Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A Brief, Brilliant Career: Why we canít forget Sandy Koufax.
Weekly Standard ^ | 1-/3/11 | David G. Dalin

Posted on 10/03/2011 4:59:47 PM PDT by rhema

For five memorable seasons, Sandy Koufax dominated baseball as no other major league pitcher ever had before. From 1962 to 1966, Koufax led the National League in earned run average, the only pitcher ever to do that. At the same time, he compiled a record of 111-34, a winning percentage of .766, that has never been equaled. Koufax led the National League in wins, ERA, and strikeouts for three consecutive seasons. He pitched 4 no-hitters, including a perfect game. In 1963, he threw 11 shutouts, more than any other pitcher has since in one season. In 1965, he went 26-8 and set a major league record by striking out 382 batters in one season. In 1972, he was elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame, becoming Cooperstown’s youngest member at the age of 36. He remains today only the second Jewish player to enter the pantheon.

Born in Brooklyn on December 30, 1935, Koufax attended Lafayette High School in Bensonhurst, where one of his friends was the television talk show host Larry King. At Lafayette, Koufax played on the basketball team, earning a reputation as one of the best players in Brooklyn. He didn’t play on the baseball team until his senior year, and then usually as a first baseman who would sometimes pitch in relief of another friend, Fred Wilpon, Lafayette’s pitching star and later the co-owner of the New York Mets.

Koufax won a basketball scholarship to the University of Cincin-nati, where he planned to study architecture. In the spring of his freshman year, he became the overnight pitching sensation of the university’s baseball team, striking out 34 batters in his first two games and gaining the attention of sportswriters and baseball scouts throughout the country. Before long, close to a dozen major league scouts, including the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Al Campanis, converged on Cincinnati and offered him contracts. Accepting the Dodgers’ offer of $20,000—a salary of $6,000 and a signing bonus of $14,000—Koufax left college after his freshman year for Ebbets Field.

The Dodgers owners, as Koufax biographer Jane Leavy has noted, were overjoyed, regarding “the signing of a Jewish ballplayer the way others regarded the coming of the messiah. The Dodgers were so desperate for a Jewish presence, given the demographics of Brooklyn … Koufax was a marketing godsend.” The team’s owner, Walter O’Malley, proclaimed him “the great Jewish hope” of the franchise, telling a reporter: “We hope he’ll be as great as Hank Greenberg.”

At first, Koufax failed to meet such exalted expectations. His first few seasons were mediocre at best, a disappointment to management and fans alike. Koufax pitched in only 12 games in 1955, winning 2 and losing 2. In 1956, his second season with the Dodgers, Koufax won 2 games and lost 4. In 1957, his record was 5 and 4. Ironically, it was only after the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles that Koufax began his remarkable ascent to superstardom. In August 1959, pitching against the San Francisco Giants, who had also recently moved west from New York, Koufax tied the major league record of 18 strikeouts set by Bob Feller in 1938.

With the 1962 season, his metamorphosis complete, Koufax began to make baseball history, pitching the first of his 4 no-hitters, striking out 18 batters in a game for the second time in his career, and leading the major leagues with an ERA of 2.54. In 1963, the season in which he pitched his second no-hitter, his statistics were monumental. He led the National League with 25 games won, a 1.88 ERA, and 306 strikeouts, winning the pitcher’s Triple Crown. He was the unanimous winner of the Cy Young Award, as the National League’s best pitcher, and was voted the National League’s Most Valuable Player as well. In the 1963 World Series against the New York Yankees, during which he won two games, Koufax set a new World Series record by striking out 15 batters in one game, and was voted the World Series MVP.

For many baseball fans, Koufax’s meteoric rise symbolized the coming of age of baseball in the American West. A virtual unknown when the Dodgers moved to California in 1957, Koufax, by the time of his retirement in 1966, was a household name. He had become the greatest pitcher of his era, a baseball celebrity second only perhaps to Willie Mays.

In 1965, despite arthritis in his elbow, Koufax had what many consider the best season any pitcher ever had, leading the major leagues in victories, strikeouts, complete games, innings pitched, and ERA. Then on September 9, 1965, in a game against the Chicago Cubs, he pitched his fourth no-hitter and his first perfect game. Like Willie Mays’s over-the-shoulder catch during the 1954 World Series and Bobby Thomson’s home run “heard round the world” three years earlier, Koufax’s perfect game would become the moment for which he would be remembered.

