When Wil Myers suddenly gave up on David Ortiz’s fly to the warning track in right in the fourth, it looked for all the world that he thought he was called off. Myers, though, said after the game that no one else yelled for the ball.
Myers’ explanation was that he saw center fielder Desmond Jennings out of the corner of his eye and figured it was Jennings’ ball. Myers, though, had the easier play on it. In fact, he seemed to have it all lined up until he suddenly put his arm down and took several steps forward, thinking that he was getting out of Jennings’ way. Instead, the ball dropped and bounced over the fence for a double.
Myers’ miscue gave the Red Sox runners on second and third with no outs in the fourth. They went on score five times in the inning, taking a 5-2 lead in a game they went on to win 12-2.
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.