November 3, 1965
On this date 48 years ago, Dodgers left-hander Sandy Koufax was unanimously announced as the 1965 Cy Young award winner. It would be his second career Cy Young Award after winning one in 1963.
In 41 starts, Koufax had a 26-8 record with 2.04 ERA and 382 strikeouts in 335.2 innings. Koufax led the league in wins, ERA, complete games, innings pitched and strikeouts. His strikeout total would be a modern-day major league record for strikeouts in a season until Nolan Ryan recorded 383 in 1973.
That season, Koufax would help the Dodgers become World Series champions for the fourth time in his career. Koufax would also earn his second World Series MVP after throwing two complete game shutouts in Games 5 and 7 against the Minnesota Twins. Koufax lost Game 2, but came back and redeemed himself to lead the Dodgers. In 24 total innings, Koufax had a 0.38 ERA and 29 strikeouts.
The 1965 season would become the second-to-last season in Koufax’s career and was the third in a series of four straight dominant seasons. Koufax would be forced to retire after the 1966 season due to elbow problems, ending his career at the age of 30. Barring injury, Koufax could have become one of the most prolific starting pitchers of all-time. He’s still one of the most famous Dodger players and is highly regarded by Dodger fans.
Koufax ended his career with an MVP award, three Cy Youngs, four World Series, two World Series MVP, a perfect game, four no-hitters and was named an All-Star seven times. In the postseason, Koufax was 4-3 but had a 0.95 ERA in eight games. In 12 seasons, Koufax had 165 wins and 2,396 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.76 in 2,324.1 innings pitched.
The left-hander is still around the Dodgers organization and can be seen talking to and helping pitchers in spring training. The Dodgers retired his number in 1972 after he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
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