Sandy Koufax
American baseball player
Sandy Koufax
Sanford "Sandy" Koufax is an American former left-handed baseball pitcher who played his entire 12-year Major League Baseball career for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1955–1966). He retired at the peak of his career, and in 1972, he became, at age 36 and 20 days, the youngest player ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame . Koufax's career peaked with a run of six outstanding seasons from 1961 to 1966, before arthritis in his left elbow ended his career prematurely at age 30.
Sandy Koufax's personal information overview.
News abour Sandy Koufax from around the web
Vin Scully's Retirement Leaves Gaping Hole For Dodgers In SoCal
Huffington Post - 5 months
By: Leigh Steinberg ORIGINAL POST on The most universally loved, trusted, and respected person in Southern California is not a political, religious, or entertainment figure. The most dominant, unifying individual in this vast geographical and population region is Broadcaster Vin Scully, who is retiring next weekend after 67 years with the Dodgers. He is by far the chief asset of the Dodgers organization. The most personal link that fans in greater Los Angeles have with the beloved Dodgers, is their esteemed broadcaster. To maintain market dominance, the Dodgers organization will have to work zealously. Vin Scully is irreplaceable--if his replacement is a typical play by play broadcaster, Dodgers popularity and revenue will suffer. When the Dodgers left Brooklyn to move to Los Angeles in 1958, it was Vin Scully's voice which introduced the new team to Southern California. As a boy, I listened to him day after day, often falling asleep with my transistor radio on the ...
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Huffington Post article
Sandy Koufax is no longer with the Dodgers front office
LATimes - 12 months
Sandy Koufax is no longer a member of the Dodgers front office, the team has confirmed. Koufax, the 80-year-old Hall of Fame pitcher, was a special advisor to the team’s chairman, Mark Walter. Koufax rejoined the organization in 2013 after Walter’s ownership group replaced Frank McCourt. Koufax...
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LATimes article
Sandy Koufax is no longer with the Dodgers front office
LATimes - 12 months
Sandy Koufax is no longer a member of the Dodgers front office, the team has confirmed. Koufax, the 80-year-old Hall of Fame pitcher, was a special advisor to the team’s chairman, Mark Walter. Koufax rejoined the organization in 2013 after Walter’s ownership group replaced Frank McCourt. Koufax...
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LATimes article
You Give Me Fever: Why Girls Who Love Pro Sports Should Have an Equal Voice in Them
Huffington Post - over 1 year
It's October and baseball fever has kept me turning at night. For years I've had a close relationship with the game, but it would be even closer if I felt I had a voice in it. When I was a little girl, Sandy Koufax was considered the best pitcher on earth. I had not seen Sandy on TV, I had only heard the talk of her greatness. She inspired the first notion I'd ever had about what I wanted to be when I grew up. A major league pitcher. So, I sketched a square in chalk on the brick wall of the apartment building next to our house, and started practice pitching in it with a rubber ball. It got so that I was a pretty good aim and could easily pitch the ball inside the box. All the while I would imagine I was Sandy. "Here's the wind-up... and the pitch..." my announcer brain would say. I wasn't throwing curves or sliders or change-ups. I didn't know what it meant to put something on a ball. I just took aim and threw it. I kept my secret that I was heading for major league baseball to myse ...
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Huffington Post article
Sandy Koufax, Vin Scully added to Dodgers bobblehead lineup
LATimes - about 2 years
The Dodgers will again make bobbleheads of their two greatest icons as they add dolls of Sandy Koufax and Vin Scully to their promotional calendar for the upcoming season.
