Thursday, September 29, 2011

As Long as We're Talkin' Baseball...

Check out this brief remembrance of Dodger great, Sandy Koufax

The occasion for the piece is, of course, the beginning of this year's playoffs and the memory of Koufax's principled refusal to pitch game one of the 1965 World Series between the Dodgers and the Twins.  This year the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur was just this week, but that year it conflicted with the opening of the Series and the Jewish Koufax was determined to honor it nevertheless.

My own personal memory of Koufax comes from the 1966 season.  We were living in Dover, Delaware at the time.  My father was stationed there as an enlisted man in the US Air Force and that summer he took me to a double-header between the Phillies, my first favorite team, and the visiting L.A. Dodgers.  (A few years later we moved back to the South for good and I became and have remained a Braves fan ever since.)  While I didn't yet know many of the players besides those who were on the Phillies' roster, I certainly knew who Sandy Koufax was.  I remember praying, literally, that Koufax and Don Drysdale, a one-two punch seldom equaled, would pitch both ends of the matchup.  It didn't matter that I was a Philly fan.  Alas, they didn't, but my Dad let me wander down from our seats to alongside the field during the pre-game warmups and sure enough, before my very young and very wide eyes, there they were, Koufax and Drysdale, loosening up, playing catch with their teammates.

"God, I love baseball"

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