In Phoenix and in cities around the country, umpires are shouting “play ball” this week. Baseball is back and it also happens to be the 75thAnniversary of Abbott and Costello’s famous baseball routine, “Who’s On First.” It is considered by many to be one of the greatest comedy routines of all-time. Not many know that the comedy routine has a real life link to Arizona but that is exactly what occurred late in the 2007 baseball season at Chase Field in Phoenix.
When major league rosters expanded in September of 2007, the Dodgers called up a Taiwan-born shortstopnamed Chin-Lung Hu (pronounced “who”). Broadcasts from his initial major league at bats included comments by the legendary Vin Scully as to how much he was looking forward to saying “Hu’s on first.” However, Hu deprived Scully of that chance by hitting a homerun against the San Diego Padres in his second major league at bat. The Dodgers then travelled to Phoenix for a three game series against the Diamondbacks During the first two games of the series, Scully reportedly made references to the great Abbott and Costello routine but Hu was never on first. It was not until game three of the series in which Hu came to bat with a runner on second. The right handed hitting Hu lined a hanging slider into right field for a single, driving home the run.
And Vin Scully had his moment, allowing the legendary broadcaster to quote from the legendary comedy routine when he declared: “Hu’s on first.”
Link to Scully video can be found here.
In case you have never seen Abbott and Castello perform “Who’s on first,” check this out.