From the Archives: Dodger holdouts Koufax and Drysdale on movie set

March 28, 1966: On the set of the Paramount movie "Warning Shot" are the holdout pitchers flanked by the star of the film.
March 28, 1966: On the set of the Paramount movie “Warning Shot” are the holdout pitchers flanked by the star of the film.
(Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times)

In 1966, Dodgers pitching aces Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, negotiating together, held out for better contracts. After not reporting to spring training, the pair signed a contract with Paramount Studios.

In his March 30, 1966, Los Angeles Times column, Sports Editor Paul Zimmerman wrote:

For the record:

8:20 a.m. June 3, 2018An earlier version of this post misspelled the movie director’s last name. It is Buzz Kulik, not Kolik.

In some of its greatest motion picture promotions Hollywood hardly has matched the exploitation that went on the other day when a couple of Dodger pitcher holdouts, cast in minor parts, got the big treatment at Paramount Studios.

David Janssen, the only legitimate actor in the joint, was ignored and practically trampled underfoot as television and still cameramen jostled for positions to record the “rehearsals” of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale for bit parts in “Warning Shot.”


“These are not just ‘profiles,’” said a publicity agency representative in a defensive moment. “Sandy and Don have parts that will require two weeks of their time on the set.”

How many scenes featuring the two great hurlers will wind up on the cutting room floor is left to your imagination because they play the part of a TV commentator and a detective sergeant. …

A headline in the next morning’s Los Angeles Times reported “Peace at Last! K&D Return to Fold,” and “Sandy signs for $120,000, Don $105,000.”

Koufax and Drysdale used an escape clause in their Paramount contracts and reported to spring training.

“Warning Shot,” by director Buzz Kulik, was released in 1967.

This post was originally published on March 5, 2014.

March 28, 1966: Press conference on the set of the Paramont movie "Warning Shot." Seated from left are Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax, actor David Janssen and Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale.
(Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times )

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