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LATimes article
Watch Sandy Koufax present Clayton Kershaw with second Cy Young Award
LATimes - about 3 years
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LATimes article
RIP Loehmann's: A Jewish Woman's Lament
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Dear Rabbi, I am writing you seeking guidance on a very grave matter resting heavy on my heart. As you may have gleaned from your wife's sobs on the other side of the bed, Loehmann's -- spiritual home of many a Jewish woman, temple of American Jewish fashion, female rite of passage rivaling the Bat Mitzvah (all due respect) -- is being put to rest after a long life of 98 years. As a quintessential good girl (OK, there was that lesbian thing, but we're kosher on that one now, right?), I'd like to know how to mourn this profound loss in proper Jewish form. You may or may not recall your admonishing me several years ago when I stood to say Kaddish for my son's deceased lizard Sandy Koufax; after we cleared up your confusion about why in 2005 we were saying Kaddish for the long-dead Jewish baseball player, you very kindly instructed my son in the prayer for dead animals. Mirrors have been covered, and I am sitting on a low stool. The shiva is planned (chocolate babka, check; rugel ...
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Huffington Post article
Writer-to-Writer: A Conversation With David Mamet
Huffington Post - over 3 years
David Mamet is one of the most acclaimed, and eclectic writers of our time. As a playwright, he has won a Pulitzer Prize and received Tony nominations for Glengarry Glen Ross and Speed-the-Plow. Other plays have included The Duck Variations, Sexual Perversity in Chicago and American Buffalo. House of Games; Things Change; Homicide; Oleanna; The Spanish Prisoner; The Winslow Boy; State and Main; Spartan; Redbelt; Homicide; and the HBO film, Phil Spector, are among the feature films he's written and directed. His screenplays include The Postman Always Rings Twice; The Untouchables; Hoffa; The Verdict; Wag the Dog; The Edge; Ronin; and Hannibal. He's written poetry, essays and novels. He's written for television and radio, and is the creator, producer and frequent writer for the television series The Unit. His latest work, Three War Stories, is a trio of novellas to be released November 11th. Your dialogue has been called street-smart and edgy. It's even called Mamet speak. How doe ...
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Huffington Post article
Mariners’ Raul Ibanez wins baseball’s prestigious Hutch Award
Seattle Pi - over 3 years
Seattle outfielder Raul Ibanez, who remained a productive fan-favorite in his third stint with the Mariners in 2013, has been named this year’s winner of the prestigious Hutch Award. The award goes each year to an MLB player “who best exemplifies the honor, courage and dedication” of its namesake, famed Seattleite and baseball great Fred Hutchinson. Ibanez, 45, joins the ranks of baseball legends Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax and Johnny Bench as the winner of the 49th-annual Hutch Award. “I’m really at a loss for words,” Ibanez said in Tuesday’s announcement from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “It’s a tremendous honor; I’m humbled and grateful. “It’s extra special to me  Read More
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Seattle Pi article
Dodgers hold out on deal for manager Mattingly
San Francisco Chronicle - over 3 years
Even as the Dodgers went on a 42-8 run, made the playoffs and knocked off Atlanta in the Division Series, he still hasn't been granted a contract extension. [...] he's up against Mike Matheny, Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, one of the greatest hitters in postseason history (Carlos Beltran) and the rest of the brainy St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS. [...] not a soul remembers it. Enos "Country" Slaughter sliding into second baseman Jackie Robinson, the aging Stan Musial facing the ascending Sandy Koufax, Keith Hernandez and Steve Garvey holding down the first-base spots, and Tommy Lasorda letting Tom Niedenfuer pitch to Jack Clark. A single pitch - David Freese's two-run homer off a hanging curve - made the difference.
