He was simply the best, perhaps the best pitcher of all time.
Sandy Koufax pitched 12 seasons, from 1955-66, for the Dodgers who moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1957. At 36 in 1972, he became the youngest player ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
I remember watching him on a black-and-white television screen in my row house in Philadelphia. He wore No. 32 for the boys in blue and he had a high leg kick and a devastating fastball.
Fifty-nine years ago today, on June 30, 1962, Koufax struck out 13 New York Mets en route to the first of four career no-hitters in a 5-0 victory at Dodger Stadium.
I must admit that he was one of my least favorite people in the world during those years because I pulled for my hometown Philadelphia Phillies. I always wished we had him our team.
Koufax, 85, was born Dec. 30, 1935, in Brooklyn. He and Don Drysdale were like Batman and Robin, the dynamic duo on the mound.
In 1965 they carried the Dodgers to the World Series almost by themselves. They started more than half of the Dodgers’ games that season and pitched 44% of the team’s innings. In their starts, the Dodgers went 56-17, and Koufax/Drysdale had a combined 2.39 earned run average. The Dodgers beat the Minnesota Twins in seven games in the 1965 World Series.
If only the Batman, Koufax, and his Robin, Drysdale, pitched for Philly.