Don ”Big D” Drysdale doesn’t need an attitude: He’s from Van Nuys, Calif., and is just naturally cool. In Once a Bum, Always a Dodger, with some relief help from the Chicago Tribune’s Bob Verdi, he comes off in print slicker than the baseballs he used to rub after running his hands through his hair. Drysdale is so unflappable it doesn’t even occur to him to worry when he’s out of work: ”After I retired in 1969, I went to Danny Thomas’s golf tournament during the winter in Miami Beach. It hadn’t hit me that I suddenly needed a job, because it was the natural time of year, the off-season, for me not to be working.” Don’t worry; he gets a job in the broadcast booth, and since then life has been easier to field than a Vaseline ball one-hopped to second base.
Only thing is, Don’s not much more of a fan of today’s players than Feller: ”I don’t think any of these pitchers now think the way I used to. I don’t know how many of them modern-day pitchers would have the fortitude to brush batters back even if they were told.” Yeah, it’s a shame Orel Hershiser lacks guts; with Drysdale’s fortitude, he might have broken some records. B