And yet, Koufax’s contribution to baseball that season cannot be measured by statistics alone. Less than a month after the perfect game, Koufax achieved, as Jane Leavy put it, “another kind of perfection by refusing to pitch the opening game of the World Series because it fell on the holiest day of the Jewish year,” Yom Kippur. By refusing to pitch, “Koufax defined himself as a man of principle who placed faith above craft.” Like Hank Greenberg’s similar decision 31 years earlier, this became a defining moment for a new generation of American Jews, and a source of inspiration for Jewish baseball fans. Bruce Lustig, the senior rabbi at the Washington Hebrew Congregation in Washington, D.C., and a fan since childhood, has pointed to Koufax’s decision not to pitch “as a transforming event, providing the catalyst” for many Jews “to acknowledge and honor their religion.” Koufax’s action “both reinforced Jewish pride and enhanced the sense of belonging—a feat as prodigious as any he had accomplished on the baseball field.”

So, too, his successful joint salary holdout with his teammate Don Drysdale, in their 1966 preseason contract negotiations with the Dodgers, as several baseball historians have pointed out, was a “transforming event” that paved the way for Marvin Miller’s challenge to the reserve clause and the beginning of free agency. In hiring an attorney to bargain for them and in demanding contracts of more than $100,000 annually—a salary ceiling no player had ever exceeded—Koufax believed they were fighting for a basic principle: “That ballplayers aren’t slaves, that we have a right to negotiate.”

The Dodgers gave in to Koufax’s contract demands, and in 1966 he earned $135,000, the highest salary ever paid a baseball player. That was his last season, and he won 27 games, with a phenomenal 1.73 ERA, and received his third unanimous Cy Young Award, despite the fact that the chronic arthritic condition in his pitching arm that had afflicted him through much of his pitching career had worsened. At season’s end, in constant pain and warned by physicians that if he continued pitching he might lose the use of his left arm, Koufax shocked the baseball world with his announcement that he was retiring at the age of 30.

Today, 45 years after his retirement at the top of his career, Sandy Koufax should be remembered as the last of the greatest pitchers of baseball’s golden age. Now 75, Koufax should also be admired for his refusal to pitch on Yom Kippur and his role in winning the right of a baseball player to negotiate over salary—achievements off the field that have done much to shape his enduring legacy.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Miscellaneous; US: California; US: New York
KEYWORDS: baseball; dodgers; koufax; sandykoufax; sports
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-67 next last

1 posted on 10/03/2011 4:59:52 PM PDT by rhema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: BluesDuke

And now, for the rest of the story . . .


2 posted on 10/03/2011 5:00:50 PM PDT by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rhema

I wanted to name my son Sandy, but the Missus wouldn’t have it.


3 posted on 10/03/2011 5:01:25 PM PDT by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rhema

Justin Verlander passed up one of his records this year. 24 wins and a no hitter in the same season.

BTW Playoff thread over here. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2786167/posts


4 posted on 10/03/2011 5:02:45 PM PDT by cripplecreek (MLB Playoff thread http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2786167/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rhema; BluesDuke; ken5050

Koufax was as good a pitcher as I’ve ever seen pitch, and I’ve seen ‘em all over the past 50 years. When the Dodgers came to Chicago, and Koufax was scheduled to pitch, it was an event! Lots of folks would come just to see him pitch.


5 posted on 10/03/2011 5:04:13 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson (Lifelong baseball fan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rhema

Didn’t the Dodgers have Koufax, Drysdale and Juan Marichal (unsure of spelling) on the same team at one time?


6 posted on 10/03/2011 5:05:35 PM PDT by yarddog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: yarddog

Not Marichal...he was a Giant.


7 posted on 10/03/2011 5:06:35 PM PDT by perez24 (Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: perez24

Thanks my memory is pretty much no good, tho if someone had mentioned the Giants I would have remembered.


8 posted on 10/03/2011 5:08:22 PM PDT by yarddog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: abigail2; AgThorn; al baby; BAW; bboop; BenLurkin; Bob J; Brad's Gramma; BunnySlippers; bunster; ...
SoCal Ping!

Attention Southern Californians

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Please ping me with any Southern California related articles. Thank you!

If you want on or off this ping list, please FReepmail me.

9 posted on 10/03/2011 5:08:48 PM PDT by EveningStar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rhema

Should have never let him get away from Cincinnati.


10 posted on 10/03/2011 5:09:19 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rhema

Koufax was remarkable, but I always considered Bob Gibson the last of the greatest pitchers of the era...


