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 And seriously, go visit the Baseball-Reference Play Index. Your life will never be the same.