Thursday, September 29, 2022
HomeHumberto acostaAnother recognition for Sandy Koufax

Another recognition for Sandy Koufax

Enjoy a new installment of "Tripleplay" by Humberto Acosta

As I enjoyed the lovely ceremony the Dodgers put on to raise the statue in honor of Sandy Koufax this past June 18 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, I thought about how his last game in the big leagues didn't have the dignity of Goodbye that a pitcher of his stature deserved. Things of fate, or rather baseball, we could say today when more than half a century has passed since his final appearance in the major leagues. Why a belated tribute asked me, meanwhile I reveled in the significant moment.

Koufax did not belong to open the second game of the 1966 World Series, against the Baltimore Orioles. It was up to him to start the first one. Only that the circumstances that not infrequently stand in our way, altered the original plan that concluded with the defeat, which in the end meant the last encounter of his career in the major leagues.

With the Dodgers without the NL crown on the final day of the regular season, Koufax was forced to start despite having only two days off, instead of the usual three, to try to avoid a setback that would lead the Dodgers to an extra challenge that would put the possibility of the crown in question. Koufax defeated the Philadelphia Phillies and clinched the championship, but missed the opportunity to start the series opener. A fact that certainly did not alter him, already with the crown in the hands of the Dodgers.

How was your last meeting in the big top? To have been the last, it is not very worthy of being evoked. At least for a faithful admirer of his time in the majors like us. He lost, and in the middle of everything that surrounds a World Series. October 6, 1966. Koufax shouldn't have started that second game in Los Angeles, but how many times do you alter history yourself. As did Koufax himself. Under normal conditions he should have started the first, only he had to start the last of the regular schedule to secure the title. It was there that he altered his destiny. That's what we all still believe. How did the match unfold?

That unforgettable game against the Orioles in 1966

Top of first inning: Luis Aparicio singled to shortstop. Curt Blefary elevated to shortstop.

Aparicio is caught off base by Koufax, 1-3-6. Frank Robinson flied to left…Top of XNUMXnd inning: Brooks Robinson fouled out to catcher John Roseboro. Boog Powell line to right field. Davey Johnson flied out to second base… Top of third inning: Paul Blair lined up to right field. Andy Etchebarren strikes out with the third strike called Jim Palmer fly for the third … Top of fourth inning: Aparicio fly out to third base. Blefary raised to shortstop. Frank Robinson walks. Brooks Robinson safe at first on Jim Gilliam's error at third.

Frank Robinson caught off base by Gilliam and Jim Lefebvre… Top of fifth inning: Powell singled to left. Johnson fouled the catcher. Blair to second on an error by Willie Davis in center field. Etchebarren short fly to center field that Davis misses. Powell scores and Blair to third. Davis throws badly to third base and Blair scores. Jim Palmer strikes out. Double for Aparicio and Etchebarren scores. Blefary elevated to right woods...

Top of sixth inning: Triple by Frank Robinson. Brooks Robinson flies to first. Powell singles to left and Frank Robinson scores. Johnson singled and Powell to third base. Blair intentionally walked to load the bases. Etchebarren hits for a double play, 6-2-3… Top of the seventh: Koufax is removed for Perranoski.

Willie Davis mistakes

In six innings, Koufax gave up six hits, gave up four runs, one earned, walked two and struck out two batters. He was the defeated pitcher. Orioles 6 Dodgers 0. Koufax was able to open the fifth game of the series, but Baltimore swept the classic in four games, 4-0.

goodbye in november

Koufax won 27 games the year of his retirement, five times he was líder in ERA, he pitched three no-hitters and no runs and one perfect game, won three "Cy Young"s and three "Most Valuable", on November 18, 1966, he announced his retirement.

Leave a comment

Lastest news