Monday, March 1, 2010

Koufax in camp

Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax will make an appearance at the Dodgers' spring training camp as an instructor this week.
Perhaps he can be as beneficial for the club's young arms (Clayton Kershaw?) as ex-catcher Norm Sherry once was for him.
A half-century ago, at a spring training game in Orlando, Sherry convinced Koufax to take something off his fastball. Koufax's stuff was so electric he didn't need to overthrow to get batters out. That's how Koufax went from being a journeyman to a Hall of Famer. Yes, the transformation was that sudden and remains one of success stories in High Heat.
"With any of these great pitchers, the questions become, 'Can they harness their stuff? Can they pull together what's been given to them sufficiently to become great?'" says Jeff Torborg, who caught Koufax's perfect game in 1965.
Sherry agrees that "throwing fast is a God-given talent. That's for sure. But it's not like it's a present with all the bows."

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