about. Bet that happened to you, too. That’s what so great about Vin Scully. He’s seen more baseball than any of us could hope to watch, and to appreciate his career is to be reminded how wonderful this sport can be.

You can follow Erik Malinowski — who would give anything to talk baseball with Vin Scully for just five minutes — on Twitter at @erikmal and email him at erik.malinowski@fox.com. And seriously, go visit the Baseball-Reference Play Index. Your life will never be the same.

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