Koufax Facts, from Dan Grossman

November 2, 2012 |

 I once saw Koufax pitch.

In his honor, here are some tidbits:

He was signed by the Dodgers for a $14,000 bonus and $6,000 annual salary.

His career was, of course, before free agency. When he and Drysdale were at top of their careers and held out together (refused to report to Spring training for six weeks), he eventually settled for a $125,000 salary.

Inside baseball language in those days was not very PC (perhaps still isn't). In 1965, when big decision for first game of World Series was whether to start Koufax or Drydale, manager Walter Alston came into clubhouse and announced, "I'm going with the Jew."

Notwithstanding modest earnings, lack of endorsements and very limited TV career, he retired to Maine and seemed to live a distinguished, very private post-baseball life.

He married, and eventually divorced, a highly attractive daughter of actor Richard Widmark.

I was saddened to see that, through the advice of his childhood friend Mets-owner Fred Wilpon, Koufax lost a considerable amount investing with Bernie Madoff.





Speak your mind

1 Comment so far

  1. steve on November 2, 2012 5:49 pm

    some will argue that the three year stretch which began when the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles are considered the finest in the history of baseball.

    More importantly, Mr. Koufax was a modest man of great character. He declined to pitch the first game of the World Series in 1965 due to observance of Yom Kippur.

    It is important to remember that Mr. Koufax was not an instant success and had to learn to control his pitching by taking a bit off the pitch.

    I can think of few men in baseball who deserve the respect and adulation of Sandy Koufax.


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