Thursday, June 6, 2013

Saw a Story the Other Day, Went Like This...

Looking up some old clippings of the late great Jim Murray (formerly of the LA Times) and came across something he wrote about Sandy Koufax. It has a remarkable familiarity to it about ole number fifty-five in orange and black. Take a look-see for yourself:

"...Sandy wanted to be an architect, and there are still days when he feels he has made a terrible mistake- almost as if Frank Lloyd Wright had decided to become a rodeo rider."

"The trouble was, Sandy Koufax was such a natural pitcher that baseball couldn't afford to let him turn to mere bridge-building. Sandy's fastball was so fast some batters would start to swing as he was on his way to the mound. His curveball disappeared like a long putt going in a hole. Koufax has never pitched an inning of minor league ball, which doesn't make him unique but makes him a member of a very small club. As a result, he has learned his craft slowly. And it's as exasperating as hay fever: one day you have it, the next day you don't. Sandy thinks it is basically a problem of rhythm. You don't know till you hear the music of the first pitch smacking in the catcher's glove-or off the center-field fence-whether you're going to dance or trip over your feet."

Later in the article after rattling off some of the statistics Sandy Koufax had accumulated Murray says: "Sandy is now sure he wants to stay in baseball. And the batters wish he'd go build something."

Anything written by Jim Murray is worth reading. If you enjoy a good chuckle look him up. But be warned, that chuckle could turn into an emergency gasp for life-saving oxygen. You read Jim Murray at your own risk.

Kevin J. Marquez