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San Francisco Chronicle article
An embrace of Dodger greats: Sandy Koufax and Clayton Kershaw
LATimes - over 3 years
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LATimes article
The Hebrew Hammers
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
Breaking news!! Stop the presses!! (And not because it is the Jewish Sabbath). What's all the fuss about? Hold onto your baseball caps! According to the authoritative Jewish Baseball News, the 15 Jewish players on major league rosters batted .254 during the regular season that just ended. Now compare this to the meager .253 batting average for all other major leaguers. Statistically insignificant, you say? Making a Mount Sinai out of a molehill? Baloney!! (Hebrew National, of course). The chosen people? Let's not go there. But what about pitching? Here, too, the Jews outperformed the rest of their major league counterparts. The five Jewish pitchers had a 3.61 earned run average compared with the 3.86 ERA compiled by all major league pitchers. (The Hebrew hurlers had a combined 26-20 won-lost record). Check out the individual statistics here. Jews have been a constant presence on major league teams since Lipman Pike donned a uniform for the Troy Haymakers in 187 ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Vin Scully Calls Out Sen. John McCain Over Dodger Pool Remarks
Huffington Post - over 3 years
For an hour, Vin Scully allowed himself the chance to remember. The Dodgers had just wrapped up the National League West title with a Thursday afternoon victory in Phoenix, and a champagne celebration ensued. After calling the final out Sept. 19, Scully said he watched the players roll around near second base at Chase Field, then collected his belongings and headed down to a team bus that waited in a nearby tunnel. He wanted no part of the player commotion, or even a dip in the right-field pool. "It was kind of lovely to be sitting alone, just thinking, very quiet, no one around," the 85-year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster admitted. "I didn't feel alone or left out. It was by design." He said he found himself back in 1950, his first year with the franchise. The Phillies' Dick Sisler hit an opposite-field home run in the 10th inning to eliminate the Dodgers on the last day of the season. A year later, it was the New York Giants' Bobby Thomson and his historic homer that did th ...
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Huffington Post article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Sandy Koufax
  • 2015
    On July 14, 2015, before the 2015 MLB All-Star Game in Cincinnati, Koufax was introduced as one of the four best living players (as selected by the fans of major league baseball), along with Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Johnny Bench.
    More Details Hide Details He threw the ceremonial first pitch to Bench from in front of the base of the mound. Koufax appeared on television from 1959 through 1962. He was cast as Ben Cassidy in the 1959 episode "Too Smart to Live" of the syndicated western series, Shotgun Slade, starring Scott Brady. In 1960, he played the role of "Johnny" in the episode Impasse of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Colt .45, with Donald May as Sam Colt, Jr. He made minor appearances in two other ABC/WB productions, 77 Sunset Strip and Bourbon Street Beat. Koufax also appeared as himself along with several Dodger teammates in an episode of Mister Ed entitled "Leo Durocher Meets Mister Ed" in September 1963. Koufax portrayed himself on CBS's Dennis the Menace in the 1962 episode Dennis and the Dodger. He also appeared as himself on NBC's detective series, Michael Shayne in the 1961 episode entitled "Strike Out".
  • 2013
    On April 1, 2013, Koufax threw out the first pitch during ceremonies at Dodger Stadium.
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    On January 23, 2013 the Dodgers hired Koufax as a Special Advisor to team Chairman Mark Walter.
    More Details Hide Details Koufax worked with the pitchers during spring training and will consult during the season.
  • 2007
    Koufax was the final player chosen in the inaugural Israel Baseball League draft in April 2007.
    More Details Hide Details Koufax, 71, was picked by the Modi'in Miracle. "His selection is a tribute to the esteem with which he is held by everyone associated with this league", said Art Shamsky, who managed the Miracle. "It's been 41 years between starts for him. If he's rested and ready to take the mound again, we want him on our team." Koufax declined to join the Miracle. Currently, Koufax serves as a member of the advisory board of the Baseball Assistance Team, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping former Major League, Minor League, and Negro League players through financial and medical difficulties.
  • 1999
    Although he rarely makes public appearances, he went to Turner Field in Atlanta for the introduction ceremony before Game 2 of the 1999 World Series.
    More Details Hide Details Koufax threw out a ceremonial first pitch at opening day 2008 at Dodger Stadium, to help commemorate the Dodgers' 50th Anniversary in Los Angeles.
