Don Drysdale (July 23, 1936 – July 3, 1993) Hall of Fame pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Number 53 was one of the dominant starting pitchers of the 1960s. Following his playing career, he became a radio and television broadcaster for the Dodgers.
This is the 60th anniversary of his graduation from Van Nuys High School and the 30th anniversary from being inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
Don compiled a 209-166 record with 2,486 strikeouts with a lifetime 2.95 ERA. He hit 29 home runs in his career. He played both for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers and was part of the winning 1959, 1963 and 1965 World Series teams.*
In the mid-1960s, there was a salary cap set at $100,000 for all but a handful of major league stars. In 1965, Sandy Koufax made $85,000 and Drysdale made $80,000. In his autobiography, Drysdale said, “in 1965, asking for $100,000 wasn’t like asking for the moon. It was like asking for the moon plus the rest of the solar system.”
After a number of rounds of negotiations with then General Manager Buzzie Bavasi, the sides settled with Sandy Koufax earning $125,000 and Don Drysdale earning $110,000.**
Please click HERE to listen to his hall of fame induction speech as he mentions growing up in the San Fernando Valley.
* Source: Baseball-Reference.com; **The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2007-2008, William M. Simons