Billy Wagner Gets Tips From Sandy Koufax

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Billy Wagner Gets Tips From Sandy Koufax

Sandy Koufax got a call and couldn’t wait to help Wagner who just came to the Mets from the Nats in the off season. Koufax was a personal favorite of mine from childhood.

There was no one finer than Koufax. The lefty had a winning percentage of .655. He struck-out 2,396. His career ERA was 2.76.

At the age of 36 he was the youngest player ever  elected to the Hall of Fame.

He was a minor league pitching coach for Dodgers organization from 1979 until 1990 but quit. Some said it had to do with a poor relationship with manager Tommy Lasorda. Ironically Lasorda was sent down to Montreal of the International league to make room on the Dodger roster for Koufax in 1955.

Koufax was formerly  married to Anne Widmark daughter of the renowned  actor Richard Widmark whose family just today announced his passing. Their marriage ended in divorce.

Wagner admitted he was a little in awe of the Dodgers great.

“It’s hard. You’re trying to work on stuff and listen to what he says,” he said. “But in the back of your head you’re thinking, ‘This is Sandy Koufax. This guy was great.’ So it took a lot of willpower not to get caught up in wanting to talk about him and what he had accomplished and let him work with me.” *

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