  • 1972
    Koufax, at age 36 in 1972, became the youngest player ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
    More Details Hide Details Koufax's career peaked with a run of six outstanding years from to, before arthritis in his left elbow ended his career prematurely at age 30. He was an All-Star for six seasons and was the National League's Most Valuable Player in. He won three Cy Young Awards in 1963,, and 1966, by unanimous votes, making him the first three-time Cy Young winner in baseball history and the only one to win three times when one overall award was given for all of major league baseball instead of one award for each league. Koufax also won the NL Triple Crown for pitchers those same three years by leading the NL in wins, strikeouts, and earned run average. Koufax was the first major league pitcher to pitch four no-hitters and the eighth pitcher to pitch a perfect game in baseball history. Despite his comparatively short career, Koufax's 2,396 career strikeouts ranked 7th in history as of his retirement, trailing only Warren Spahn (2,583) among left-handers. Koufax, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martínez, and Nolan Ryan are the only four pitchers elected to the Hall of Fame who had more strikeouts than innings pitched.
  • 1969
    Koufax married Anne Widmark, daughter of movie star Richard Widmark, in 1969; the couple was divorced in the 1980s.
    More Details Hide Details He then remarried and divorced again in the 1990s. In his first year of eligibility in, Koufax was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, just weeks after his 36th birthday.
  • 1966
    He pitched 6 innings in four All-Star games including being the starting pitcher for 3 innings in the 1966 All-Star Game.
    More Details Hide Details Koufax was the first pitcher to win multiple Cy Young Awards, as well as the first pitcher to win a Cy Young Award by a unanimous vote. He is also the only pitcher to win three Cy Young Awards in the era in which the award was presented to one pitcher across the board, rather than one in each major league, and one of three Dodgers pitchers to win the one-across-the-board Cy Young Award. (The others were Don Newcombe, the first Cy Young winner in 1956, and Don Drysdale in 1962.) Each of Koufax's three Cy Young Awards were by unanimous vote. Koufax and Juan Marichal are the only two pitchers in the post-war era (1946-date) to have more than one 25-win season, with each pitcher recording three. Among NL pitchers with at least 2,000 innings pitched who have debuted since, he has the highest career winning percentage (.655) and had the lowest career ERA (2.76) until surpassed by Tom Seaver, whose NL career mark is 2.73. While Seaver ended his career with an overall career ERA of 2.86, this included three seasons in the American League. Seaver passed Koufax's record in 1974 when he ended the season with more than 2,000 NL innings and an ERA of 2.47. Koufax is currently second on the list of overall career ERA in the live-ball era, surpassed only by Whitey Ford (2.75).
    In April 1966, Kerlan told Koufax it was time to retire and that his arm could not take another season.
    More Details Hide Details Koufax kept Kerlan's advice to himself and went out every fourth day to pitch. He ended up pitching 323 innings, a 27–9 record, and a 1.73 ERA. Since then, no left-hander has had more wins, nor a lower ERA, in a season (Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton did match the 27-win mark in 1972). In the final game of the regular season, the Dodgers had to beat the Phillies to win the pennant. In the second game of a doubleheader, Koufax faced Jim Bunning for the second time that season, in a match-up between perfect game winners. Koufax, on two days rest, pitched a complete game, 6–3 victory to clinch the pennant. He started 41 games (for the second year in a row); only two left-handers started as many games in any season over the ensuing years through 2013.
    Before the 1966 season began, Koufax and Drysdale met separately with Dodger GM Buzzie Bavasi to negotiate their contracts for the upcoming year.
    More Details Hide Details After Koufax's meeting, he met Drysdale for dinner and complained that Bavasi was using Drysdale against him in the negotiations, asking, "How come you want that much when Drysdale only wants this much?" Drysdale responded that Bavasi did the same thing with him, using Koufax against him. Drysdale's first wife, Ginger Drysdale, suggested that they negotiate together to get what they wanted. Both players were represented by an entertainment lawyer, J. William Hayes, which was unusual during an era when players were not represented by agents. Koufax and Drysdale did not report to spring training in February. Instead, they both signed to appear in the movie Warning Shot, starring David Janssen. Drysdale was to play a TV commentator and Koufax a detective. Meanwhile, the Dodgers waged a public relations battle against them. After four weeks, Koufax gave Drysdale the go-ahead to negotiate new deals for both of them. They rejoined the team in the last week of spring training.
