Corey Hart won’t be ready to return when eligible May 30

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Corey Hart is eligible to come off the disabled list on May 30, but Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that the Brewers first baseman won’t be ready to return from right knee surgery by then.

However, he has progressed enough to take batting practice yesterday and doing some running on the field. There’s still no timetable yet for Hart to begin a minor-league rehab assignment, so he’s likely at least 3-4 weeks from potentially rejoining the Brewers.

In his absence Brewers first basemen have hit just .200 with four homers in 42 games for a .560 OPS that ranks 28th among 30 teams, which is what happens when you’re so low on depth that you have to start weak-hitting middle infielders like Yuniesky Betancourt and Alex Gonzalez at first base.

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.