Drysdale and Koufax

Drysdale and Koufax

Fifty years ago today, Los Angeles Dodgers aces Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale refused to report to camp in Vero Beach, Florida, and began their holdout for a multi-year deal giving them a total of $1 million.

The dispute was apparently over the length of the contract more than the pitchers’ potential $167,000 annual salaries, which would have surpassed Willie Mays’ $125,000 yearly draw from the San Francisco Giants.

Dodgers General Manager Buzzie Bavasi told reporters it would be the last time he discussed the situation until he had a chance to negotiate with the pitchers.

“Koufax and Drysdale are entitled to everything they can get, but under no circumstances would any player on this club get more than a one-year contract,” Bavasi told the AP.

The pitchers eventually rejoined the Dodgers during the last week of Spring Training, with Koufax equaling Mays’ salary of $125,000 and Drysdale earning $110,000.

Koufax announced his retirement after the 1966 season. Here are his four Dodgers no-nos:

1 Sandy Koufax
  Los Angeles Dodgers (NL)
  Saturday, June 30, 1962
Los Angeles Dodgers 5, New York Mets 0
Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles)
(His first of four no-hitters)
2 Sandy Koufax
  Los Angeles Dodgers (NL)
  Saturday, May 11, 1963
Los Angeles Dodgers 8, San Francisco Giants 0
Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles)
(His second of four no-hitters)
3 Sandy Koufax
  Los Angeles Dodgers (NL)
  Thursday, June 4, 1964
Los Angeles Dodgers 3, Philadelphia Phillies 0
Connie Mack Stadium (Philadelphia)
(His third of four no-hitters, tying Larry Corcoran, Cy Young and Bob Feller.. Koufax would throw a fourth no-no to break the record in 1965.)
4 Sandy Koufax
  Los Angeles Dodgers (NL)
  Thursday, September 9, 1965
Los Angeles Dodgers 1, Chicago Cubs 0
Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles)
(Perfect game, his fourth of four no-hitters setting a new major league record, breaking the previous mark of three shared between him, Larry Corcoran, Cy Young and Bob Feller. The record would be tied by Nolan Ryan in 1975 and broken in 1981.)

(Featured image Dodger Town, Vero Beach, Florida by adamclyde licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0)


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