Author Topic: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax  (Read 430 times)

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Offline EasyAce

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Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« on: August 25, 2019, 01:35:45 PM »
The Colts quarterback calls it a career a year younger than the Dodger legend was when he called it likewise.
By Yours Truly
https://throneberryfields.com/2019/08/25/andrew-luck-meet-sandy-koufax/

Andrew Luck does at 29 what Sandy Koufax did at 30—walking away from the sport at which he
excelled, and shocking his sport while he was at it.

The football world, and a few other worlds in sports, took a jolt when Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck decided it was time to retire at 29. For the sake of his health and the rest of his life. If F. Scott Fitzgerald said there were no second acts in American life, Luck seems determined to have one in the first place, and good luck (no pun intended) to him sincerely.

Even if you’re not a football fan, and I’m not, you could read of him, know he was one of his game’s genuine greats, and get that a young man can give up what he loves and does so well because the idea that perhaps the next injury might compromise him having a second life makes him just as sick as any of the injuries that interfered with playing his chosen sport.

If you’re my age you remember a baseball great who was a mere year older than Luck is now who made the same decision, shocked his sport and his country while he was at it, and stuck to his decision because he, too, was determined to make Fitzgerald a liar. And he sat on a far higher plane than Luck ever achieved.

Sandy Koufax didn’t begin the way Luck did. He was discovered a decade before baseball initiated its own college draft; he was a bonus signing forced to be on the major league roster two years under a foolish rule of his time; he was an outsize talent whose fastball speed and curve ball arc was throttled by lack of control.

It took Koufax the first six seasons of his career to discover control. (And, for a particularly observant companion in a Vero Beach pizza joint to discover just what kept him from it, a hitch between his windup and his delivery that obstructed enough of his view of the plate.) He went, as his biographer Jane Leavy phrased it, “from nothing special to never better.”

The second six seasons of Koufax’s career weren’t just off the charts. They obliterated the charts. It only began with smashing Christy Mathewson’s 58-year-old National League strikeout record in 1961. It only ended when his final season showed a 1.73 ERA for his fifth consecutive ERA title and his sixth consecutive major league-leading fielding-independent pitching rate. (2.07.)

Koufax so bedazzled the Yankees with his ownership of them as his Dodgers did what no opponent before them had, sweeping them out of the 1963 World Series, that his fellow Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle, asked if he wished there were a couple more Jewish holy days on the October calendar, replied, “You mean like Yom Koufax?”

If only Mantle really knew. (“I can understand how he won 25,” another Yankee Hall of Famer, Yogi Berra, said after that Series. “What I can’t understand is how he lost five.”) Two years later, Koufax refused to pitch Game One of a World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur.

Among other transdimensional achievements, Koufax would pitch pennant-clinching games in back-to-back seasons on two days’ rest, a World Series shutout on two days rest after a previous Series shutout, show a 2.25 ERA over a lifetime’s 24 games pitched on two days’ rest, and a batting average against him of (wait for it) .201 when he pitched on such short rest.

In the years when the Cy Young Award was a major league award (the late Dodger righthander Don Newcombe won the first, in 1956), Koufax won it three times, 1963, 1965, and 1966, and his dominance probably kept fellow Hall of Famer Juan Marichal from winning at least one and possibly two. Was it coincidence that, after Koufax retired, the Cy Young Award became awarded for each league?

His record four no-hit, no-run games would be eclipsed by Nolan Ryan, but Ryan didn’t pitch all of his in consecutive seasons. And Ryan doesn’t have one bragging right Koufax has if he wants it: after pitching no-hitters in 1962 (against the hapless Original Mets), 1963 (against the Giants), and 1964 (against the Phillies), Koufax in 1965 (against the Cubs) proved that practise makes perfect.

If you consider that his mound opponent that day, Bob Hendley, surrendered only one hit that didn’t even figure in the scoring (the Dodgers got the game’s only run in another inning, on a walk, a sacrifice, a steal, and a throwing error on the theft), Koufax’s perfect game is an entrant when you ask and talk about the greatest games ever pitched, period.

