The great baseball announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Vin Scully, has decided that he is going to hang it up at the end of this season. He is 88 years old and has been calling the Dodger’s baseball games on the radio for some67 years, so I suppose it’s about time to retire.

He started in 1950 when he was just twenty-three years old and the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn.

He is an incredible speaker with a very charming almost statesmanlike disposition.   Down through the years he has been seamless and smooth in his delivery of the games.

He has a way of weaving special interest stories about the players right into the ball games with the ease and grace of a surgeon.

This week he told the story about how Madison Bumgarner, the very talented pitcher for the San Francisco Giants rescued a young jack rabbit. This is how Vin Scully told the story… “Two years ago in spring training, Madison Baumgarner and his wife were roping cattle, which is what they do,” Vin said.

“They were startled by a large snake. And Madison thought it was a rattlesnake so he grabbed an axe, and he hacked the snake to pieces… (Here’s the pitch, it’s outside for a ball, 1-0 is the count)…When his wife Ali and an expert field dresser examined what was left of the snake, she found two baby jackrabbits inside pieces of the snake and extracted them.

After she extracted them, a short while later, the Bumgarners noticed that one of the rabbits had moved slightly – it was alive!…(There’s a strike, the count goes to 1-1)…Well, his wife brought the rabbit back to their apartment and for the next few days they kept it warm, bottle-nursed it, and the rabbit soon was healthy enough that they released it into the wild…(Here’s the 1-1 pitch, swung on and popped up on the infield.

The secondbaseman puts the leather to it, two down)…Madison said, just think about how tough that rabbit was.

First it gets eaten by a snake, then the snake gets chopped to pieces, then it gets picked up by people and lives. Now that’s an example of how to be tough”…(Here’s the windup and the pitch, it’s a strike on the outside corner), 0-1 the count…

This is how Vin Scully announces the games. It’s like poetry in motion as he weaves these stories into the calling of the game.

The story of the survival of this jack rabbit is such an off-the-wall little tale to throw into the middle of a baseball game, but it is so unique to his style and delivery that it sets him apart.

The Milwaukee Brewers have one of these classic play by play guys as well by the name of Bob Uecker. Even though I have always been a Cubs fan, I like to listen to Brewer games from time to time just to hear Uecker.

It was so disappointing to me when the Brewers moved to the national league in 1998. For years I had two teams to root for, the Cubs in the National league and the Brewers in the American league, but that all changed in ‘98 when the Brewers became one of the Cubs biggest rivals.

I guess you can tell that I love baseball. It certainly is America’s greatest pastime. It’s such a great game. Over my 27 years here, I have had the privilege of coaching almost 500 high school games for Clinton, and probably about that many different players have come through our program as well. When I was a teen ager my pastor told me that God is a baseball fan.

“We know this because of the first verse in the Bible,” he would say. “Just look at Genesis 1:1. In the big inning, God created the heaven and the earth.” I couldn’t help but laugh.It’s good to have a sense of humor. The Bible says in Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine.Until next week, keep smiling and Go Cubs! (and Brewers too, I suppose) God bless!