Sport: Baseball Inducted: 1979 Country: United States Born: December 30, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York
was the most dominant pitcher of his time. He played his
entire career for the Dodgers'in Brooklyn and Los Angeles'
from 1955 to 1966.
Koufax was the first pitcher in Major League baseball to
hurl four no-hit games, including a perfect game in 1965.
The left-hander won the Cy Young Award (baseball's highest
pitching honor) three times in four years (1963, 1965 and
1966), won the earned run average,(ERA) title five consecutive
seasons (from 1962 to 1966), and won 25 or more games three
times. He had 11 shutouts in 1963 and tossed 40 career shutouts.
The Dodger pitching legend was the Major League strikeout leader four times, including a record 382 strikeouts in 1965. His career strikeouts numbered 2,396, and three times he fanned 300 or more batters in a season.
In 12 Major League seasons, Koufax won a total of 165 games
while losing only 87. More remarkably, in Sanford "Sandy"
Koufax his five final seasons his win-loss record
Over the span of 2,324.1 career innings, Koufax's ERA
was a lifetime 2.76.
In his final year, Sandy Koufax was professional baseball's
highest-salaried player, as he led the Dodgers to the World
Series with a 27-9 record and 1.73 ERA.
Koufax was signed to a bonus contract (a $14,000 bonus and
$6,000 salary) in 1955 by the Brooklyn Dodgers following
his freshman year at the University of Cincinnati. But Sandy
never spent a day in the minor leagues. Under the rules of
the period, teams signing players to bonus contracts were
required to keep their "bonus babies" on their
Major League roster for the player's first two big
league seasons. Consequently, with the Dodgers immersed in
pennant races in 1955 (World Series champions) and 1956 (National
League pennant winners), the team could ill afford to allow
a rookie many opportunities to develop at the Major League
level. So Sandy saw little action during his first two years
with the Dodgers, tossing 42 innings in his rookie season
and 59 innings the following year.
A severe arm injury caused his early retirement following the 1966 season. In 1972, Koufax became the youngest player ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.