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Koufax Talks Yankees

Sept. 27, 1963 - Sandy Koufax is compiling his personal book on the hitting habits of the Yankees. “I have faced every one of them at least four or five times during spring training,” said the ace Los Angeles Dodger southpaw, who will pitch the opening game against the American League champions next Wednesday. “I need a completely accurate line on them, however, before we play that first game. I know they’re basically a fastball-hitting team and have power. I really don’t think they have more power than the Giants in our league. And the Cards are a pretty good hitting team too, you know.” Koufax has a habit of cooling off hot hitters, regardless of what uniform they wear. The National League’s top ten batters, including such men as Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Dick Groat, and Orlando Cepeda, have a composite season average of .314. But against Koufax, their average pares down to .236. The league’s top 10 has batted against Koufax 140 times — Tommy Davis of the Dodgers excluded — and has gotten only 33 hits, four of them doubles, one triple, and four homers — two by Clemente, one by Cepeda, and one by Mays. Nevertheless, sportswriters who will be covering the Series favor the Yankees by a 2-1 margin over the Dodgers. Of 85 responding to a poll made by the Associated Press, 59 made the American League champions their choice; the Dodgers were the choice of 26.


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