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Yankees Impressed by Koufax

Oct. 2, 1963 - The New York Yankees, slightly subdued, moderately impressed, and completely unshaken, regrouped in their dressing room today after having lost the first game of the World Series and faced the future with candor and confidence. The major topics among the Yanks were Koufax’s fastball, Koufax’s curve, and Koufax’s 15 strikeouts. “Koufax just showed me that everything written about him is true,” said Mickey Mantle (pictured before the game with Casey Stengel), who struck out twice, popped up once, and walked once against the left-hander. “He’s a damn good pitcher. He threw me four or five good pitches right down the middle, and I kept fouling them back. His fastball must move up on you. He let me get away a couple of times or he would have had 17 strikeouts. When Erskine set the old record of 14, I struck out four times.” “How’d he lose five games this year?” wondered Yogi Berra. The name that came up most often in connection with Koufax’s was that of Camilo Pascual, the Twins’ curve-balling right-hander. “I think Koufax’s curve is a little better controlled,” said Tom Tresh. “But I don’t think he is that blazing fast. On some nights, Pascual throws harder than anyone I’ve seen.” Elston Howard sounded the Yanks’ most aggressive battle cry. “We’ve lost the first game before, and we’ve been down three games to one and won,” said Howard. “Koufax can’t pitch every day.” Said manager Ralph Houk: “It’s no disgrace to lose to a pitcher like Koufax. You’ve got to give him full credit. He pitched a hell of a game. Chances are, we’ll see him again. It just wasn’t our day. The home run killed us, there’s no doubt of that. But we’ve lost before. We’ve won a few, too.”


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