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Baseball Stories

Battle of the left-handers

Stop me if you’ve heard of this game — ┬áSept. 25, 1966.

Our next door neighbor, a life-long Dodgers fan, took me to this game with his wife and another young man they knew.

We parked at a high rise along Lake Michigan where he had a business associate. We walked briskly a couple blocks to Wrigley Field and took our seats. We had box seats a few rows back from the visitors’ on-deck circle.

I didn’t find it remarkable back then and it wasn’t even mentioned that it was a game with two Jewish lefties as the starting pitchers. It was quite a game.

I had a close view of the infield and most of left field. I clearly remember Glenn Beckert’s triple in the first inning after Don Kessinger drew a leadoff walk. He turned on a fastball. It hit the dirt fair a few feet past third and sailed out of view on the fly into the left-field corner. A couple batters later, Dodgers second baseman Jim Lefebvre dropped a popup by Ernie Banks, and the Cubs had two runs against Sandy Koufax.

Koufax settled down, giving up just a walk and a couple harmless singles the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Ken Holtzman mowed down the Dodgers, going eight nearly perfect innings before Dick Schofield hit a leadoff single in the ninth.

Schofield scored on a single by Maury Wills, and the Dodgers looked to be rallying when the game ended on a bang-bang double play. Holtzman finished with a two-hitter in a 2-1 victory.

We walked back to where my neighbor’s friends lived and stayed there an hour or so. I was 16 and it was my first exposure to living near the lake, and I thought it was cool. Later, in my late 30s and early 40s, I lived along the lake near there for 11 years.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized it was probably the only time two Jewish lefties faced each other on the mound.


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