An injury on a baserunning play in August 1964 dictated his future—when he, of all people, was the baserunner. (Told that those giving him the 1963 World Series MVP left the Corvette parked on the sidewalk, with a $15 parking ticket attached to the windshield, Hall of Famer Whitey Ford cracked, “Sandy has only two flaws. He can’t park and he can’t hit.”) He scrambled back to second on a pickoff attempt (I know, I know, who on earth would think about trying to pick Sandy Koufax off, but yes, you can look it up) and made a four-point landing, elbows and knees.

The following morning Koufax awoke with his elbow the size of his knee and worse. The verdict: traumatic arthritis. The hope by spring training: he might be a once-a-week pitcher at best. The outcome: His 1965 and 1966 seasons made everything he’d achieved in the previous four seem like the mere overture to the main events. On a medical regimen that could and maybe should have killed him.

“I just told your pitcher to retire,” said Dodgers team physician Robert Kerlan during spring training ’65. Koufax confided to San Diego Union reporter Phil Collier in spring ’66 that this would be his final season no matter what. Collier eventually staggered his colleagues in the press when they learned he kept his promise to Koufax and sat on the story until Koufax’s actual retirement conference that November.

“I don’t know if cortisone is good for you or not,” Koufax said at the conference. (We know now that it isn’t, in ten or more such shots a lifetime.) “But to take a shot every other ball game is more than I wanted to do and to walk around with a constant upset stomach because of the pills and to be high half the time during a ball game because you’re taking painkillers . . . I don’t want to have to do that . . . I don’t regret one minute of the last twelve years, but I might regret the one year that was too many.”

Koufax even helped strike a blow toward beginning the end of the reserve era that kept players bound to their clubs with no say in their own employment and left them largely at the mercy of their owners in terms of their earnings. His joint spring 1966 holdout with fellow Hall of Famer Don Drysdale landed them baseball’s highest 1966 salaries and showed players what they could do if they really knew each other’s earnings and worked together to redress it.

All the while, he enjoyed a quiet accommodation with his fame. Never rude to reporters after the occasional bad game, Koufax drew a line between the pitcher and the person and navigated each side with a quiet dignity. Bachelor though he was, Koufax didn’t let his off-field life become the kind that earns the randy headlines provoked by the Bo Belinskys and Joe Namaths of sport. “Baseball,” Thomas Boswell eventually wrote, “could fascinate him, but not control him.”

After five years as a colour commentator on NBC’s weekly baseball broadcasts, during which his discomfort wasn’t talking about and analysing games but continuous bids to try getting him to talk about himself, Koufax gave it up. He’s as much a Renaissance man as any man can be.

“People ask all the time,” said Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton, whose rookie season with the Dodgers was Koufax’s final season, to Leavy, “‘What’s he done with his life?’ He’s enjoyed it.”

When not working spells since as a Dodgers’ or a roving pitching coach (to this day he loves to teach the art, asking pitchers who come to him to understand the why almost more than the how of pitching), he made himself into a master carpenter and home restorer (he did that in Maine once upon a time), a gourmet cook, a wine expert, a marathon runner, a fisherman, a pilot, whatever he thought would challenge as well as interest him.

The one subject above all others that didn’t interest Koufax, Leavy noted, is himself.

He does not disavow who he was or what he accomplished. He is proud of it. He simply refuses to exist in cinders and ashes. He doesn’t speak of himself in the third person, but he does think of “Sandy Koufax” as someone else, a persona separate from himself. If he was seeking refuge from anything, it was that.

And nobody can separate him from that separation. Asked not long after he married a third time (his first two marriages ended in divorce, and those who knew him noted their ends hurt deeply) what he dreamed about, Koufax gestured toward his wife (Jane Purucker Clarke, a one-time sorority sister of former First Lady Laura Bush) and said, “Her.”

The man who laughs when not shuddering even today when told he’s renowned for his quiet, private style (“I haven’t disappeared, I’m not lost, and I’m not very mysterious,” he once told reporters, after a magazine cover story described him as “The Incomparable and Mysterious Sandy Koufax”) said the following, in a 1965 memoir a copy of which his mother asked for simply to learn things about her son (“You certainly never told me anything,” Mom was once quoted as having told him):

I do not think the ballplayer is of an extraordinary importance in our national life. We do not heal the sick or bring peace and comfort to a troubled world. All we do is to provide a few hours of diversion to the people who want to come to the park, and a sort of conflict to those who identify their fortunes with ours through the season . . . it is a brief, self-liquidating life. It is a temporary life, really, a period between the time of our youth and the beginning of our lifetime career.