11 posted on 10/03/2011 5:11:58 PM PDT by magritte
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: yarddog
Kofax, Drysdale and Sutton.
12 posted on 10/03/2011 5:12:40 PM PDT by bwc2221
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: yarddog
Drysdale and Koufax, they did. My '65 Twins managed to pin a World Series loss on each of them, but then they got tougher and won 3 of the last 4 games.
13 posted on 10/03/2011 5:13:58 PM PDT by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: rhema
Koufax was pretty wild in his early years, but once he gained control, he was awesome.

I saw him pitch once, when I was a kid, that was at the Coliseum, he did not make it past the first inning, he walked at least two, and had at least two wild pitches, before they pulled him.

I remember it more because my Uncle, whom I went to the game with, often told the story over the years.

14 posted on 10/03/2011 5:16:48 PM PDT by Michael.SF. (When you hear hooves, think horses, not zebras.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rhema

He was my boyhood idol growing up as a lefty (baseball lefty not political lefty).

As Ernie Banks said about him: “You can’t hit what you can’t see.”


15 posted on 10/03/2011 5:17:48 PM PDT by Scott from the Left Coast
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rhema

And even Jews joke that Jews can’t play sports. Want another incredible Jewish baseball star? Hank Greenberg got 183 RBI and 58 home runs. Due to wars and health, he only played nine full seasons.


16 posted on 10/03/2011 5:18:32 PM PDT by dangus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: magritte
Mickey Lolich show Gibson who was boss in the 1968 winning three games and besting Gibson 4-1 in game 7.

In game 6 Curt Flood discovered what happened when you misplayed a ball in center-field at old Tiger Stadium (440 feet to straight-away center).

17 posted on 10/03/2011 5:18:52 PM PDT by bwc2221
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek
Justin Verlander passed up one of his records this year. 24 wins and a no hitter in the same season.

Not passed up, Verlander had an excellent year but he's not at Koufax' level yet, not even statistically.

18 posted on 10/03/2011 5:19:46 PM PDT by Scott from the Left Coast
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: magritte
Gibson certainly was the meanest!

(On the mound anyway).

19 posted on 10/03/2011 5:21:46 PM PDT by Scott from the Left Coast
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: bwc2221

Lolich was a good pitcher for the Tigers...not HOF material of course, but good.

Flood misjudged it, cost them the game and the Series. It happens.


20 posted on 10/03/2011 5:27:22 PM PDT by magritte
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: bwc2221

I remember that 68 series. Denny McClain had a sore arm but they gave him a cortisone shot and he won one of the World Series games.

I think Denny won 31 that year.

A couple of years later he was pitching for the Birmingham A’s. I saw him pitch against Asheville. They must have had orders to let him pitch as Asheville bombed him 12-0 and they left him in the whole game. A former pro player was with us that day and he said McClain still had a good fastball but that he was simply throwing them all right over the plate.


21 posted on 10/03/2011 5:28:07 PM PDT by yarddog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: bwc2221

I remember that 68 series. Denny McClain had a sore arm but they gave him a cortisone shot and he won one of the World Series games.

I think Denny won 31 that year.

A couple of years later he was pitching for the Birmingham A’s. I saw him pitch against Asheville. They must have had orders to let him pitch as Asheville bombed him 12-0 and they left him in the whole game. A former pro player was with us that day and he said McClain still had a good fastball but that he was simply throwing them all right over the plate.


22 posted on 10/03/2011 5:28:20 PM PDT by yarddog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Charles Henrickson
When the Dodgers came to Chicago, and Koufax was scheduled to pitch, it was an event! Lots of folks would come just to see him pitch.

I know the feeling. I never got to see Koufax pitch in person but did watch many times on TV. I did however get to see Satchel Paige pitch in person when he came to the Miami Marlins AAA team back in the '50s. I will never forget his "hesitation" pitch. That of course is now illegal but it was a thing to behold. He could even at his advanced age at that time still surprise the hitter with a pretty good fast ball... when he felt like it. That was not often. :-) Those were the days for sure, never to return I fear.

23 posted on 10/03/2011 5:28:30 PM PDT by mc5cents
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: perez24

Is that you, Tony?


24 posted on 10/03/2011 5:28:54 PM PDT by old_sage_says ("Do not wish ill for your enemy, plan it.." Brad Thor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Charles Henrickson
and Koufax was scheduled to pitch, it was an event! Lots of folks would come just to see him pitch.

Was it ever!

