Sunday, January 1, 2017

Vin Scully's Dodgers

I meant to give my two cents on Vin Scully's retirement like everyone else did, around the end of the regular season when Scully was calling the final games of his 67-year career, but I was busy identifying baseball generations. And then the Cubs won the World Series and the baseball season was over.

Scully was born in 1927, so I place him in the last wave of baseball's G.I. Generation - players born from 1912 to 1928. He represents the last remaining link to that generation; its last member to retire from baseball.

The best players of that generation - Ted Williams and Stan Musial and Joe DiMaggio and Warren Spahn and Jackie Robinson - were all active when Scully began calling Brooklyn Dodgers games in 1950 at the age of 22.

The last player of that generation to appear in MLB was Minnie Minoso, who went a combined 1-for-10 in a handful of appearances in 1976 and 1980 when he was in his fifties. Besides Minoso, that generation's last major leaguer was Hoyt Wilhelm, who pitched his final 16 games for Scully's Dodgers in 1972.

Going by baseball-reference WAR, the best individual Dodger season of Scully's long tenure was Sandy Koufax, 1963, and the best season by a position player was Jackie Robinson, 1951 (Scully's second year in the booth). Using the baseball-reference play index finder, I compiled a 25-man all-star team of the best Dodger seasons of the Vin Scully years, 1950-2016:

Line Up

2BJackie Robinson19519.7198825.338.429.527
LFPedro Guerrero19857.9338712.320.422.577
CFDuke Snider19539.34212616.336.419.627
CMike Piazza19978.7401245.362.431.638
3BAdrian Beltre20049.5481217.334.388.629
RFShawn Green20016.94912520.297.372.598
1BGil Hodges19546.2421303.304.373.579
SSCorey Seager20166.126723.308.365.512


OFWillie Davis19648.3127742.294.316.413
CRoy Campanella19537.1411424.312.395.611
IFRon Cey19756.7251015.283.372.473
OFKirk Gibson19886.5257631.290.377.483
OFReggie Smith19776.132877.307.427.576
IFJim Gilliam19566.164321.300.399.396
IFMaury Wills19626.0648104.299.347.373


SPSandy Koufax196310.725501.88306
SPZack Greinke20159.319301.66200
SPDon Drysdale19648.0181602.18237
SPClayton Kershaw20137.816901.83232
SPOrel Hershiser19887.223812.26178
RPJoe Black19524.4154152.1585
RPTom Niedenfuer19833.683111.9066
RPRon Perranoski19634.5163211.6775
RPPhil Regan19665.0141211.6288
RPEric Gagne20033.723551.20137

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