It’s not unreasonable to assume Andrew Luck—who retires from football as Koufax did from baseball, because the idea of crippling himself and perhaps denying himself the simplest pleasures and tasks of life—understands the same thing.

“I haven’t been able to live the life I want to live,” Luck said when announcing his retirement. “It’s taken the joy out of this game. The only way forward for me is to remove myself from football. This is not an easy decision. It’s the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me.”

Luck may not have transcended his sport quite the way Koufax did his, the truly transcendent being the truly few. But Luck may hope to transcend the shock of those Koufax described, those who identify their fortunes with those of athletes and their teams.

It’s a hope Luck deserves to see actualised as Koufax has long actualised his. It’s more important in too many ways than any postseason to which Luck ever led his team, any World Series in which Koufax triumphed, any game-changing touchdown pass Luck ever threw, any bullet fastball or voluptuous curve ball Koufax ever threw.

“He didn’t need baseball to be Sandy Koufax,” a fan named Al Meyers, who once got close enough to ask Koufax to sign a baseball for his father but couldn’t bring himself to ask, told Leavy.” Luck doesn’t need football to be Andrew Luck, either.

Those who identify their fortunes with those of teams and their players forget too readily. We’re ready to canonise a team that blows away the competition and players who execute in the highest leverage; we’re ready to damn a team that crumples under the whitest competitive heat and players who fail when only a single football or baseball rests between themselves and competitive disaster.

Koufax in 1966 and Luck in 2019 should remind us that they’re men first, capable of great achievement and great shortfall, sometimes at once, and too often forgotten in what Jim McKay once said famously, week after week, on the old ABC's Wide World of Sports: the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. Win, and you're a genius; lose, and you're a criminal against the state.

“I have something more important to do,” the late Hugh Hefner once said, when he bought his sumptuous Los Angeles home and spent more time making and living in its environment than working the magazine he created that nearly un-created him by the end of its second decade. “It’s called living.”

Luck today and Koufax then had something more important than football and baseball to do. It’s called living. If Luck needs a guide for how to do it after you walk away from the craft that made you famous in the most public of public eyes, he has no further to look than the now 83-year-old former lefthander spending five decades plus in league with all who’ve made F. Scott Fitzgerald a liar.
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« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 01:37:47 PM by EasyAce »

Offline dfwgator

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2019, 01:39:37 PM »
Good for Andrew,  he's set for life, and he wants to enjoy his later years, unlike so many other former NFL players.

Offline EasyAce

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2019, 01:41:09 PM »
Good for Andrew,  he's set for life, and he wants to enjoy his later years, unlike so many other former NFL players.
@dfwgator
Better---he was fortunately enough not to suffer any head injury that we know of. He won't have to worry about his brains betraying him as his life goes forward, that we know of.

Plus, how many of sports' greats can you think of who walked away at their ages and/or at the top of their games or (as in Koufax's case) somewhere beyond it? You can probably count them on a hand and a half other than Luck and Koufax. I can think of Bjorn Borg (tennis), Mike Bossy (NHL), Maureen Connolly (tennis) Jim Brown (NFL), Bobby Jones (golf), Rocky Marciano (boxing), Bobby Orr (NHL), Barry Sanders (NFL) . . .
« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 01:51:57 PM by EasyAce »

Offline Absalom

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2019, 03:06:59 PM »
All sport activity is entertainment/recreation; hardly a calling.
Andrew Luck earned an Engineering Degree in Architecture at Stanford.
Suspect that as much as he wants to minimize injury/pain he also wants
to do something more meaningful than handing off/tossing a football!!!
« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 03:21:29 PM by Absalom »

Offline EasyAce

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2019, 03:22:47 PM »
All sport activity is entertainment/recreation; hardly a calling.
Andrew Luck earned an Engineering Degree in Architecture at Stamford.
@Absalom
Funny you should mention that. Sandy Koufax studied architecture during his first two off-seasons as a Brooklyn Dodger; in due course, he also pursued an off-season line of electrical work and engineering (his older sister once said her brother taught himself electricity and electrical repair when they were growing up), before he finally found the keys to pitching successfully after six major league seasons.