I went to see him square off with Atlanta's left-hander, Denny Lemaster (who only had two remarkable games....both against Koufax. Lost there, won here.)

I had to Google to make sure I got my facts right as I remembered them... and I am happy to say I did get it (mostly) right. It was a baseball lover's dream and.... if you were a Braves fan.... Heaven.

Both threw masterpieces (Koufax, - 3 hitter, Lemaster - 2 hitter) won by the Braves on a walk-off homer in the ninthth by my favorite player.... Eddie Matthews. Final 2-1.

Sold out....all due to Sandy.

25 posted on 10/03/2011 5:32:04 PM PDT by eddie willers
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: bwc2221
Vin Scully announces Sandy Koufax's perfect game
26 posted on 10/03/2011 5:34:22 PM PDT by Loud Mime (The Obama voters are dumber than you think, meaner than you can imagine)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Charles Henrickson

Koufax had an amazing 5 year run..but his earlier years were so-so at best...I think the best pitcher I ever saw ( over 55 years watching baseball) for a career was Bob Gibson. Had he played on either coast..in a major media market..he’d be a god today.


27 posted on 10/03/2011 5:35:59 PM PDT by ken5050 (Save the EARTH...it's the ONLY planet with CHOCOLATE!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: NativeNewYorker

Should have named him 32.


28 posted on 10/03/2011 5:37:57 PM PDT by samtheman (Palin. In your heart you know she's right.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Charles Henrickson

It doesn’t show in the pictures, becuased the uniforms of the day were loose fitting, but Koufax had huge upper body musculature..that’s where he got the armstrength for hius velocity..also, he had very long fingers....gave him a grip that caused that wicked curveball..


29 posted on 10/03/2011 5:39:10 PM PDT by ken5050 (Save the EARTH...it's the ONLY planet with CHOCOLATE!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: rhema
Even as a life-long Cincy Reds FAN...I remember listened to the Koufax-Drysdale pitching achievements over the radio and being very impressed.

The Days of Great BaseBall...The Ultimate Sport!
30 posted on 10/03/2011 5:39:46 PM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, Ergo Conservitus.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bwc2221; yarddog; BluesDuke

I think Sutton came up right at the end of the Koufax-Drysdale era. It was Claude Osteen who was the #3 starter, I think, for most of the ‘62-’66 years. And I think the Dodgers also had Larry and/or Norm Sherry. Perranoski in the bullpen. At least that’s what I remember from those years.


31 posted on 10/03/2011 5:39:46 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson (Lifelong baseball fan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Scott from the Left Coast

I have two autographed baseballs from an all-star game played in Mpls from that era - I forget what year. My brother-in-law had some connections for good seat, meet and great afterwards, etc.

Lots of great names from my childhood - although I was not a diehard fan. But Sandy Koufax, Ernie Banks, Harmon Killebrew, Catfish Hunter, etc. are some of them.


32 posted on 10/03/2011 5:40:43 PM PDT by 21twelve (Obama Recreating the New Deal: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: rhema
Great post rhema, thanks !

click for pic source and another good Koufax article

33 posted on 10/03/2011 5:41:25 PM PDT by tomkat (para bellum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rhema
And now, for the rest of the story...it was not Al Campanis

Obituary: William Zinser loved work, sports

As a scout, he discovered Sandy Koufax

By Nicole Hamilton
The Cincinnati Enquirer

GROESBECK - When knee problems forced William J. Zinser to start walking with a cane this year, his family assumed he had stopped working. Because he was 81 years old, they thought he had retired from his job at the Shell station in Colerain Township.

That's why his son, Steve Zinser of Loveland, was surprised to get a call Thursday that his father had collapsed from a heart attack while helping a customer.

William Zinser, a longtime Groesbeck resident, died early Thursday morning from an apparent heart attack, doing one of the things he loved most - working.

Raised in Wyoming, he found his other passion while at Wyoming High School - as a star baseball and football player.

After graduating from Wyoming High School in 1940, Mr. Zinser served in the Army during World War II. Honorably discharged in 1945, he returned to Cincinnati and married his high school sweetheart, Mary Egbers.

He also started his longtime career at National Distillery in Carthage, where he worked until 1987, before he started working the counter at various Shell stations.

It was also after the war that he began acting as a regional scout for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Chicago Clubs and Cleveland Indians.

"He greatest success in sports as a scout came when he discovered Sandy Koufax pitching as a freshman at the University of Cincinnati and was instrumental in getting him signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954," his son said.

