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THE GREAT HOLDOUT
Buzzie Bavasi
May 15, 1967
The outspoken general manager of the Dodgers, currently baseball's most successful executive, begins a four-part series on his joys and troubles in the front office with an account of the famous contract hassle in which pitching stars Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale 'came at me as a pair'
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May 15, 1967

The Great Holdout

The outspoken general manager of the Dodgers, currently baseball's most successful executive, begins a four-part series on his joys and troubles in the front office with an account of the famous contract hassle in which pitching stars Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale 'came at me as a pair'

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He said, "I want you there, Buzzie."

I said, "Sandy, I can't have my picture taken with you and then have Walter pick up a newspaper in Japan and say, 'Well, this is great! My man's retiring, and he can't even wait for me to come back.' "

And Sandy said, "Well, I'm going to do it anyway."

I said, "What's the hurry, Sandy?"

And he said something about he was tired of being deceitful to his friends, and he thought it was coming out in one of the newspapers, and he wanted to be fair to all the reporters.

I said, "Sandy, I'm sorry, but I can't have anything to do with it."

He said, "Well, I'm sorry, too, Buzzie. I wanted your smiling face there. I'll go ahead and make the announcement tomorrow in the office."

And I said, "No, you won't. No chance! If you have the press conference in the office, then it looks like I'm condoning the fact that you're quitting while Walter's away."

He said, "O.K., then I'll announce my retirement someplace else."

The next day Sandy made his announcement at 1:15 in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, but the Los Angeles reporters had been scooped. The San Diego Union was already on the streets announcing the retirement of the great pitcher, and the wire services had flashed the story coast to coast. Sandy's friend, Phil Collier, had learned of the impending retirement the night before and had beaten everybody else by a clean 12 hours. There was just one little error in his story. It said that the Dodgers had called a press conference for one o'clock. Thus it was pretty clear to me that Collier had found out about the retirement plans before I had vetoed any official Dodger participation.

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