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

(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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