In 1958, he managed the amateur team in Glendale and led it to the AABC World Series championship of 1958 in Battle Creek, Mich.

He also served as past president of the Mid-American Conference of Basketball and Football Referees and the Ohio Valleys Officials Association.

"He always said, 'I can still throw the odd curveball.' I wish I could pitch a few with him now," his son said.

34 posted on 10/03/2011 5:42:19 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True Supporters of our Troops PRAY for their VICTORY!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: magritte

Gibson was great, but there was a pitcher in ‘67 and ‘68 who led the majors in ‘67 among all players with 25 games or more in slugging average, ahead of Frank Howard, Ron Santo, Orlando Cepada, Willie McCovey, Al Kaline, Roberto Clemente, Harmon Killibrew, Dick Allen, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, and Carl Yasrtzemski. His team lost the pennant by one game that year.

In ‘68 the team won the World Series, the manager Manager of the Year, and the ace pitcher the Cy Young. The same pitcher led the majors among all pitchers with 25 games or more in ERA with 0.69 - 8 runs in 25 games. But not the Cy Young, as he had been traded to the National League and Gibson had his career best that year.

And the original post is incorrect in saying Koufax led the majors in ERA in 1962. Koufax led the National League, but this same pitcher led the American League and the Majors in ‘62 with 2.21 to Koufax’s 2.54. He only won 16 that year, but that was out of 22 starts. So no Cy Young votes ever for him.

And for his career, he had only 1.5 K per nine innings pitched, but 0.09 BB per nine innings pitched, for a career K/BB ratio of 16+. Hank Aguirre gets no respect.


35 posted on 10/03/2011 5:45:32 PM PDT by bIlluminati (Don't just hope for change, work for change in 2011-2012.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: ken5050
Koufax had an amazing 5 year run..but his earlier years were so-so at best...

Because Koufax was a bonus baby, the rules dictated that he had to be put directly on the Dodgers' roster (at age 19) for at least two years; he never spent any time in the minors. Gibson had the benefit of minor league experience before he made the majors at age 23.

36 posted on 10/03/2011 5:52:56 PM PDT by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: rhema

Obviously, a Book of Koufax must be added to the Old Testament!!


37 posted on 10/03/2011 5:54:54 PM PDT by Chi-townChief
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rhema

I was and am a huge Koufax fan. I, however, would like to throw a couple of names in the mix. Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson.
I would pay anything to see any of them pitch again!!!!!


38 posted on 10/03/2011 5:56:32 PM PDT by taillightchaser (The last hope for America--2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EveningStar

Pitchers always look like they're pulling themselves through the eye of a needle.

39 posted on 10/03/2011 5:57:07 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (...then they came for the guitars, and we kicked their sorry faggot asses into the dust)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: bwc2221; yarddog; BluesDuke
I looked it up, top four starters (GS) for the Dodgers, 1962-66:

1962: Don Drysdale, Johnny Podres, Stan Williams, Sandy Koufax
1963: Drysdale, Koufax, Podres, Bob Miller
1964: Drysdale, Koufax, Phil Ortega, Joe Moeller
1965: Drysdale, Koufax, Claude Osteen, Podres
1966: Drysdale, Koufax, Osteen, Don Sutton

So Johnny Podres and Claude Osteen were the starters with the most GS during those years. Larry Sherry was in the bullpen for some of those years. Ron Perranoski was the main reliever during those years.

Glad to know my memory is not failing me.

40 posted on 10/03/2011 5:58:49 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson (Lifelong baseball fan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: bwc2221

Claude Osteen was the third member of the Dodger rotation in the mid-sixties. Sutton was a rookie in Koufax’ last year (1966).


41 posted on 10/03/2011 6:13:34 PM PDT by GeorgeTex (Obama-Four M President (Mendacious Manchurian Muslim Marxist))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: bwc2221

Game 6?


42 posted on 10/03/2011 6:14:44 PM PDT by bobby.223
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: rhema
And now, for the rest of the story . . .
I couldn't possibly improve on Jane Leavy's remarkable biography Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy.

You can forget that other fella. You can forget Waddell. The Jewish kid is the best of any of them.---Casey Stengel.

There's only two things Sandy can't do. He can't park and he can't hit.---Whitey Ford (alluding to the ticket on the windshield---it was parked on the sidewalk---when Sport awarded Koufax a Corvette as World Series MVP in 1963.)