Suspect that as much as he wants to minimize injury/pain he also wants
to do something more meaningful than handing off/tossing a football!!!
Playing a professional sport isn't entirely meaningless, even if it doesn't have the general import of things like architecture. In its way, sport---for me, baseball in particular---has metaphysical meaning above and beyond the heat of a pennant race or the conquest of a World Series, but a far wiser man than I said it better than I ever could:

[Baseball] is quintessentially American in the way it puts the premium on both the individual and the team; in the way it encourages enterprise and imagination and yet asserts the supreme power of the law. Baseball is quintessentially American in the way it tells us that much as you travel and far as you go, out to the green frontier, the purpose is to get home, back to where the others are, the pioneer ever striving to come back to the common place. A nation of mimgrants always, for all their wandering, remembers what ever immigrant never forgets: that you may leave home but if you forget where home is, you are truly lost and without hope.

It is, this grand game, no game but a work of art fashioned to remind us that we all began in the great green Elysian Field of the New World, with all its terrors and promises.

That was written by a scholar of literature and poetry whose particular specialty was Dante; who was once elevated to the presidency of Yale and puckishly replied that the only presidency he ever sought was that of the American League (he grew up and remained at heart a die-hard Red Sox fan); who in due course surrendered the presidency of Yale to accept the presidency of the National League, and finally became the baseball commissioner George F. Will said was to that office what Sandy Koufax was to the pitcher's mound---his commissionership had the greatest ratio of excellence to longevity, thanks to his premature death in 1989.

Offline Absalom

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2019, 03:42:45 PM »
@Absalom
Funny you should mention that. Sandy Koufax studied architecture during his first two off-seasons as a Brooklyn Dodger; in due course, he also pursued an off-season line of electrical work and engineering (his older sister once said her brother taught himself electricity and electrical repair when they were growing up), before he finally found the keys to pitching successfully after six major league seasons.
Playing a professional sport isn't entirely meaningless, even if it doesn't have the general import of things like architecture. In its way, sport---for me, baseball in particular---has metaphysical meaning above and beyond the heat of a pennant race or the conquest of a World Series, but a far wiser man than I said it better than I ever could:
[Baseball] is quintessentially American in the way it puts the premium on both the individual and the team; in the way it encourages enterprise and imagination and yet asserts the supreme power of the law. Baseball is quintessentially American in the way it tells us that much as you travel and far as you go, out to the green frontier, the purpose is to get home, back to where the others are, the pioneer ever striving to come back to the common place. A nation of mimgrants always, for all their wandering, remembers what ever immigrant never forgets: that you may leave home but if you forget where home is, you are truly lost and without hope.
It is, this grand game, no game but a work of art fashioned to remind us that we all began in the great green Elysian Field of the New World, with all its terrors and promises.
That was written by a scholar of literature and poetry whose particular specialty was Dante; who was once elevated to the presidency of Yale and puckishly replied that the only presidency he ever sought was that of the American League (he grew up and remained at heart a die-hard Red Sox fan); who in due course surrendered the presidency of Yale to accept the presidency of the National League, and finally became the baseball commissioner George F. Will said was to that office what Sandy Koufax was to the pitcher's mound---his commissionership had the greatest ratio of excellence to longevity, thanks to his premature death in 1989.
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Fair enough.
Neither said nor implied that baseball, or any sport, is meaningless.
After all, the Ancient Greeks, arguably the greatest culture/society who
ever inhabited this earth, created the Olympic Games.
As for baseball, your obvious passion, several HOF players, among them
Pete Pose, recently made very ominous comments/warnings about the
condition and future of baseball; which surely are worthy of reflection.

Online truth_seeker

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2019, 03:54:53 PM »
Those of us that appreciate " performance-excellence" of the type Koufax displayed during his short career, equate it with the brilliance of a world class artist.

