Sox, Dodgers Tie as Dunn Goes Deep
Out of the corner of my eye, I sense someone in a Dodgers uniform walking into the dugout.
“Is Robin here yet?’ he asks.
I turn an immediately recognize that it is Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax. Behind him, I see lots of autograph seekers and hear people calling his name.
“Not yet,” I say. “He’ll be here is a couple minutes.”
Mr. Koufax started to talk. Fine by me. (editor’s note: I did meet Mr. Koufax one spring in Vero Beach, Florida, when I was a kid. My dad and I were walking down a sidewalk in Dodgertown when here came Mr. Koufax walking toward us. He was very pleasant but, of course, he doesn’t remember me.)
So of course I start small talk with Sandy Koufax. I ask him how he’s doing (fine), where he’s staying down here (West Valley), where he lives (up and down the East Coast depending on the weather) and why in the world are “you guys” throwing Kershaw and Greinke at us this early in the spring … since there is a long way to go.
He laughed a little and then explained that he liked to go nine innings once or twice each spring so that he had dealt with the soreness issue before the season had even begun. “I didn’t care about the first start,” he said. “I was concerned with how I’d feel going into the second. Back then, we didn’t have playoffs.”
You either won the pennant or you went home, he explained, so every start mattered.
After about 10 minutes, Robin showed up to a big smile and hug from Koufax.
“Back when I was with the Dodgers,” RV said, “we used to sneak off and play basketball with Sandy.”
(Sandy, by the way, went to the Universithy of Cincinnati on a hoops scholarship).
Basketball? With Sandy Koufax? That would have made him about 65 back then (Sandy, not Robin).
“Guy could play.”
Another true story … maybe
Former White Sox pitcher Grady Hall was in camp on Saturday to say hello and he re-connected with former teammate Mark Parent.
“We played together in the Dominican one winter,” Hall said of the Sox bench coach. “His nickname down there was ‘Grande Lama.’”
“Grande Lama,” I laughed, almost choking on my lunch.
“Nothing to do with the Dali Lama,” Hall corrected. “It had to do with a sponsor and of course, he’s the Grande Lama.”
Quote of the Day
Coop on pitching: “Anytime you shut someone out, you’ve done something,” he said referring to yesterday’s win. “Every game no matter spring training or regular season, there are always going to be 10 balls hit hard. It’s what happens to those 10.”
Play of the Day
Dunn’s first homer of the spring.