Secaucus, NJ, March 3, 2012 – Friday night on MLB Network’s Hot Stove, Bob Costas examined how the 1966 spring contract holdout of Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers and future Hall of Famers Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax marked the beginning of MLB players lobbying for a say in their contracts. Featuring new interviews with former Dodgers teammates Wes Parker and Maury Wills, and Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy author Jane Leavy, Costas tells the story of the two star pitchers’ holdout following their 1965 World Series victory and the impact it would have on the future of contract negotiations.
In discussing the importance of their holdout, Parker said, “I think owners did become more aware of the fact that players were starting to stand up for their rights.” The segment also includes archival footage from an interview with Koufax in 1988, in which he explains the Dodger duo’s thoughts behind their bold decision.
The feature can be viewed here and additional highlights are available below:
Author Jane Leavy on Drysdale’s and Koufax’s unique decision to hold out together:
I can’t think of another instance, before or since, where two stars of this magnitude held out together in unison.
Former Dodger Maury Wills on trying to negotiate a pay raise following his 1962 MVP season:
Let me go back to 1962. I was the MVP in the National League that year. [I thought] I got them now. I’ll go in and get me a raise. Maybe I can buy the wife a new car. All I wanted was a Ford station wagon for her. I came out of there in ten minutes happy I was still on the team.
Former Dodger Wes Parker on the significance of Drysdale and Koufax’s holdout:
I think owners did become more aware of the fact that players were starting to stand up for their rights.
Leavy on the holdout paving the way for future labor battles:
Curt Flood didn’t come for another three years and [Andy] Messersmith and [Dave] McNally was a number of years later, but this was the beginning. This was the revolutionary moment.