Results tagged ‘ Sandy Koufax ’
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.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
White Sox 9, Dodgers 0 In Spring Opener As Sox Pound Out 14 Hits
The Sox got on the board early and often in today’s victory over the Dodgers, scoring five times in the first four innings including a pair of runs off of L.A. starter and 2011 Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. Alejandro De Aza led off the game with a single and scored on a two-base hit by Alex Rios, who went 2 for 2 with a pair of doubles. Tyler Flowers smashed a solo homer (Gordon Beckham called it the hardest hit ball he’s ever seen), minor leaguer Seth Loman hit a two-run shot, Dayan Viciedo drove in a pair of runs, Gordon Beckham doubled in a run and Andy Wilkins and Angel Sanchez added RBI singles. On the pitching side, starter and winning pitcher Dylan Axelrod hurled three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out four. Axelrod, Leyson Septimo (1.0 IP), Zach Stewart (2.0), Santos Rodriguez (1.0), Brian Omogrosso (1.0) and Deunte Heath (1.0) blanked the Dodgers on three hits.
It is believed that the White Sox scoring a run today in the top of the first inning is the first time the Sox have led a spring training game that early since moving to Arizona in the mid 1990s (not really, but it just seems that way).
Sox Notes of Note
Here are a few notes of interest as the Sox began Cactus League play today:
* The White Sox play 16 games as the home team in Glendale and 17 as the road team this spring, including two exhibition games vs. Milwaukee at Miller Park from 3/29-30.
* Chicago currently has 61 players in camp: 30 pitchers, six catchers, 15 infielders and 10 outfielders … the oldest player in camp is Paul Konerko (36), and the youngest is 20-year old infielder Carlos Sanchez.
* The spring roster features 22 draftees, 22 players acquired as free agents or through the Rule 5 draft, 12 acquired via trade and five claimed off waivers.
* Jesse Crain (Canada), Alejandro De Aza (Dominican Republic), Andre Rienzo (Brazil) and Alex Rios (Puerto Rico) will represent the White Sox in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
* Eight players on the White Sox spring roster have made it to the majors after being drafted or signed by the club since 2007 … the players are: Nate Jones (2007), Gordon Beckham (2008), Jordan Danks (2008), Brent Morel (2008), Alexei Ramirez (2008), Dayan Viciedo (2008), Addison Reed (2010) and Chris Sale (2010).
* Twenty-two of the 61 players invited to spring training are products of the White Sox farm system, including five first-round draft picks (Beckham – 2008, Jared Mitchell – 2009, Josh Phegley – 2009, Chris Sale – 2010 and Keenyn Walker – 2011).
* Courtney Hawkins enters the season ranked by Baseball America as the No.1 Prospect in the organization … since 2009, three of Chicago’s top-rated prospects have reached the majors and are on the current roster (Gordon Beckham, Chris Sale and Addison Reed).
Mr. Koufax and The Chairman
Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax visited with Robin today (See the Photo of the Day).
Koufax asked if Jerry Reinsdorf was here, and I told him yes.
“I want to say hello,” Mr. Koufax said.
“If you want, I can call him and ask him to walk in on the field to see you,” I said.
“Oh, no. I don’t want to bother him. Just tell him I said hello.”
I told Mr. Koufax that Jerry has a signed jersey of his hanging in his office in Chicago.
“Brooklyn kid,” he said, smiling.
Later I told Jerry that Koufax said hello but that he didn’t want to bother him by asking him to come down to the dugout.
“For Sandy!?!?” Jerry responded. You got the sense he would have gone anywhere to say hi.
The White Sox didn’t waste any time welcoming third baseman Conor Gillaspie to camp.
Gillaspie, who was acquired yesterday, actually drove over to Glendale from Scottsdale Friday afternoon to check in and set up his locker.
This morning, he took part in live batting practice before the game. And which pitchers did the left-handed hitting Gillaspie get to face?
Just John Danks and Chris Sale.
“Maybe we can find a way to get him a couple of at-bats against Kershaw,” someone quipped.
Quote of the Day
“As a player, I don’t have superstar tools…I’ll definitely work for you. I’ll definitely play hard, I’ll practice hard, I’ll run everything out and try to play the game the right way.” — Conor Gillaspie, who went 0-1 today in his Sox debut.
Play of the Day
There are many candidates, but let’s give it to Axelrod for his stellar performance.
White Sox vs. Dodgers at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). Starters are the Sox’s Erik Johnson and the Dodgers’ Zack Greinke. Also scheduled to pitch for the Sox are: Scott Snodgress, Jhan Marinez, Daniel Moskos, Jacob Petricka, Ramon Troncoso and Simon Castro.
Did You Know…
…that new Sox reliever Matt Lindstrom served on a Mormon misson in Sweden?
Photo of the Day
Robin shares a laugh with Dodgers’ Hall of Fame great Sandy Koufax in the dugout before today’s game. That’s bench coach Mark Parent on the right.