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Happy Birthday to the Great Sandy Koufax

December 30, 2013

Today is the 78th birthday of the great Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax. Far too many years, 47, have gone by since he had to retire in the prime of his career.

In his last season, pitching with an arthritic elbow, he won 27 games including the pennant clincher at Philadelphia on the last day of the season. That game in which he struggled late, but held on for a (6-3) win means a great deal to Sandy.

Mr. Koufax keeps a low profile adding to his incredible mystique. I was fortunate enough to meet Sandy on a few occasions.

Sandy did not throw at batters, retired at his peak albeit due to injury, and has never done anything to tarnish his great image. He also loves basketball and was a darn good player in his day.

Some recollections about the 1965 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Minnesota Twins.

In the 1965 regular season, Koufax won 26 and lost 8. He pitched the pennant clincher vs the then, Milwaukee Braves on the penultimate day of the season.

Sandy did not pitch the opening game of the 1965 World Series because of his observance of the Jewish “High Holy Day,” Yom Kippur.

In that game the Twins beat Don Drysdale. When manager Walt Alston came to the mound to relieve Drysdale, the big right handed star said, “I bet around this time you wish I was Jewish.”

The next day the Twins beat Sandy and held a (2-0) World Series lead. However, Claude Osteen won game 3 while Don and Sandy won the next two games, Sandy by shutout.

Minnesota won game six behind Jim “Mudcat” Grant, who also homered in the game.

Sandy Koufax threw another shutout as the Dodgers won it all in game 7.

Twins manager Sam Mele was asked the key to the just completed World Series. “Not enough Jewish holidays” he said.

Happy birthday Sandy.

Sandy K and Andy B

Sandy K and Andy B

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