Sandy Koufax

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Sanford "Sandy" Koufax (pronounced /ˈkoʊfæks/; born Sanford Braun, December 30, 1935) is a former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball . He played his entire 12-year baseball career for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1955-1966). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972, the youngest former player to receive that honor.

Koufax's career peaked with a run of six outstanding seasons from 1961 to 1966, before arthritis ended his career 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. 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.[1][2]

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. Retiring at the peak of his career, he became, at age 36 and 20 days, the youngest player ever elected to the Hall of Fame.[3]

Koufax is also remembered as one of the outstanding Jewish athletes in American sports. His decision not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur garnered national attention as an example of conflict between social pressures and personal beliefs.[4]


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