Sandy Koufax inspired millions 50 years ago by electing not to pitch in Game 1 of the World Series against the Twins. Koufax is Jewish and the game fell on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Koufax’s decision didn’t seem to put the Dodgers in such bad shape. They had a pitcher named Don Drysdale, like Koufax a future Hall of Famer, who was nearly Koufax’s equal on the mound. Dodgers manager Walter Alston simply started Drysdale instead.
Drysdale didn’t have his good stuff that night though. The Twins scored seven runs off him in an 8-2 Dodgers drubbing. When Alston went to the mount to yank Drysdale for a reliever, Drysdale reportedly said: “I bet right now you wish I was Jewish too.”