Uncle Mark Attends Second Of Four No-Hitters 49 Years Ago Tonight
By Scott Andes
Mark and Hal Landers
Today is the 49-year anniversary of Sandy Koufax’s perfect game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium. On that night the hall of famer Koufax hurled the first and only perfect game in Dodger History. At the time it was the first perfect game by a left handed pitcher since 1880. Koufax and the Dodgers defeated the Cubs by a score of 1-0 on September 9, 1965. Koufax struck out 14 batters, including six consecutive to end the game. But on this night a fresh faced kid was there to witness it all, our Uncle Mark Landers.
We could talk about Koufax, and we should. But why not mention something else amazing that happened on that night 49 years ago? Blue blood runs in our family, and it was our Uncle who taught us the true meaning of being a true Blue Dodger fan.
Mark a 13-year old paper boy had saved up his paper route money to see a game that night. Little did he know he would be part of Baseball history. The game took just one hour and 43 minutes to complete, and Mark stayed for every last out. Despite Mark probably having a curfew at that age.
The Dodgers had just one hit in the entire game, incredibly there was only one hit between both clubs. The only run of the game scored in the bottom of the fifth. Opposing starter Bob Hendley walked slugger Lou Johnson. Johnson was sacrificed to second by Ron fairly. With Jim Lefebvre at the plate, Johnson stole third, and then scored on a throwing error by Cub’s catcher Chris Krug. Lefebvre ended up whiffing and Wes Parker grounded to first. Johnson would later double in the seventh for the only hit of the game.
The Dodgers wouldn’t need any more than that one run on that evening. Koufax would mow down the remaining Chicago hitters easily. The time on the clock when the last out was recorded was 9:46 PM. Vin Scully’s classic call informed everyone of the exact time of completion.
This was Koufax’s fourth and last no-hit game during his unforgettable career. Coincidentally this was Uncle Mark’s second no-hitter of four he would witness in person at Dodger Stadium. Uncle Mark was present for Koufax’s no-hitter versus the Mets in 1962, Bill singer’s no-hitter in 1970, and Kevin Gross’s no-no in 1992.
There is no doubt that Koufax left an indelible mark on the Dodgers and Baseball history. Our Uncle Mark left his mark on the left field pavilions.
Here’s to you Uncle Mark. There will always be a little piece of you in those left field pavilion seats.