Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda had no idea who Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax was. Not even kidding. He had no idea who one of the greatest pitchers in history happened to be. And that’s fine. You can understand how that would actually be the case. Well, that has changed.
Koufax is one of the greatest hurlers the game has ever seen. Despite that, the talented pitcher from the Far East had never heard of him simply because of the logistical issues at work. One is from Japan, the other is from the United States. Plus, Koufax retired long before Maeda was even born. So you can understand it.
From the official Twitter account of Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick), a Dodgers beat reporter for MLB.com:
Kenta Maeda told Japanese media he had no idea who Sandy Koufax was. Once he learned, he took a picture with him. pic.twitter.com/qaY4bnnXJ0
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 26, 2016
Even though Koufax is no longer apart of the team’s front office, however, he is still “a close friend of the organization.” As you would expect. Who wouldn’t want a close friend like Sandy? He’s the best. Still, the team and Koufax had their ebbs and flows of the past several years.
But, to be fair, none of this has to do with Maeda. The 27-year old from Osaka got to mean a man he knew nothing about, but he most certainly came away from the meeting with far more of an idea of who he happened to be and what Koufax managed to do during his time in Los Angeles.
Hopefully Maeda is able to even accomplish half of what the dazzling left-hander was able to during his playing career. That’d most certainly be an awesome thing. Koufax, now 80 years old, is one of the most iconic Dodgers in history. His dominance is known darn near everywhere.
Maeda and Koufax won’t become “thunder buddies for life” after one brief encounter on a February day in Arizona, but perhaps The Left Arm of God could help teach “Maeken” a thing or two about success in the spotlight of Los Angeles. Sandy has enough experience to last him a lifetime there.