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What Will Koufax Do for an Encore?

May 13, 1963 - So what does Sandy Koufax do for an encore? “Well, I’d sort of like to win a World Series game,” the great Dodger southpaw said yesterday, the morning after he’d strangled the power-packed San Francisco Giants with his second no-hitter, marred only by two walks. Koufax has won many laurels as a pitcher. Last year, he pitched a no-hitter against the Mets, and twice he has struck out a record 18 batsmen in a game (Giants and Cubs). But the thrill of winning a World Series game has eluded him to date. In the 1959 series with the White Sox, he relieved in the first game and lost a 1-0 decision to Bob Shaw in the fifth game. Only three pitchers in the long history of the game have fashioned three no-hitters: Larry Corcoran of the Chicago Cubs, Cy Young of Cleveland and the Boston Red Sox, and Bob Feller of the Indians. But for a wrong-field single by pitcher Benny Daniels, then of Pittsburgh, Koufax would have joined the elite company of Messrs. Corcoran, Young, and Feller. It was in the third inning of a game in Pittsburgh in 1960 that Sandy’s bid for a no-hitter was spoiled when Daniels sliced a looping single to left. “Obviously, you need a lot of luck to pitch a no-hitter,” Koufax said yesterday. “Why, Harvey Kuenn hit the hell out of the ball leading off the first Saturday night, but it went right at Willie Davis. Had it gone in the alley, I could’ve forgotten about a no-hitter right then. No-hitting the Mets was a big thrill, of course, but nothing like the jolt I got out of doing the same thing to the Giants. They don’t have a soft spot in their lineup; even Marichal’s a pretty good hitter.” This was the third no-hitter a Dodger pitched against the Giants, Rex Barney and Carl Erskine having done the dastardly deed when the Dodgers got their mail in Brooklyn. The last time a Giant tossed a no-hitter was in 1928 when the great Carl Hubbell hypnotized the Pirates. Dodger manager Walt Alston kiddingly notified Sandy yesterday he was being fined $10. “You missed a hit sign and took a pitch in the eighth inning. That’s an automatic ten-spot,” said Alston. Sandy had a snappy comeback ready: “Imagine, giving me a hit sign.” Sandy is 0-for-15.

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