Watching Koufax strike out three in a row, was like watching play for a few minutes, or studying a Frank Lloyd Wright house.

If you don't even like sports,, music or design, none will seen important or meaningful.

I just read about the many interests that Koufax pursued after basball, which included Marathon running.

I know a thing or two, about people that run marathons.
"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.�  Abe Lincoln

Offline EasyAce

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2019, 04:01:05 PM »
As for baseball, your obvious passion, several HOF players, among them
Pete Pose, recently made very ominous comments/warnings about the
condition and future of baseball; which surely are worthy of reflection.
@Absalom
Pete Rose is not a Hall of Famer. Until a) he is reinstated to baseball, and b) the Hall of Fame (which is not administered by major league baseball) changes its rule that bars those on baseball's ineligible list from standing for election to the Hall of Fame, he won't be.

But between him and an actual Hall of Famer, Goose Gossage, their remarks appeared to be far more of the get off my lawn variety than to show any genuine reflection upon real issues that do deserve the attention of baseball and those who play, administer, and love the game.

Offline EasyAce

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2019, 04:23:06 PM »
Those of us that appreciate " performance-excellence" of the type Koufax displayed during his short career, equate it with the brilliance of a world class artist.

Watching Koufax strike out three in a row, was like watching play for a few minutes, or studying a Frank Lloyd Wright house.
@truth_seeker
Watching Koufax go mano a mano against Willie Mays and Henry Aaron made a Frank Lloyd Wright house resemble a tool shed, a Duke Ellington composition resemble "Mairzy Doats," or B.B. King resemble the Banana Splits.

Koufax once told Dodger broadcast legend Vin Scully that he often enjoyed listening to Scully calling a game even more than he enjoyed pitching one. Koufax himself had the knack of bringing out the best in even those who already transcended their professions behind the mike:

Vin Scully, calling the ninth inning of Sandy Koufax's perfect game.
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Hitting against Koufax is like trying to drink coffee with a fork.---Willie Stargell.

Career highlights? I've had two---getting an intentional walk from Sandy Koufax and getting out of a rundown against the Mets.---Bob Uecker.

He stood tall on and off the mound, befriending fringe players and minorities alike.---Henry Aaron.

He refers to this project whimsically and ruefully as "an unauthorised biography by a neat lady." He also calls me a CPA---"a certified pain in the ass."---Jane Leavy, Koufax's best biographer, who made Koufax her friend during and after writing the book.

He was Michelangelo and Picasso rolled into one.---Lou Johnson, Dodgers outfielder . . . and the man who got the only hit on either side during Koufax's perfect game. (It didn't count either---he doubled but was stranded on second.)

It's no disgrace to get beat by class.---Bob Hendley, who would have had a no-hitter on the backside of Koufax's perfect game had it not been for Johnson's hit. (Hendley told Koufax himself that's what he says when he's asked how it felt to be "the other guy" in that game: on the 35th anniversary of the game, Hendley received a surprise package---a 1965 National League baseball, inscribed on the meat WHAT A GAME! and a handwritten note attached: "We had a moment, a night, a career. I hope life has been good to you. Sandy.")

Offline Absalom

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2019, 04:33:19 PM »
@Absalom
Pete Rose is not a Hall of Famer. Until a) he is reinstated to baseball, and b) the Hall of Fame (which is not administered by major league baseball) changes its rule that bars those on baseball's ineligible list from standing for election to the Hall of Fame, he won't be.
But between him and an actual Hall of Famer, Goose Gossage, their remarks appeared to be far more of the get off my lawn variety than to show any genuine reflection upon real issues that do deserve the attention of baseball and those who play, administer, and love the game.
-------------------------------------
Ok, I stand corrected.
So let me summarize the comments made by the players;
Home runs are way up, Strikeouts are up even more,
Outfield walls are being moved in and attendance continues to decline.
Appears to be an obvious strategy of failure!!!
Anyway nothing further.

Offline EasyAce

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2019, 05:06:33 PM »
Home runs are way up, Strikeouts are up even more . . .
They were likewise a couple of seasons ago. And this season isn't the first by far in which one or both leagues introduced a slightly more hopped-up ball.

