Legendary Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be heading to Camelback Ranch this spring in a new capacity – special advisor to Mark Walter. He is excited to be part of the Dodgers tradition once again and will spend part of spring training working with the Dodgers pitching staff. As it stands now, he will have his hands full with eight starting pitchers heading into Spring Training. During the season, Koufax will also remain in touch with the team and it’s pitchers.
“I’m delighted to be back with the Dodgers,” Koufax said. “I’m looking forward to spending time with the team during Spring Training and to contributing in any way I can to help make the team a success for the fans of Los Angeles. Some of my most cherished memories came at Dodger Stadium.”
Since acquiring the team last season, the ownership team headed by chairman Mark Walter has made a lot of big splashes to win back a disenchanted fan base that previous owner Frank McCourt left in the rubble.
Bringing back Koufax will rally an already enthusiastic fan base for the 2013 season as the Dodgers try to make it back to the World Series for the first time in a quarter of a century and along with former teammate and current bunting instructor for the Dodgers Maury Wills will bring a champion mindset to an All-Star caliber roster and a starting rotation that many consider one of the best in all of baseball.
“The Dodgers are thrilled to have Sandy back with the organization,” president and CEO Stan Kasten said. “Sandy’s experience and perspective will be invaluable as we endeavor to do everything in our power to bring the city of Los Angeles a World Series champion.”
Koufax pitched for four World Series championship teams: the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers and the 1959, 1963 and 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers and was the World Series Most Valuable player in 1963 and 1965 and will bring that leadership and championship experience to a hungry team and an even hungrier fan base.
A seven time All-Star, three time unanimous Cy Young award winner, and former regular season MVP, Koufax led the league in wins three times, strikeouts four times and earned run average five times before retiring in his prime at the age of 31.
Koufax worked as a Minor League pitching instructor from 1979 to 1989, but was in a self-imposed estrangement from the organization while the team was owned by News Corp. because the New York Post, a subsidiary of News Corp., invaded his private life with false rumors. He remained in this self imposed exile until Frank McCourt bought the team in 2004.
During his storied career as one of the best southpaws to ever pitch, he tossed four no-hitters, one of which was a perfect game while winning the pitchers Triple Crown three times.
Koufax is so legendary that new pitchers are often compared to him as the standard bearer for excellence. Joe Torre, after watching current staff ace Clayton Kershaw’s second Spring Training game while he was still a teenager, gave him the ultimate compliment when he compared him to Koufax.
In his new role with the Dodgers, Koufax will combine his experience and knowledge to a pitching staff that already boasts two previous Cy Young award winners under the age of 30 and will be a benefit to the entire staff,
“For our young players and our veterans to be able to tap Sandy’s expertise and counsel during Spring Training and throughout the season will provide yet another tremendous resource in our efforts to strengthen our club,” said general manager Ned Colletti.
As the 2013 season approaches and Spring Training is just a month away, the Dodgers and their fans hope that bringing Koufax back will help bring back a much coveted world championship.