43 posted on 10/03/2011 6:23:27 PM PDT by BluesDuke (Another brief interlude from the small apartment halfway up in the middle of nowhere in particular)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: rhema
What a consistently dominant pitcher Koufax was for that stretch of years in the 1960s.

I recall 8/26/65 when 20 year old Met Tug McGraw (1-2) was scheduled to go up against Koufax (21-5), who I believe was 18-0 lifetime against the Mets at the time. McGraw won. The boxscore of that game.

44 posted on 10/03/2011 6:23:52 PM PDT by steelyourfaith (If it's "green" ... it's crap !!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Charles Henrickson
I didn't realize Podres lasted that long.

In 1950, only the following cities had Major League Baseball teams:
- Boston (Red Sox and Braves)
- New York (Yankees, Giants and Dodgers)
- Philadelphia (Phillies and A's)
- Washington (Senators)
- Pittsburgh (Pirates)
- Cleveland (Indians)
- Detroit (Tigers)
- Cincinnati (Reds)
- Chicago (Cubs and White Sox)
- St Louis (Cardinals and Browns)

45 posted on 10/03/2011 6:24:05 PM PDT by bwc2221
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: ken5050

I remember 1968. Brock, Flood, Shannon, Maxvill, McCarver, Maris, Cepada, Javier. Not only strong hitting and base running, but top fielding, too. And Briles, Washburn and Carlton along with Gibson as the ace and Hoerner to close. I think I’d win a pennant every year with that lineup.

Of course, we are only young for a short time. I saw Koufax once at Wrigley. It was embarrasing (as a Cubs fan). And amazing. Must have been 1966. Koufax was baseball old at 30. I wasn’t surprised to hear he quit after that year.


46 posted on 10/03/2011 6:27:03 PM PDT by bIlluminati (Don't just hope for change, work for change in 2011-2012.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: bwc2221

I’m in Dallas. Ian Kinsler is the Rangers’ second baseman. He is Jewish and is very popular. We call him the Jew bear or JB for short after the bad ass in Inglorious Bastards.


47 posted on 10/03/2011 6:32:09 PM PDT by Treeless Branch
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: steelyourfaith

How about the BP story before one of the ‘78, (or maybe ‘77), Bombers/Dodgers Series games? As it was told, Sandy threw some BP and evidently got into a competitive thing with Garvey/Lopes/Penquin/Smith/Baker and the guys and mowed ‘em down badly. Lasorda had to end the session as he felt it was gonna demoralize his guys! It was about 12 years or so after Sandy had hung ‘em up! Anyone know/heard anything else about this story? Sandy Koufax was the best hurler I ever saw pitch.


48 posted on 10/03/2011 6:36:08 PM PDT by bobby.223
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: GeorgeTex

I probably would have played against Don Sutton in high school except I quit after the second game. The coach who I liked and still like, had me substituting behind the guy who started the previous year in Right Field. This kid coud catch a fly ball and throw it in slowly. He also moved slowly in the outfield. In brief he was awful and could not hit either.

On the other hand he was the coaches son’s girlfriend’s
brother. In my opinion that was the the only reason he was playing plus he was the son of a prominent businessman.

The first game of the season we played Crestview. We were winning easily so they put me in for a couple of innings. During that time I was at bat twice and hit a home run and double driving in 3 more runs. I also made one of the best plays in the outfield I have ever made.

A ball was hit way over my head. I started running full speed with my back to the ball. I was far enough that I had gotten up a good deal of speed (I held the record for the 100 yard dash). I glanced back twice and just as the ball got over my head I reached as high as my arm would go and speared it. I was totally doing this blind as I could not watch the ball and catch it too. Since I was moving in the same direction as the ball it just barely stuck in the glove. Several of my team mates said it was the greatest catch they had ever seen.

I was sure I would start the next day but instead the coach put the politically valuable plodder in to start and I didn’t even get into the game. The next day I quit and went out for track.

If I had stayed on the team there is not doubt I would have played against Sutton, or at least set on the bench while other played him.

That is just the way it is done in small towns with wealthy and powerful men’s sons playing. I did end my baseball career batting 1000 and with a home run 50% of my at bats.


49 posted on 10/03/2011 6:36:17 PM PDT by yarddog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: NativeNewYorker

Should’ve tried ‘Seven’, or ‘Soda’!


50 posted on 10/03/2011 6:55:29 PM PDT by The FIGHTIN Illini (Buckle up - the Bamster's rollercoaster is about to come off the tracks!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-67 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson