Pitcher Claude Osteen Shares Lessons of Dodger Teammates Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale

Posted November 11th, 2010 by Tom Owens and filed in Claude Osteen, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax



(Courtesy Mark Langill, Team Historian, Los Angeles Dodgers)

 Pitcher Claude Osteen overwhelmed me with his reply. His was a letter filled with the insights of a winner.

 I related to him the amazing conversation I overheard before a 1980s AAA game in Tacoma. Coach Osteen chatted with young pitchers in the bullpen, telling how getting your elbow “scooped” (bone chips removed) was great. I realized his passion for pitching. He was a devoted member of the Dodgers family, focused on the organization’s future.

Where did that passion and devotion come from? Did he find role models in Los Angeles? Osteen wrote:

“I learned from Koufax and Drysdale what it meant to be a Dodger and how the name was synonymous with pitching. I was embarrassed not to pitch well.”

Tomorrow: what roles did Gil Hodges and Willie Stargell play in one of Osteen’s biggest thrills?

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