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By Jon Weisman
“On a Thursday night at Dodger Stadium, the crafts of pitching and broadcasting came as close to perfection as we’ll ever see,” said Tom Verducci at Saturday’s Baseball Writers Association of America dinner as he introduced the Willie, Mickey & the Duke Award, going to the Cubs’ Bob Hendley and the Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax and Vin Scully in recognizing the historical significance of the September 9, 1965 night that Scully broadcast Koufax’s perfect game beating Hendley’s one-hitter.
“The broadcast of the game, we’ve heard it a lot – at least I have,” Koufax said, “and Vinny was so special, it’s probably more exciting listening to him than it was doing it that night.”
Hendley, who joined Koufax in accepting the award, noted that Saturday was the first time he had actually met Koufax. He also charmingly pointed out that five days after the perfect game, he outdueled Koufax with a four-hitter in a 2-1 victory, meaning that in the two games combined, each pitcher allowed exactly two runs on five hits.
But Hendley could not have been more gracious to Scully or Koufax.
“If you get beat, get beat by class, get beat by the best,” Hendley said. “And he is the best, and he is class.”