As for strikeouts, other than finding them still a more than useful way to gauge a pitcher's performance, they don't bother me whether they're up or down, as they often have been over long decades. If strikeouts bother you, ask yourself whether you'd rather see a hitter whacking into a double play. Admit it: you're thrilled to death when your team's pitcher strikes out a dozen while fuming when your team's hitters get struck out by the baker's dozen.  :beer:

Outfield walls are being moved in and attendance continues to decline.
I know of only a couple of instances where outfield walls were moved in to any considerable extent since the early 1990s, when the advent of a host of new ballparks with friendlier hitting dimensions did as much as anything else to drive hitting statistics through the proverbial roof.

Attendance is declining not because of home runs or strikeouts but because of (wait for it!) tanking teams. Teams deliberately going in the tank to rebuild, for who knows how many years, and offering nothing to their fans in the way of any sensible explanation or exposition as to what their actual rebuilding plan and timetable happens to be. When the Cubs and the Astros did it, and eventually won World Series, they were up front and forthright about explaining to their fan bases what they were doing, why they were doing it, and when you could expect those two teams to return to competitiveness. The other tankers haven't got the brains to make any similar presentations to their fan bases. (It didn't exactly hurt, of course, that the Astros play in a lovely ball park and the Cubs in a mythological one still. And that both the Cubs and the Astros proved as good as their word, even winning World Series back-to-back while they were at it.)

But something else to ponder, that I noticed when I took my son and his girl friend to Angel Stadium one fine late June night---you may see a game in which the paid attendance is announced as close to a sellout while observing that only half or less of the park actually has fannies in the seats. Well, now. When I was at Angel Stadium that night, there were passels of fans milling about not just the concession stands but assorted in-stadium amusements, and for more than one inning at a time.

There are too many distractions in the ballparks themselves now, in addition to the kind of scoreboards that make a baseball game resemble a video arcade as often as not, and those distractions just seem a little too tempting to fans of most ages. It's one thing to be delayed in a line for a hot dog or a Coke or a beer in getting back to your seat before the next half inning begins, but when you see fans indulging all the diversions inside the ballparks themselves while straining to watch the game on television monitors scattered around, it makes you wonder.

I can just see it now, some newspaper or television advertisement promoting a coming game, saying, say, "The Angels versus the Athletics at 7 p.m. at Angel Stadium. Come to the park and watch the game on Fox Sports West!" Or, another ad touting all the ballpark diversions, games, and under-the-stands attractions, then ending the ad by saying, "Oh, by the way, just in case, it'll be the Angels versus the A's at 7." Something's wrong with that picture.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 05:07:33 PM by EasyAce »

Offline Night Hides Not

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2019, 06:40:51 PM »
Those of us that appreciate " performance-excellence" of the type Koufax displayed during his short career, equate it with the brilliance of a world class artist.

Watching Koufax strike out three in a row, was like watching play for a few minutes, or studying a Frank Lloyd Wright house.

If you don't even like sports,, music or design, none will seen important or meaningful.

I just read about the many interests that Koufax pursued after basball, which included Marathon running.

I know a thing or two, about people that run marathons.

I was lucky to come of age during the 60s. My dad took me to my first game at Candlestick in 1962, where I first saw Willie Mays play. I listened to the games on the radio, but they rarely showed the games on TV.

I saw some of the greats to ever play the game: Koufax, Musial, Gibson, and Clemente to name just a few. I saw Koufax dominate the Giants, shutting them out in a night game. It wasn't fair at all, the fog came rolling in early in the game, dropping the temperatures into the 50s. That's how Candlestick Park was up until the middle of August.

Or, as Samuel Clemens observed, "the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."

Now, I'm stuck with the Texas Rangers, a team known more for striking out than anything else. Today's version of baseball is simply boring as hell. Sure, attendance should improve next year when they move into their new stadium that is being built with a roof. As sure as the sun will rise in the East tomorrow, nobody will give a rat's arse come mid-July when the Dallas Cowboys open their training camp, new Rangers stadium or not.
You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.

