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Happy Birthday Sandy Koufax



One of the greatest Dodgers of all time turns 82 today. In honor of his birthday, we take a look back at his historic career.

Sandy Koufax played 12 seasons, all in a Dodgers uniform. In those 12 seasons, Koufax won 3 Cy Young’s, an MVP, achieved the pitching triple crown 3 times, and was a 4-time World Series champion. Koufax was also the author of 4 no-hitters, and the 8th perfect game of all time.

Koufax was born December 30th, 1935 in Brooklyn. He grew up a two-spot athlete, excelling in both baseball and basketball. Koufax would later attend the University of Cincinnati and become a walk-on on the baseball team. He would play only one season in college, before he was signed by his hometown Brooklyn Dodgers. Due to the bonus rules when he was signed, he began his career on the Major League roster.

Number 32 made his debut in 1955, at just 19-years old. The lefty had a somewhat tough start to his career, but made his first All-Star team in 1961 and never looked back. He would go on to be an All-Star for the next 7 seasons in a row, with each season seemingly more dominant than the last. Koufax was always a very talented pitcher, and his strikeout numbers confirm that, but his real success came when he began to limit walks in 1961.

Koufax won his first Cy Young in 1963, and was named MVP the same season. He went 25-5 with a 1.88 ERA and 306 strikeouts that season, leading the league in all three categories. He also had 20 complete games and 11 shutouts that season. The following season he pitched to a 19-5 record with a 1.74 ERA and struck out 223 batters, finishing third in Cy Young voting.

Sandy’s best individual season came in 1966, where he went 27-9 with a 1.73 while striking out 317 batters. For the third time in his career, he led the league in all three categories. The 1966 season ended up being his last, and he retired after it ended at just 30-years old. Koufax began having severe arm pain during the 1965 season, but still threw 54 complete games over his final two seasons. His workload, along with less being known about arm injuries, ultimately led to his retirement due to an arthritic condition in his elbow.

Sandy Koufax became the youngest player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972, at just 36-years old. Koufax finished his career as one of the best left-handed pitchers of all time. Turning 82 today, we all want to wish Sandy a very happy birthday!

Written by Hunter Thompson

Born in Pennsylvania but comes from a long line of Dodger fans from their Brooklyn days. Extremely passionate about the Dodgers and baseball in general. News writer and Twittercaster for Dodger games. Follow me on Twitter @Officialism27 for more Dodgers talk!

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  1. Happy Birthday Sandy! You are the greatest Dodger of all time! I have fond memories of watching you pitch in the Coliseum and Dodger Stadium!
    Thanks for the memories!

    • I can only envy you guys who got to see him pitch. I didn’t start paying attention to baseball until right after he retired.

      • Go to youtube, 1965 World Series game 7. IMHO the best game he ever pitched. It was a month after his perfect game, on two days rest and a curve that didn’t want to cooperate, he shut out the Twins on three hits.

  2. Being a lefty myself and a life long Dodger fan. I watched Sandy pitch at Dodger stadium for only $2.00 in those outfield seats. I fashioned my overhand curve after him and my brother gave me a signed baseball for my 40th birthday present. Thank you Sandy for being my idol and all those great memories.

  3. I am 72 and rooted “Dodger Blue” since I was 8. Watching you pitch was a total thrill: like poetry in motion. Thank you for the fantastic memories and for model behavior you exemplified for kids! Happy Birthday and a healthy happy year…

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