Someone stole Hunter Pence’s scooter

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Hunter Pence rides around on a motorized scooter. So often, in fact, that last season the Giants handed out a bobblehead doll depicting Pence on his beloved scooter.

But some jerk stole the scooter Sunday night while Pence had it parked at a restaurant in California. He didn’t have it locked up because, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com: “The battery charger is rare and it wouldn’t do anyone any good to take it.”

Someone took it anyway and now Pence is offering a no-questions-asked signed bobblehead for anyone who returns it to him in one piece. And he really seems broken up about losing it:

It was one of my favorite things that I have. I’m grateful for stuff, but aside from my baseball equipment and my scooter, and maybe my laptop, there are not many (possessions) that I care about. … I try not to be too attached to things, even though I have a bobblehead with it. I felt it was an extension of me.

Or as manager Bruce Bochy put it: “He had a sad face on this morning. I’ve never seen that.”

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.