In 1966, the baseball season Sandy Koufax pitched the last of his 165 major league victories. Ken Holtzman pitched his first win.
Now, with 174 wins, plus two in American League Championship Series play and a 4-1 record in World Series competition (Koufax was 4-3), Holtzman has thrown his last pitch.
The St. Louis native who inherited Koufax's Series-time occasional problem of spotting his southpaw starts around the Jewish high holidays went into retirement in nice style Wednesday night.
"I asked Herman Franks a week ago if I could pitch my last game in St. Louis so my mother and father could be there," Holtzman, 33, said after starting the Chicago Cubs to a 3-2 decision, credited to reliever Bruce Sutter.
"My back was killing me," Holtzman (6-9 this year) related, "but I told Herman I wanted to pitch to one more man, (Ted) Simmons. He's the best, and I got him to fly to right." That done, Holtzman retired with a 1-0 lead after seven innings.
Holtzman, winner of 19, 21 and 19 games in Oakland's World Championship drives of 1972-73-74, thus goes off into the sunset -- "I'll be job hunting" -- at the same time as old A's staffmate Catfish Hunter of the Yankees.
Meantime, it's Happy Rosh Hashanah for Holtzman, with no distractions. . .