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Spotlighting Sandy Koufax. Sanford "Sandy" Koufax (born Sanford Braun, on December 30, 1935), a left-handed pitcher who played his entire career, from 1955 to 1966, for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.
Before arthritis ended his career prematurely at age 30, Koufax ran off six spectacular seasons from 1961 to 1966. He was named the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1963. He also won the 1963, 1965, and 1966 Cy Young Awards by unanimous votes when there was only one winner for both leagues. He was the only 3-time Cy Young winner from that era. In each of his Cy Young seasons, Koufax won the pitcher's triple crown by leading the NL in wins, strikeouts, and earned run average. His totals led the Majors in those seasons
Koufax was the first major leaguer to pitch four no-hitters (including a perfect game). 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. Retiring at the peak of his career, he became, at age 36 and 20 days, the youngest player ever elected to the Hall of Fame.
As a Jew, Koufax's decision not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur brought him and his religious beliefs national attention.
In his 12-season career, Koufax had a 165–87 record with a 2.76 ERA, 2,396 strikeouts, 137 complete games, and 40 shutouts. He was the first pitcher to average fewer than seven hits allowed per nine innings pitched in his career (6.79) and to strike out more than nine batters (9.28) per nine innings pitched in his career. He also became the 2nd pitcher in baseball history to have two games with 18 or more strikeouts, and the first to have eight games with 15 or more strikeouts. In his last ten seasons, from 1957 to 1966, batters hit .203 against Koufax, with a .271 on base percentage and a .315 slugging average.¹
Sandy Koufax's Cy Young Award Seasons Year Tm Lg W L ERA IP H R ER HR SO PBB IBB WP HBP BK 1963 LAD NL 25 5 1.88 311.0 214 68 65 18 306 58 7 6 3 1 1965 LAD NL 26 8 2.04 335.2 216 90 76 26 382 71 4 11 5 0 1966 LAD NL 27 9 1.73 323.0 241 74 62 19 317 77 4 7 0 0
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