Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Listening to Sandy - A 2006 Recording of the Lefthander Speaking to a College Class

Sandy Koufax's return to the Dodgers has been one of the biggest stories this offseason.  His majesty, smarts and humble nature had endeared himself to True Blue fans, so when he arrived at Camleback Ranch during the early part of Spring Training the collective minds of Dodgers fans everywhere exploded.  The master lefthander was back in the fold, and we couldn't be happier.

Heck, since Koufax's arrival in Arizona his every word and gesture has been reported on for the eager masses to digest.  We wondered what he thought of our pitching staff.  Could he teach some of our young pitchers his incredible curve?  How good is Ryu, anyway?  Thankfully, he was more than happy to lend us his wisdom.

In fact, his desire to educate doesn't stop at teaching others how to play, but also extends to talking about Baseball history.  As evidenced by a recording I recently acquired and placed on SoundCloud, Koufax was more than happy to discuss his thoughts about the game.

The recording is from 2006 and features a group of college students from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.  From Alex, who made the original recording:
I was fortunate to take an honors symposium co-talk by a history professor and the then provost, Richard Astro. The class was called the history and literature of baseball. Throughout the semester the professors brought in various speakers. One of the speakers was Sandy Koufax.
As Alex explains, the professor ran a program to assist professional ballplayers in getting their college degrees, which eventually led to him meeting and befriending Koufax.  During that semester in 2006, the class chartered a bus to meet with Sandy in the clubhouse of his condominium complex and the below recording was made.
For the next 70 minutes Koufax very candidly answered whatever questions we had to ask (except one). He has a very softspoken voice so your readers will probably need to turn up their speakers to hear him at times. When it was time to leave Koufax took photos and signed autographs with anyone who asked.

I left amazed by his story and humility about the many amazing feats he accomplished. He is a marvelous man.
Go below to listen to the master speak.  The talk starts out with a bang as he responds to a question about the famous contract holdout he had with Drysdale,
"GM's in those days were great liars...  It was one of the job descriptions."  
He also tackles the demise of Vero Beach as the Dodgers Spring Training facility, fantasy Baseball and the impact of technology on the game.

Audio Link:

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