"Sandy said [later], 'He called me the lefthander.' He felt [ Alston] should have called him by his name."
When Sandy Koufax came out of the bullpen to pitch Game 7 of the '65 World Series, his third start in eight days, he was a two-pitch pitcher without his second pitch. His catcher, John Roseboro, noticed that Koufax kept shaking him off every time he called for a curve, so Roseboro finally went to the mound to find out why. "He said, 'Rosie, my arm's not right.' I said, 'Well, what'll we do, kid?' He said, 'F—- it, we'll blow 'em away.' "
And that's what he did. "He pitched like it was going to be his last breath," says Ozark.
In the ninth inning, his 360th of the season, protecting a 2-0 lead, Koufax faced the heart of the Twins' order: Tony Oliva, Harmon Killebrew, Earl Battey and Bob Allison—a two-time batting champion, a six-time home run leader, a four-time All-Star and a one-time Rookie of the Year, respectively. Oliva grounded out; Killebrew got on with a single. Koufax then struck out Battey and Allison—his ninth and 10th K's of the game—and left Killebrew stranded at first base, looking on in admiration.
Twenty years later Koufax and Killebrew were reunited at the All-Star Game in Minneapolis. Some hotshot public relations guy thought it would be fun to put them in uniform and have Koufax throw a fat pitch that hometown favorite Killebrew would try to knock across the mighty Mississippi. The two Hall of Famers got into a limo and were driven outside town, to the narrowest bend in the river, where 5,000 fans, including one 10-year-old boy in full catcher's gear, were waiting. When they got out of the car, Killebrew took one look at the carnival scene and told Koufax, "No f——— way." He wasn't about to embarrass the greatest lefty in history. "Kid," he said, wrapping his arm around the disappointed boy with the catcher's mitt, "you ain't catching Koufax today."