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Offline EasyAce

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2019, 06:47:03 PM »
I was lucky to come of age during the 60s. My dad took me to my first game at Candlestick in 1962, where I first saw Willie Mays play. I listened to the games on the radio, but they rarely showed the games on TV.

I saw some of the greats to ever play the game: Koufax, Musial, Gibson, and Clemente to name just a few. I saw Koufax dominate the Giants, shutting them out in a night game. It wasn't fair at all, the fog came rolling in early in the game, dropping the temperatures into the 50s. That's how Candlestick Park was up until the middle of August.

Or, as Samuel Clemens observed, "the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."
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Online truth_seeker

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2019, 09:00:03 PM »
I saw Koufax first at the Coliseum, and then at Chavez Ravine (Dodger Stadium).

(Drysdale, Foseboro, Hodges, Snyder, Furrillo, Wills, Neal, Gillium, too)
"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.�  Abe Lincoln

Offline EasyAce

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2019, 12:20:02 AM »
I saw Koufax first at the Coliseum, and then at Chavez Ravine (Dodger Stadium).

(Drysdale, Foseboro, Hodges, Snyder, Furrillo, Wills, Neal, Gillium, too)
So you saw them transition from the last of the Boys of Summer to the earliest of the Hollywood Dodgers. :)

(P.S. The only people who called Dodger Stadium itself Chavez Ravine, so far as I know, were the Angels, who shared Dodger Stadium until their own playpen was built in Anaheim, but whose original owner Gene Autry had so little taste for Walter O'Malley---who did kind of hose Autry until the Angels moved---that he insisted the Angels' broadcasters describe home games as "live from Chavez Ravine.")

Online Jazzhead

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2019, 08:44:37 AM »
Mrs.  Jazz,  who grew up in the San Fernando Valley, always called the Dodgers ballpark Chavez Ravine.    I was watching the Yanks - Dodgers last night - it's still a beautiful park.

And that was a beautiful read,  @EasyAce .    Koufax and Drysdale and Gibson and Marichal take me back to the days I first learned to love the game.   That lifelong romance was sealed during the '68 World Series.   While I've been a Philadelphian for many years,   I still call my APBA dice league team the "Tigers".   

I long recall that Koufax was sidelined by arthritis in his elbow,  but never knew that it was the result of a routine base running play.  The baseball fates are fickle - witness the end of the Andrew McCutcheon's season in a similar improbable manner -  but Koufax's end wasn't bittersweet but liberating.    He was already the best there ever was.

And now he's 83.   Hard to believe, Harry.    That's the runaway train that will get us all.   
"He was born poor, died rich, and never hurt anyone along the way"

   - Duke Ellington, upon hearing of the death of Louis Armstrong

"Not forever.  Just for now"

    - Jay Farrar

Offline EasyAce

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2019, 01:13:55 PM »
I long recall that Koufax was sidelined by arthritis in his elbow,  but never knew that it was the result of a routine base running play.
The baserunning play was probably the final blow to make the condition manifest. The actual cause may never be known, but it's likely that the condition brewed a long enough time prior to that. It could have been seeded by anything, especially keeping in mind that Koufax in high school was a basketball talent. Any previous ding or injury could have seeded that condition.

You're right about his retirement being liberating. You hear lots of performers, athletic and otherwise, say they'll give it up before it gives them up, but you can count on a hand and a half how many actually up and do it. And it'll take maybe two fingers for you to count how many do it as young as Koufax and at a peak still dimensions beyond their games. (The other I can think of? Bjorn Borg, at 29.)

Offline GrouchoTex

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2019, 01:56:47 PM »
So you saw them transition from the last of the Boys of Summer to the earliest of the Hollywood Dodgers. :)

(P.S. The only people who called Dodger Stadium itself Chavez Ravine, so far as I know, were the Angels, who shared Dodger Stadium until their own playpen was built in Anaheim, but whose original owner Gene Autry had so little taste for Walter O'Malley---who did kind of hose Autry until the Angels moved---that he insisted the Angels' broadcasters describe home games as "live from Chavez Ravine.")

