I finally finished watching Game 7 of the 1965 World Series. The Dodgers won 2-0 to clinch their fourth world title (they won a fifth in 1981 and a sixth in 1988).
Some observations I found to be interesting…
- Check swings were not called strikes in those days. Sandy Koufax would have had at least 13 or 14 strikeouts in his three-hit shutout if they played by today’s rules. Instead, he settled for 10 Ks.
- The fielders were very nonchalant, particularly the outfielders. One-handed catches and basket catches were the order of the day.
- The Twins hitters probably put up as good a fight as anyone did against Koufax in those days. Minnesota fouled off a lot of pitches (Koufax threw more than 130 that day with a sore, exhausted arm).
- Dodgers third baseman Jim Gilliam saved the day with a back-handed stop on a screaming grounder by Zoilo Versalles.
- Don Drysdale threw almost as many pitches in the bullpen as Koufax did on the game mound. Big D warmed up in the first, the third, the fifth and probably in the ninth.
- The Dodgers’ RBI men were Lou Johnson (home run) and Wes Parker (single). Both in the same inning.
- Pitching on two days’ rest was not uncommon. The Twins’ Jim Kaat and Mudcat Grant also went on two days’ rest in the series.
- Koufax literally had no curveball in Game 7. He simply could not get it over the plate. It’s amazing that he was able to blow away the potent Twins lineup with just a fastball.
- Twins legend Tony Oliva lost his bat three times while swinging. Announcer Ray Scott said Oliva was due to have surgery to remove a bone chip from a finger after the series. Facing Koufax certainly didn’t make his finger feel any better, I’m sure.