Caray, Simpson’s best Opening Day memories
FOX Sports South and SportSouth Braves broadcasters Chip Caray and Joe Simpson offer their favorite Opening Day memories.
My favorite Opening Day memory was in 1991. It was Dodgers at Braves and I was working with Ernie Johnson at Fulton County Stadium. My dad and Pete van Wieren were on radio.
I was 26, and in the big leagues after a couple of years doing the NBA and minor league baseball. Needless to say, I had big league butterflies too.
Off to my left, the great Vin Scully was working for the Dodgers … Vin Scully! … and our booths were separated by a clear Plexiglass wall. I could hear and see his every move, and vice versa.
Around 6:30 p.m. we taped our opening comments. We then waited until 7 p.m. for the broadcast to start. After our taped open ran, we had a commercial break. As the second man in the booth, it was my job to bring us back out of the format commercial break and recite the lineups, pitchers and get us ready for the first pitch.
So I got through reading all the names, sent us to another break, and finally, exhaled.
I didn’t realize though, that Vin Scully was standing in the back of the booth, watching and listening, silently stirring a cup of coffee.
I noticed some movement in his booth to our left and he caught my eye with a wry smile as he walked down the stops to his broadcast desk.
Tapping the Plexiglass with his Hall of Fame ring, he silently mouthed “Welcome to the Club!”
I’ve never forgotten that simple act of kindness to a 26-year-old kid trying to make his way, a Hall of Fame welcome to the show in April of 1991.
Mine was 1980 vs Toronto, I hit a home run and a triple. That was my best Opening Day memory.