David Laurila: You had a productive a career that looks even better after accounting for era and park factors. Were you underrated?
Ron Fairly: I think everybody feels that maybe they weren’t appreciated as much as they [should have been] for the contributions they made to ball clubs. I think it goes without saying. A lot of players feel that way.
I think my numbers would certainly be better today. I played in an era — the 1960s — that might have been the most difficult in which to make your living, as a hitter, of any in the history of the game of baseball. I played in Dodger Stadium, which was a big ballpark where the ball didn’t carry very well. It doesn’t take many [lost] hits during the course of a season for your average to drop a little bit, and you weren’t going to have as many home runs or RBIs there.
DL: Sandy Koufax put up his numbers in that same environment. While he was obviously a great pitcher, was he maybe a little overrated?
RF: No. Sandy was an exception. There were games that Sandy did not win because we did not score any runs for him. I know there was one stretch — just to give you an idea about Dodger Stadium — that the magic number was three. If you scored three runs or more, you won 62 percent of your games
...Dodger Stadium was a tough ballpark in which to score runs. Yes, it helped our pitching staffs, but take a look at what Sandy did in some of the other ballparks. Dodger Stadium didn’t have too much to do with the performance of Sandy. He was fabulous.