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Don Drysdale 1959.jpg
Don Drysdale 1959.jpg
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Donald Scott "Don" Drysdale (July 23, 1936 – July 3, 1993) was a Major League Baseball player and Hall of Fame right-handed pitcher with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was one of the dominant starting pitchers of the 1960s, and became a radio and television broadcaster following his playing career

Drysdale was born in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California and attended Van Nuys High School, where one of his classmates was actor Robert Redford.[
Pitching for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, he teamed with Sandy Koufax during the late 1950s and early-middle 1960s to form one of the most dominating pitching duos in history. The hurler (nicknamed "Big D" by fans) used brushback pitches and a sidearm fastball to intimidate batters, similar to his fierce fellow Hall of Famer Bob Gibson. His 154 hit batsmen remains a modern National League record.

Drysdale was also considered a good hitter for a pitcher. In a total of 14 seasons, he had 218 hits, including 29 home runs, and was occasionally used as a pinch-hitter.

external image 200px-Drysdale_consecutive_scoreless_innings_streak.jpg

The ball thrown for the final out of Drysdale's consecutive scoreless innings streak in 1968.

In 1962, Drysdale won 25 games and the Cy Young Award. In 1968, he set Major League records with six consecutive shutouts and 58 consecutive scoreless innings; the latter record was broken by fellow Dodger Orel Hershiser 20 years later. In 1963, he struck out 251 batters and won World Series Game 3 at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium over the Yankees, 1–0. In 1965, he was the Dodgers' only .300 hitter and tied his own National League record for pitchers with seven home runs. That year he won 23 games and helped the Dodgers to their third World Championship in Los Angeles. He ended his career with 209 wins, 2,486 strikeouts, 167 complete games and 49 shutouts. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984, and had his number 53 officially retired at Dodger Stadium on July 1, 1984. (He was the last player on the Dodgers who had played for Brooklyn.)

Drysdale took part in a famous salary holdout in the spring of 1966 along with Koufax, with both finally signing contracts just before the season opened. This holdout was the beginning of what would eventually become collective bargaining.

A chronically sore shoulder forced Drysdale to retire during the 1969 season. The next year he started a broadcasting career that would continue through the rest of his life: first for the Montreal Expos (19701971), then the Texas Rangers (1972), California Angels (19731979, 1981), Chicago White Sox (19821987), NBC (1977), ABC (1978[2]–1986), and finally back in Los Angeles with the Dodgers (from 1988 until his death in 1993). He also worked with his Angels' partner Dick Enberg on Los Angeles Rams football broadcasts from 19731976.
While at ABC Sports, Drysdale not only did baseball telecasts, but also Superstars and Wide World of Sports//. In 1979, Drysdale covered the World Series Trophy presentation ceremonies for ABC. On October 11, 1980, Keith Jackson called an Oklahoma-Texas college football game for ABC in the afternoon, then flew to Houston to call Game 4 of the NLCS between the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies. In the meantime, Drysdale filled-in for Jackson on play-by-play for the early innings.
In 1984, Drysdale did play-by-play (alongside Reggie Jackson and Earl Weaver) for the National League Championship Series between the San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs. On October 6, 1984 at San Diego's Jack Murphy Stadium, Game 4 of the NLCS ended when Padres first baseman Steve Garvey hit a two run home run off Lee Smith. Drysdale on the call:

Deep right field, way back. Cotto going back to the wall...it's gone! Home run Garvey! And there will be tomorrow!


Drysdale was 56 when he died of a heart attack in his hotel room in Montreal, Quebec, on July 3, 1993. Radio station employees were sent to look for him when he failed to make the bus for Olympic Stadium where the Dodgers were to play the Montreal Expos. Hotel staff entered his room and found him face down, near his bed. The coroner estimated that he had been dead for 18 hours.
Drysdale's broadcasting colleague Vin Scully, who was instructed not to say anything on the air until Drysdale's family was notified, announced the news of his death by saying "Never have I been asked to make an announcement that hurts me as much as this one. And I say it to you as best I can with a broken heart." Fellow broadcaster Ross Porter told his radio audience, "I just don't believe it, folks." Drysdale was replaced by Rick Monday in the broadcast booth.
Among the personal belongings found in Drysdale's hotel room was a cassette tape of Robert F. Kennedy's victory speech after the 1968 California Democratic presidential primary, a speech given only moments before Senator Kennedy's assassination. In the speech, Kennedy had noted, to the cheers of the crowd, that Drysdale had pitched his sixth straight shutout that evening. Drysdale had apparently carried the tape with him wherever he went since Kennedy's murder.[5]
Drysdale's body was cremated at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.