Hurdle cherishes bond with Dodgers' Scully

Hurdle cherishes bond with Dodgers' Scully

LOS ANGELES -- Clint Hurdle, then a part-time outfielder for the New York Mets, was a late scratch from manager Davey Johnson's lineup on July 18, 1985.

Hurdle had more important matters to tend to, more important places than Shea Stadium to be. His first child, Ashley, was born that Thursday.

Two days later, he entered late a game in which the Mets were drubbing the Braves, and connected for a home run off Gene Garber.

The game was being telecast as NBC's Game of the Week, and the redhead on the air said as Hurdle circles the bases, "That'll buy some talcum powder for Ashley Hurdle."

When made aware of the comment, Hurdle called the announcer to thank him, and the men talked for 10 minutes.

And since then, whenever they are in the same park, Vin Scully has made it a point to visit and chat with the Pirates manager.

"He's encouraged me to call him 'Vin,' but it's hard. He's Mr. Scully," Hurdle said on Saturday afternoon, after the Dodgers institution had left his office. "He is one of the best storytellers I've ever listened to.

"The voice is iconic, the memory is iconic. The things he's done in the game will stick out forever."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.