  • 1965
    On September 9, 1965, Koufax became the sixth pitcher of the modern era, and eighth overall, to throw a perfect game, the first by a left-hander since 1880.
    More Details Hide Details The game was Koufax's fourth no-hitter, setting a Major League record (subsequently broken by Nolan Ryan). Koufax struck out 14 batters, at the time the most recorded in a perfect game (now tied by Matt Cain). The game also featured a quality performance by the opposing pitcher, Bob Hendley of the Cubs. Hendley pitched a one-hitter and allowed only two batters to reach base. Both pitchers had no-hitters intact until the seventh inning. This remains the only nine-inning major league game where the teams combined for just one hit. The game's only run, scored by the Dodgers, was unearned. The Dodger run was scored without a recorded at bat—Lou Johnson walked, reached second on a sacrifice bunt, stole third, and scored when the throw to get him out at third went wild. Koufax garnered headlines by declining to pitch Game 1 of the World Series because of his observance of the Jewish religious holiday of Yom Kippur. This decision garnered national attention as an example of conflict between professional pressures and personal religious beliefs. Don Drysdale pitched the opener, but was hit hard by the Minnesota Twins.
  • 1964
    Koufax had 11-game winning streaks in both 1964 and 1965.
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  • 1963
    Facing the Yankees in the 1963 World Series, Koufax beat Whitey Ford 5–2 in Game 1 and struck out 15 batters-including the first 5, breaking Carl Erskine's decade-old record of 14 (Gibson would break Koufax's record by striking out 17 Detroit Tigers in the 1968 World Series opener).
    More Details Hide Details After seeing Koufax's Game 1 performance, Yogi Berra said, "I can see how he won 25 games. What I don't understand is how he lost five," to which Maury Wills responded, "He didn't. We lost them for him." In Game 4, Koufax completed the Dodgers' series sweep with a 2–1 victory over Ford, clinching the Series MVP Award for his performance. Koufax's season started with great expectations. On April 18, he struck out three batters on nine pitches in the third inning of a 3–0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, becoming the only National League pitcher to have two nine-pitch/three-strikeout half-innings. On April 22, however, he felt something "let go" in his arm. Koufax ended up getting three cortisone shots for his sore elbow, and missed three starts. On June 4, playing at Connie Mack Stadium against the Phillies, Koufax walked Richie Allen on a very close full-count pitch in the fourth inning. Allen, who was thrown out trying to steal second, was the only Phillie to reach base that day. With his third no-hitter in three years, Koufax became only the second pitcher of the modern era (after Bob Feller) to pitch three no-hitters.
    The top pitchers of the era – Don Drysdale, Juan Marichal, Jim Bunning, Bob Gibson, Warren Spahn, and above all Koufax – significantly reduced the walks-given-up-to-batters-faced ratio for 1963, and subsequent years.
    More Details Hide Details On May 11, Koufax no-hit the San Francisco Giants 8-0, besting future Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal—himself a no-hit pitcher a month later, on June 15. Koufax carried a perfect game into the eighth inning against the powerful Giants lineup, including future Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, and Orlando Cepeda. He walked Ed Bailey on a 3-and-2 pitch in the 8th, and pinch-hitter McCovey on four pitches in the 9th, before closing out the game. As the Dodgers won the pennant, Koufax won the pitchers' Triple Crown, leading the league in wins (25), strikeouts (306) and ERA (1.88). Koufax threw 11 shutouts, setting a new record for shutouts by a left-handed pitcher that stands to this day (the previous record of 9 shutouts had been held by Babe Ruth for nearly 50 years). Only Bob Gibson, a right-hander, has thrown more shutouts (13) since, and that was in 1968, "the year of the pitcher."
  • 1961
    Koufax, who had reduced his walks allowed per nine innings to 3.4 in 1961 and 2.8 in 1962, reduced his walk rate further to 1.7 in 1963, which ranked fifth in the league.
