J.D. Drew hit with vertigo again

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Vertigo.gifJ.D. Drew said after last night’s game that he suffered a case of vertigo Sunday night and early
Monday.  This is not the first time Drew has suffered from the condition. It hit him back in June 2008 as well, clearing up almost as soon as it arrived.  As someone whose only real familiarity with vertigo comes from watching it end Nick Essasky’s career, I was rather surprised at the time that it can just show up and go away just like that.

And really, vertigo kind of agrees with Drew. Following his last bout with the malady, Drew went on an 11 game hitting streak, hitting six homers and 13 RBIs.  Last night he took a key walk that led to Mike Lowell’s bases loaded, game-winning walk. So, like, no worries.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.