When Joe Garagiola passed away in the days before the start of the 2016 season, one of the legends of the broadcast booth was silenced. At the age of 90, he passed in late March in Scottsdale, Arizona. He had turned a nine-year mediocre playing career into full-time celebrity status as a voice and a face of baseball, while also spending time as a host of the “Today” show and a game show personality in addition to his work for NBC covering baseball. He later worked in the broadcast booth for the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks and was deservingly inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame’s broadcasters’ wing in 1991 when he was awarded the Ford C. Frick Award.
When the 2016 season comes to a conclusion, another broadcasting legend, Vin Scully, will retire, bringing an end to his 67-year career calling Major League Baseball games, in particular, those of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Like his longtime teammate Garagiola, Scully was also the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award in 1982. He started covering the Dodgers when they were still in Brooklyn in 1950 and moved with the team when they relocated to the west coast in 1958.
The Indians made trips to Chavez Ravine in 2008 and 2014, but no such games were on the schedule this season with the Dodgers, so Indians fans hoping to hear the 88-year-old Scully give his thoughts on the historical endeavors of the Cleveland Indians organization were out of luck. For baseball fans who are disappointed that they might not ever get to hear the two iconic voices call a game again, the wonder and majesty of the internet makes it possible.
On occasion, some hidden gems can be discovered online and while perusing through some Cleveland Indians videos on Youtube, I happened to stumble upon one such diamond, one that will allow baseball fans to hear the two legendary mouthpieces of baseball give play-by-play of an Indians game.
Thanks to YouTuber ClassicMLB11, an April 30, 1988, NBC “Game of the Week” between the Oakland Athletics and Cleveland Indians from Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium is available for your viewing pleasure. The game was called by none other than Scully and Garagiola.
It wasn’t necessarily a great game for Cleveland manager Doc Edwards and the Tribe, who came in holding the top spot in the American League East (16-5) through the first month of the season. Oakland (15-7), led by manager Tony La Russa and riding a five-game winning streak, sent Bob Welch to the mound against righty Rich Yett. The lethal A’s lineup, powered by a heart of the order of Jose Canseco, Dave Parker, and Mark McGwire, was a sight to fear.
Unfortunately, the game cuts out into a local newscast at the three hour mark, but it still gives you one last opportunity to hear some of the greats of the game call an Indians game.
Photo: Getty Images
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I’ve always wondered (and maybe will forever) why Rich Yett retired at the age of 27. And then salaries escalated. Maybe he had a trust fund.