My Favorite Sandy Koufax Story

Sandy KoufaxBack in 1965 Sandy Koufax refused to pitch in the first game of the World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur, a Jewish high holy day.

In his place, Don Drysdale (the Dodger’s ace right hander) pitched and gave up seven runs in 2-2/3 innings.

Sandy relayed to me that when the manager, Walter Alston, came to the mound to take the ball out of Drysdale’s hands and bring in a reliever, Drysdale said, “Coach, I bet right now you wish that I was Jewish also!”

Post Script: while Sandy chose to fast and attend synagogue in Minneapolis that day, he did pitch in Games 2, 5 and 7 during that  World Series.

* (Photo Credit: © Jerry Coli |

  • TheBigMilkshake

    Hysterical story. Thanks for sharing. Remarkably, Koufax had a .38 ERA for those 3 games. Guess the lesson is that spending the day in temple is good for athletic performance.

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