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    It was the beginning of Koufax's breakout season. Posting an 18–13 record for the Dodgers in 1961, Koufax led the league with 269 strikeouts, breaking Christy Mathewson's 58-year-old NL mark of 267.
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    Koufax tried one more year of baseball and showed up for the 1961 season in better condition than he had in previous years.
    More Details Hide Details Years later he recalled, "That winter was when I really started working out. I started running more. I decided I was really going to find out how good I can be." During spring training, Dodger scout Kenny Myers discovered a hitch in Koufax's windup: he'd rear back so far that his vision was obstructed and he couldn't see the target. A day later, Koufax was pitching for the "B team" in Orlando. Teammate Ed Palmquist missed the flight, so Koufax was told he would need to pitch at least seven innings. In the first inning, Koufax walked the bases loaded on 12 straight pitches. Catcher Norm Sherry advised Koufax to throw slightly less hard in order to improve his control. The advice worked, as Koufax struck out the side, going on to pitch seven no-hit innings.
  • 1960
    In early, Koufax asked Dodgers GM Buzzie Bavasi to trade him because he wasn't getting enough playing time. By the end of 1960, after going 8–13, Koufax was thinking about quitting baseball to devote himself to an electronics business that he'd invested in.
    More Details Hide Details After the last game of the season, he threw his gloves and spikes into the trash. Nobe Kawano, the clubhouse supervisor, retrieved the equipment to return to Koufax the following year (or to somebody else if Koufax did not return to play).
  • 1959
    Koufax was selected as an All-Star for the first time and made two All-Star Game appearances; MLB held two All-Star games from 1959 through 1962.
    More Details Hide Details He faced only one batter in the 9th inning in the first game, giving up a hit to Al Kaline and he pitched two scoreless innings in the second game. In, the Dodgers moved from the Los Angeles Coliseum, which had a 250-foot left field line, to pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium. The new park had a large foul territory and a comparatively poor hitting background. Koufax was an immediate beneficiary of the change, lowering his home ERA from 4.29 to 1.75. On June 30 against the expansion New York Mets, Koufax threw his first no-hitter. In the first inning of that game, Koufax struck out three batters on nine pitches to become the sixth National League pitcher and the 11th pitcher in Major League history to accomplish a nine-pitch/three-strikeout half-inning. With the no-hitter, a 4-2 record, 73 strikeouts, and a 1.23 ERA for June, he was named Player of the Month. It would be the only time in his career he earned this distinction.
    On August 31, 1959, he surpassed his career high with 18 strikeouts, setting the NL record and tying Bob Feller's major league record for strikeouts in one game.
    More Details Hide Details In, the Dodgers won a close pennant race against the Braves and the Giants, then beat the Chicago White Sox in the World Series. Koufax pitched two perfect relief innings in the Series opener, though they came after the Dodgers were already behind 11–0. Alston gave him the start in the fifth game, at the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of 92,706 fans. Koufax allowed only one run in seven innings, but lost the 1–0 game when Nellie Fox scored on a double play. Returning to Chicago, the Dodgers won the sixth game and the Series.
    In June 1959, Koufax set the record for a night game with 16 strikeouts.
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  • 1958
    Over the next three seasons, Koufax was in and out of the Dodger starting rotation due to injuries. In 1958, he began 7–3, but sprained his ankle in a collision at first base, finishing the season at 11–11 and leading the NL in wild pitches.
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  • 1956
    The year 1956 was not very different from 1955 for Koufax.
