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Koufax Contract Negotiations Brings Discord

Mar. 5, 1964 - A scheduled peace conference between the Los Angeles Dodgers’ general manager, Buzzie Bavasi, and Sandy Koufax failed to materialize today, and Bavasi said: “As far as I’m concerned, the whole thing is forgotten.”

Koufax, irate earlier in the week when he said he was “pressured into agreeing to terms,” said he wanted to discuss the matter with Bavasi.

“I’ll be glad to talk to Koufax, but I really don’t know what’s on the boy’s mind,” said Bavasi. “What I read in some papers just doesn’t make sense.”

“Sandy may be annoyed at some of the things that were written,” Bavasi continued. “After all, he’s a human being, and he has a right to his opinion. But I can assure you that we’re on good terms.”

Koufax’s allegation that he was threatened and pressured into signing his contract last Friday for $70,000 was denied by Bavasi. Sandy’s salary was doubled, he pointed out.

Bavasi also denied that he had “planted” a story in a Los Angeles newspaper which was a source of embarrassment to the southpaw. The story stated that Koufax would quit baseball unless the Dodgers paid him $90,000 in salary and fringe benefits. It was this story that prompted Koufax to sound off about the negotiations.

Bavasi also said today that Maury Wills is holding out. The star shortstop, offered a renewal of his 1963 contract that called for $50,000, is asking for better than $60,000.

“Wills was paid a big salary last year for having a phenomenal season in ’62,” said Bavasi. “Now, I’m offering him the same salary again.”


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