From the pages of Vine Line: Hundley on facing Koufax
Former catcher Randy Hundley is a regular contributor to Vine Line, telling stories from his day in our alumni section, “Glory Days.” The following is from the September 2011 issue, as told to Jim McArdle. (Photo by Stephen Green)
Somebody that I should’ve hit better was Sandy Koufax. Being that he was a left-hander, you would think that I’d be comfortable against him, but it was a short day for me hitting against him.
His curveball was absolutely incredible, and he threw his fastball right over the top. The ball spun directly backward, and then when he threw the curveball, the ball was spinning forward. You couldn’t tell until the ball got on you whether it was spinning backward or forward.
He threw a four-seamer (fastball), but it had more of a rise to it than a tail. I remember the ﬁrst time I hit against him, I was playing for the Giants, and it was like my ﬁrst game in the big leagues. He threw a fastball. I thought it was going to be low, and I was going to be cool and take the pitch. I turn around and the umpire says, “Strike 1!” Holy cow! That ball was coming in ankle high, but it got up to my kneecap.
The next pitch looked like it was going to be over my head, and again, I take the pitch. I looked back as Johnny Roseboro caught it right down the middle: “Strike 2!” I stepped out of the box and got some dirt, and I looked at Roseboro. I said, “Mr. Roseboro, I’m in a heap of trouble. I need to ﬁnd myself a brown paper bag and make a lunch and go to work somewhere else.”