    More Details Hide Details Despite the blazing speed of his fastball, Koufax continued to struggle with his control. He saw little work, pitching only 58.7 innings with a 4.91 ERA, 29 walks and 30 strikeouts. When Koufax allowed baserunners, he was rarely permitted to finish the inning. Teammate Joe Pignatano said that, as soon as Koufax threw a couple of balls in a row, Alston would signal for a replacement to start warming up in the bullpen. Jackie Robinson, in his final season, clashed with Alston on Koufax's usage. Robinson saw that Koufax was talented and had flashes of brilliance, and objected to Koufax being benched for weeks at a time. To prepare for the season, the Dodgers sent Koufax to Puerto Rico to play winter ball. On May 15, the restriction on sending Koufax down to the minors was lifted. Alston gave him a chance to justify his place on the major league roster by giving him the next day's start. Facing the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, Koufax struck out 13 while pitching his first complete game in almost two years. For the first time in his career, he was in the starting rotation, but only for two weeks. Despite winning three of his next five with a 2.90 ERA, Koufax didn't get another start for 45 days. In that start, he struck out 11 in seven innings, but got a no-decision.
  • 1955
    During the fall, he enrolled in the Columbia University School of General Studies, which offered night classes in architecture. The Dodgers won the 1955 World Series for the first title in franchise history, but Koufax did not appear in the series.
    More Details Hide Details After the final out of Game Seven, Koufax drove to Columbia to attend class.
    His only other win in 1955 was also a shutout.
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    Koufax made only 12 appearances in 1955, pitching innings and walking almost as many men (28) as he struck out (30).
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  • 1954
    Koufax attended the University of Cincinnati and was a walk-on on the freshman basketball team, a complete unknown to coach Ed Jucker. He later earned a partial scholarship. In spring 1954, he made the college baseball varsity team.
    More Details Hide Details That season, Koufax went 3–1 with a 2.81 ERA, 51 strikeouts and 30 walks, in 32 innings. Bill Zinser, a scout for the Brooklyn Dodgers, sent the Dodgers front office a glowing report that apparently was filed and forgotten. After trying out with the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds, Koufax did the same for the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field. During his Pirates tryout, Koufax's fastball broke the thumb of Sam Narron, the team's bullpen coach. Branch Rickey, then the general manager of the Pirates, told his scout Clyde Sukeforth that Koufax had the "greatest arm had ever seen." The Pirates, however, failed to offer Koufax a contract until after he was already committed to the Dodgers. Dodgers scout Al Campanis heard about Koufax from a local sporting goods store owner. After seeing Koufax pitch for Lafayette, Campanis invited him to an Ebbets Field tryout. With Dodgers manager Walter Alston and scouting director Fresco Thompson watching, Campanis assumed the hitter's stance while Koufax started throwing. Campanis later said, "There are two times in my life the hair on my arms has stood up: The first time I saw the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the second time, I saw Sandy Koufax throw a fastball." Koufax planned to use the signing bonus as tuition to finish his university education, if his baseball career failed.
  • 1951
    In 1951, at the age of 15, Koufax also joined a local youth baseball league known as the "Ice Cream League."
    More Details Hide Details He started out as a left-handed catcher before moving to first base. While playing first base for Lafayette High School's baseball team with teammate and friend Fred Wilpon, he was spotted by Milt Laurie, the father of two Lafayette teammates and a baseball coach. Laurie recognized that Koufax might be able to pitch, and recruited the 17-year-old Koufax to pitch for the Coney Island Sports League's Parkviews.
  • 1939
    His election made him the Hall's youngest member ever elected, five months younger than Lou Gehrig upon his election in 1939, though because the 1972 induction ceremony was nearly eight months after the election, Koufax's age at induction was slightly higher than Gehrig's, making Gehrig the youngest player ever inducted.
    More Details Hide Details On June 4 of that same year, Koufax's uniform number 32 was retired alongside those of Dodger greats Roy Campanella (39) and Jackie Robinson (42). The Dodgers hired Koufax to be a minor league pitching coach in. He resigned in, saying he wasn't earning his keep, but most observers blamed it on his uneasy relationship with manager Tommy Lasorda. Koufax returned to the Dodger organization in when the Dodgers were sold to Frank McCourt. In, The Sporting News placed Koufax at number 26 on its list of "Baseball's 100 Greatest Players." That same year, he was named as one of the 30 players on the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.
  • 1935
    Born on December 30, 1935.
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