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Koufax Comes to Terms with Dodgers

Feb. 28, 1964 - Sandy Koufax, baseball’s most honored player in 1963, agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Dodgers today for a reported $70,000, double his 1963 salary. The left-handed pitcher, who seemed pleased with the outcome of extended negotiations, stood by as general manager Buzzie Bavasi (right) announced, “We have come to terms. Sandy is a lot happier about the contract than I am, but I am pleased we gave him what he wanted.”

“I’m very happy I got what I did and happy that a deal was made,” Koufax responded. The club was understood to have offered him a $30,000 salary increase from $35,000 paid in 1963, but some reports had him threatening to quit the game if he didn’t get from $85,000 to $90,000. “I never asked for $90,000,” Koufax said today. Don Drysdale signed Wednesday for a reported $71,500, the highest in Dodger history. Asked about the negotiations with Bavasi, Sandy smiled and said, “This is pretty big business for me.”

Almost sidelined permanently by an injury in 1962, Koufax won two World Series games last fall from the Yankees in the Dodgers’ 4-0 sweep. He had a 25-5 record during the regular season, received most-valuable-player honors in the National League, and captured the Cy Young Award as Drysdale’s successor for the top pitching accomplishment. He led the league with the lowest earned-run average for a starter at 1.88, and he broke his league record in strikeouts with 306.


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