Good news for the Bombers.
Curtis Granderson confirmed on his Twitter account this afternoon that he was able to throw today for the first time since he suffered a broken right forearm when he was hit by a pitch on February 24.
According to Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger, the next step calls for Granderson to begin swinging a bat. He’ll likely test himself in an extended spring training before going out on an official minor league rehab assignment, but the hope is that he’ll be ready to be activated around the middle of next month.
While the Yankees were considering moving Granderson to left field during spring training, he is expected to return as the full-time center fielder. Brett Gardner will simply slide over to left.
Granderson, 32, batted .232/.319/.492 with 43 home runs, 106 RBI and an .811 OPS last season. He’s due to become a free agent following the 2013 season.
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.