by Edward Gruver (Taylor, 2000)
Los Angeles catcher Johnny Roseboro's concern for Sandy Koufax at the end of the fifth inning of Game Seven was real, and stemmed from the realization that the Dodgers' ace, arm-sore and tired as he was, was trying to get by on just one pitch, his fastball.
"It can't be done," Roseboro said, "unless you're an exceptional pitcher."
In October of 1965, Roseboro considered Koufax the most exceptional pitcher in the game. On most occasions, the Dodgers' confidence in Koufax was so strong Roseboro said that the feeling in the clubhouse whenever he started a game was, "We're gonna kick some ass today."
Part of the reason for the Dodgers' seemingly unshakable belief in their ace was Koufax himself. Whether knocking down Giants' superstar Willie Mays with a purpose pitch or staring in at Yankees' slugger Roger Maris in Game One of the 1963 World Series, Koufax brought a combative nature to the mound whenever he pitched.
Read the rest of the excerpt here