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Friday, March 2, 2012
A (brief) conversation with a legend

By Tony Jackson

In nine years of covering Dodgers baseball, I can't remember the great but elusive Sandy Koufax ever granting an on-the-record interview . . . until today, when he held court briefly with a handful of reporters in the clubhouse. As tends to happen with men of few words, we all sort of hung on his every word.

On the subject of the pitcher who is so often compared to him, Cy Young Award-winning lefty Clayton Kershaw:

"It's a lot of fun to watch him, and he is such a great kid you just want to root for him.''

On the impending sale of the club:

"It's sad. You hate to see it going through this kind of change. Change is inevitable, but this isn't really the way you want it to happen.''

For the record, he still looks great for his age (75). When I introduced myself and shook his hand, to hear him repeat my name back to me was a thrill even for a jaded old ballwriter. When you do what I do for a living, it is rare to be in awe of anyone. I mean, I have friends who are in the Hall of Fame. But there is something about being in the presence of Sandy that is truly awe-inspiring. It's a moment I'll never forget.