While it’s not exactly General MacArthur returning to the Philippines, it’s pretty damn close. And without a shot being fired, the Dodgers have their best man.
The club announced the hiring of Sandy Koufax this morning, with the 77-year-old lefthander accepting a position as Special Advisor to Chairman Mark Walter. The organization is excited as can be, emphasizing in glee-like fashion with an all-uppercase email subject heading – KOUFAX RETURNS TO DODGERS.
So, what will L.A.’s most precious resource be doing for his old team? Well, Koufax will work with pitchers, of course. As he has many times in the past, he’ll impart his wisdom during Spring Training, teaching anyone who will listen. Expect a long line of pupils beginning February 12, when you-know-who reports to you-know-where.
And it won’t be just pitchers who benefit. Sandy’s going to hold court. He’ll attract attention from position players, coaches, fans, the media, stadium employees and probably an umpire or two. He’ll talk about the Dodger way to play baseball, he’ll talk about what it means to wear the uniform, and he’ll talk about winning.
He’ll talk about the World Series – make that World Series, plural, as in 1955, 1959, 1963, 1965 and even 1966, despite what happened in that one. He’ll talk about Don Drysdale and Walter Alston, about Maury Wills and John Roseboro, about Tommy and Willie Davis, and about Jackie Robinson. And he’ll talk about Clayton Kershaw. He’ll rave about Clayton Kershaw.
Look for Sandy to get together with Vin Scully for a great interview, probably the first telecast Vin works at Camelback. My best guess for a date is Sunday, March 17. One of the split-squad games versus the Brewers.
And maybe just maybe, Sandy will pose for that statue we’ll all been waiting for. You know, the one outside the executive offices at Dodger Stadium, where a row of ceramic flower pots sit now; the one I’ve been talking about for the better part of a decade. Like, what, you were thinking I was going to let that one slip by unmentioned? Yeah, right.
If you haven’t signed the e-petition yet, please go ahead and click Statue for Sandy now. Or sign a second time, and let me know what you think.
With all the Dodgers have done in the last couple of months, it turns out their greatest acquisition of the offseason comes out of the blue, with this morning’s announcement.
Old Dodgers never die, remember, they just get traded away. Or they retire to Paso Robles and find their way back to Los Angeles, one way or another. Welcome home, Sandy. We can’t wait to see you.