3,000 Years of Beautiful Tradition from Moses to Sandy Koufax

KoufaxInteresting piece in the L.A. Times Dodger blog about Sandy Koufax rejoining the team as a special adviser.

It not only adds to the Dodgers’ already-busy offseason, but I think adds even more pressure for them to do phenominally well this season. As some pundits have said, anything less than a 90-win season will be considered a failure.

Here are a few of impressive Hall of Fame stats put up by the graduate of Lafayette High School in Brooklyn:

He retired at the peak of his career, and in 1972 became the youngest player ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, aged 36 years and 20 days.[1]

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. 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, making him the first 3-time Cy Young winner in baseball history and the only one to win 3 times when the award was for all of baseball, not just one league. 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. Koufax’s totals would also have led the American League in those seasons.[2][3][4][5]

Koufax was the first major leaguer to pitch four no-hitters (including the eighth 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 and Nolan Ryan are the only two pitchers inducted into the Hall of Fame who had more strikeouts than innings pitched.

Also, here is Vin Scully’s call of Koufax’s 1965 perfect game.

About Mark Yost
Mark Yost is the author of the Rick Crane Noir series, published by Stay Thirsty Press. Rick Crane is the classic, anti-hero private eye in the spirit of Sam Spade and Jim Rockford. He works in the unmistakably noirish underworld of Upstate New York, running errands and fixing problems for Jimmy Ricchiati Sr., one of Upstate New York's most notorious crime bosses. But readers quickly learn that deep down, Rick Crane is one of the good guys. "Cooper's Daughter," the first book in the widely acclaimed series, is a fast-moving tale in which a heartbroken father comes to Rick and asks him to find out what really happened to his daughter, who was murdered and the details buried in the Unsolved Crimes File of the local police department. The second book in the series is "Jimmy's Nephew," which begins with the death of Joey "Boom Boom" Bonadeo, an up-and-coming boxer and the nephew of Rick's underworld boss. What starts out as a routine investigation turns into a case that will test Rick's faith -- in the Catholic Church and his fellow man. Book No. 3 in the series, "Mary's Fate" is due out in August 2015. Mark Yost also writes for The Wall Street Journal Arts in Review page, as well as the Book Review section. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America -- Midwest Chapter, International Thriller Writers, and a number of other author groups. He is also a member of the Amazon Author's Program. Mark lives in the Loyola neighborhood of Chicago, but he and his son, George, call the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn "home."

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