In a way, Andy Kosco changed my life

I wrote in my book that Andy Kosco looked exactly like Clark Kent in pinstripes.  For ten years, he was an outfielder for the Twins, Brewers, Angels, Reds, Dodgers and Red Sox, and hopefully I won’t don’t sound arrogant when I say this, but I didn’t mind pitching to him.  He had a .179 career batting average against me.  There were a couple of times when I felt differently, like a leadoff double in Milwaukee that wound up costing me a run, or a sacrifice fly at Anaheim Stadium that drove in a run.  And in 29 plate appearances, I was only able to strike him our once.  The Twins sold Andy to Oakland after the 1967 season, and the following month he came to the Yankees under the Rule 5 Draft.  His one season with the Yankees would have a historic meaning, at least to me.  I remember he appeared in the first game I pitched of the 1968 season, against the A’s and Catfish Hunter at Yankee Stadium.   Reggie Jackson homered off me, but I still had a 3-1 lead in the top of the eighth when I gave up a leadoff single to Bert Campanaris, who moved to second on Reggie’s single.  Ralph Houk took me out, and Dooley Womack came in relief.  Campy wound up scoring when Sal Bando grounded out, and we lost the game in the ninth when Dooley gave up a two-run homer to a pinch hitter named Floyd Robinson.  We lost 4-3.  Andy achieved a small footnote in baseball history on September 28, 1968 when he replaced Mickey Mantle at first base after The Mick had his last major league at-bat.  And Andy Kosco played a major role in my life on December 4, 1968 when the Yankees traded him to the Dodgers for a pitcher named Mike Kekich.

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