Wasn't there a little old lady who still lived there and fought to stay?
I recall when the Dodgers were getting the land, something wrote in the papers about "The battle for Chavez ravine".
Well, I recall the story I was told about it, anyway.
I didn't actually see the paper.
I wasn't born until 1962.

Also, did anyone see the Dodgers-Yankees game on ESPN last night?
It looked to me like there was a fire close by.

Offline EasyAce

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2019, 02:13:26 PM »
Wasn't there a little old lady who still lived there and fought to stay?
I recall when the Dodgers were getting the land, something wrote in the papers about "The battle for Chavez ravine".
Well, I recall the story I was told about it, anyway.
I didn't actually see the paper.
I wasn't born until 1962.
@GrouchoTex
You can get the complete story of the Dodgers' move to Los Angeles---including both why Walter O'Malley actually wasn't the villain he was so long portrayed to be (he wasn't exactly a saint, but neither did he break Brooklyn's heart capriciously) and how and why O'Malley could acquire Chavez Ravine---in these two books:



Also, did anyone see the Dodgers-Yankees game on ESPN last night?
It looked to me like there was a fire close by.
There was. At Eagle Rock, near Glendale, not far from Dodger Stadium.

Online truth_seeker

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2019, 03:12:34 PM »
Wasn't there a little old lady who still lived there and fought to stay?
I recall when the Dodgers were getting the land, something wrote in the papers about "The battle for Chavez ravine".
Well, I recall the story I was told about it, anyway.
I didn't actually see the paper.
I wasn't born until 1962.

Also, did anyone see the Dodgers-Yankees game on ESPN last night?
It looked to me like there was a fire close by.
Yes a fire was close by. Closer to the Rose Bowl and near the 134 Freeway.
"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.�  Abe Lincoln

Offline Absalom

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2019, 08:00:09 PM »
@truth_seeker
Watching Koufax go mano a mano against Willie Mays and Henry Aaron made a Frank Lloyd Wright house resemble a tool shed, a Duke Ellington composition resemble "Mairzy Doats," or B.B. King resemble the Banana Splits.
Koufax once told Dodger broadcast legend Vin Scully that he often enjoyed listening to Scully calling a game even more than he enjoyed pitching one. Koufax himself had the knack of bringing out the best in even those who already transcended their professions behind the mike:
Vin Scully, calling the ninth inning of Sandy Koufax's perfect game.
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Hitting against Koufax is like trying to drink coffee with a fork.---Willie Stargell.
Career highlights? I've had two---getting an intentional walk from Sandy Koufax and getting out of a rundown against the Mets.---Bob Uecker.
He stood tall on and off the mound, befriending fringe players and minorities alike.---Henry Aaron.
He refers to this project whimsically and ruefully as "an unauthorised biography by a neat lady." He also calls me a CPA---"a certified pain in the ass."---Jane Leavy, Koufax's best biographer, who made Koufax her friend during and after writing the book.
He was Michelangelo and Picasso rolled into one.---Lou Johnson, Dodgers outfielder . . . and the man who got the only hit on either side during Koufax's perfect game. (It didn't count either---he doubled but was stranded on second.)
It's no disgrace to get beat by class.---Bob Hendley, who would have had a no-hitter on the backside of Koufax's perfect game had it not been for Johnson's hit. (Hendley told Koufax himself that's what he says when he's asked how it felt to be "the other guy" in that game: on the 35th anniversary of the game, Hendley received a surprise package---a 1965 National League baseball, inscribed on the meat WHAT A GAME! and a handwritten note attached: "We had a moment, a night, a career. I hope life has been good to you. Sandy.")
------------------------------------
Since it's an opinion forum, all are entitled.
While I agree w/Rose and his colleagues, others disagree.
Yet it's curious why some need dozens of 300+ word
paragraphs to say two words; 'I disagree' !
Nothing further to add.
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Offline EasyAce

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Re: Andrew Luck, meet Sandy Koufax
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2019, 08:24:14 PM »
Yet it's curious why some need dozens of 300+ word
paragraphs to say two words; 'I disagree' !
Maybe because some of us think it's a reasonably smart idea to explain why we disagree, since as often as not one who disagrees with something is asked to explain why.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2019, 08:42:34 PM by EasyAce »


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