Koufax, Drysdale, Roberts, and Miller: The ’66 shots that changed baseball

Koufax (left) and Drysdale, shown in game triumph, yet to triumph in a groundbreaking 1966 contract holdout.

Koufax (left) and Drysdale, shown in game triumph, yet to triumph in a groundbreaking 1966 contract holdout.

Fifty years ago this spring, three Hall of Fame pitchers planted the seeds that would change baseball’s harvest irrevocably, and for the better. One seed kind of opened the door for the other, if indirectly, but once baseball’s field was tilled for the other (kicking and screaming, of course) the game’s and perhaps the country’s worst fears proved largely unfounded.

Alex Johnson, RIP: The fires within

When Whitey Herzog wrote his memoir You’re Missin’ a Great Game, he included remarks about Alex Johnson that must have dropped every jaw in southern California who remembered Johnson’s tempestuous tenure (to put it politely)┬áin an Angel uniform. To hear the White Rat say it, Johnson—who died 28 February at 72, after a battle with cancer—was anything but a handful, once you played things straight with him.

Alex Johnson proudly holding a ball with his title-winning 1970 batting average.

Alex Johnson proudly holding a ball with his title-winning 1970 batting average.