Don Drysdale

Don Drysdale

July 23, 1936
6' 5"
190 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-17-1956 with BRO
Allstar Selections:
1962 CY, 1962 ML, 1962 TSN
Hall of Fame:

Quotes from Don

Quotes by Don Drysdale
"A torn rotator cuff is a cancer for a pitcher and if a pitcher gets a badly torn one, he has to face the facts, it's all over baby."

"If they knocked two of your guys down, I'd get four. You have to protect your hitters."

"In Brooklyn, it was as though you were in your own little bubble. You were all part of one big, but very close family, and the Dodgers were the main topic of everybody's conversations and you could sense the affection people had for you. I don't know that such a thing exists anymore."

"I hate all hitters. I start a game mad and I stay that way until it's over."

"It's a bottom line business where a lot of gray suits are brought in and then, within two years, these guys suddenly know everything about baseball."

"My own little rule was two for one. If one of my teammates got knocked down, then I knocked down two on the other team."

"Some of these guys wear beards to make them look intimidating, but they don't look so tough when they have to deliver the ball. Their abilities and their attitudes don't back up their beards."

"The pitcher has to find out if the hitter is timid, and if he is timid, he has to remind the hitter he's timid."

"When I throw a curve that hangs and it goes for a hit, I want to chew up my glove."

"When we played, World Series checks meant something. Now all they do is screw your taxes."

"I always used to think that he [Hank Aaron] had a lot of Stan Musial in his stance. From the pitcher's mound they both seem to coil at you. The only sensible thing - if you couldn't get the manager to let you skip a turn against him - was to mix the pitches and keep the ball low, and if you were pitching to spots it was important to miss bad. If you missed good, and the ball got in his power zone, sometimes you were glad it went out of the park and was not banged up the middle."

"What being around [Sal] Maglie did for me was to confirm this idea in my mind and refine it. It was part of the game. I watched Maglie, I listened to Maglie, and it all sunk in. It just sort of clicked."

Quotes about Don Drysdale

"Batting against Don Drysdale is the same as making a date with a dentist."
-- Dick Groat

"Don Drysdale would consider an intentional walk a waste of three pitches. If he wants to put you on base, he can hit you with one pitch."
-- Mike Shannon

"I hated to bat against Drysdale. After he hit you he'd come around, look at the bruise on your arm and say, 'Do you want me to sign it?'"
-- Mickey Mantle

"I personally think it's too bad if a batter gets hit crowding the plate. I know that Don Drysdale, Larry Sherry and Stan Williams felt the same way when they pitched for the Dodgers in the late 1950s and early '60s. That was the formula I was raised on. Come to think of it, I've never seen a batter apologize for smashing a line drive off some part of a pitcher's torso"
-- Roger Craig, Inside Pitch

"The trick against Drysdale is to hit him before he hits you."
-- Orlando Cepeda

"Home plate is 17 inches wide. But to Don Drysdale it is divided into three parts - the inside four inches, the middle nine inches, and the outside four inches. To him only the middle part belongs to the hitter; the inside and outside parts belong to the pitcher."
-- Dave Anderson, New York Times

Unform Number

#53 (1956-1969)

Replaced By

The 1969 Dodgers relied heavily on their three top starting pitchers: Claude Osteen, Bill Singer, and Don Sutton, to start 122 of their games. Drysdale, in his last season, was a fifth starter, getting 12 starts.

Best Season

The 25-year old righty led the NL with 25 wins, winning the major league Cy Young Award. He also paced the loop in innings and K's.


Only Warren Spahn hit more homers than Don Drysdale among pitchers in National League history. Drysdale hit 29, including seven in one season twice.


Don Drysdale pitched the first west coast game in Los Angeles Dodgers' history, losing to the Giants in San Francisco in 1958.



Intimidation. Drysdale was the most feared brushback pitcher of the 1960s. He knocked down batters, brushed them off the plate, and hit them if he needed to.


Durability. Drysdale was done at the age of 32, despite being a very large and athletic man. His arm just gave out.


Drysdale's 58 2/3 consecutive shutout inning streak was unmatched for 20 seasons, until broken by Dodger right-hander Orel Hershiser in September, 1988.


The Holdout

Drysdale and Koufax teamed to set down enemy batters, leading the Dodgers to World Series appearances in 1963 and 1965. After the season, in which the duo went 49-20, they teamed to fight the front office, demanding more money and security. Both wanted long-term contracts, and at the time most of the media were against them. They sought a three-year, $1.05 million contract to be divided evenly. Drysdale eventually signed for $110,000 and Koufax for slightly more.

Brooklyn Dodgers, Cy Young Award, Don Drysdale, Hall of Fame, Los Angeles Dodgers, broadcaster
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