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Old-Timers' Key Matchups: Drysdale vs. Koufax and Durocher vs. Steiner

July 14, 1986|DAN HAFNER

It was a dream matchup: Sandy Koufax vs. Don Drysdale.

The annual old-timers' game Sunday at Dodger Stadium honored the 1963 and 1965 teams, both of which won the World Series. The two pitching immortals starred on both teams.

Sunday they opposed each other in the three-inning game that preceded the regularly scheduled game between the Chicago Cubs and the Dodgers, they opposed each other.

A majority of the crowd of 40,922 arrived early to enjoy a bit of nostalgia.

A highlight was Leo Durocher, 81, engaging in a typical rhubarb with umpire Mel Steiner, finishing it off by kicking dirt on the umpire.

Some 30 former Dodgers participated. On hand were Willie Davis and Tommy Davis, Maury Wills, Ron Perranoski, Johnny Podres, Ron Fairly, John Roseboro, Wally Moon, Lou Johnson and Larry Sherry, to mention a few.

Some had picked up weight over the years, others, especially Willie Davis, appeared to be at their playing weight. Tommy Davis may have been a bit heavier, but he showed the same swing that enabled him to be the only L.A. Dodger to win a batting title and he did it twice.

It was not the Koufax of old, however. Mike Brito, who uses the speed gun to time the pitches of current Dodgers, said Koufax's fastball was a "66." In his one inning he was touched for five hits and three runs.

The players seemed to enjoy the day, but they may end up paying a price. As Drysdale said when asked about the plight of the current Dodgers, "The Dodgers have had as many aches and pains in the season as we're going to have tomorrow after playing in this game."

For those interested in the outcome, Drysdale's team beat Koufax's, 3-1.

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