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Sandy Koufax, Baseball Star, Not to Play on Yom Kippur; is Lauded

September 27, 1963
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Sandy Koufax, the star pitcher of the pennant-winning Los Angeles Dodgers, will not play on Yom Kippur, just as he did not play on either day of Rosh Hashanah.

The Jewish star, whose pitching prowess was a key factor in the Dodger’s successful bid for the National League Pennant, pitched out of rotation last week so that he would not have to play on any of the High Holy Days. He pitched against the Philadelphia Phillis after only two days’ rest so that he could also pitch against the Cardinals before fulfilling his religious duties.

St. Louis Globe Democrat, commenting editorially on the athlete’s action, said that baseball pundits might consider whether his determination to undertake additional pitching chores so that he could be free to observe the High Holy Days “has helped make him the best pitcher in the National League this season. Our strictly old-fashioned opinion is-could be!”

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