Sanford "Sandy" Koufax (December 30, 1935) is an American former left-handed baseball pitcher who played his entire 12-year Major League Baseball career for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1955–1966). Retiring at the peak of his career, in 1972 he became, at age 36 and 20 days, the youngest player ever elected to the Hall of Fame.
Sandy Koufax was a talented all-around athlete from New York. Despite his stellar baseball career, he attended the University of Cincinnati on a basketball scholarship.
Koufax won three Cy Young Awards in the 1960s. He was inducted into the baseball hall of fame in 1972.
Koufax was the first pitcher in Major League Baseball to hurl four no-hit games. One of those included a perfect game in 1965.
Koufax was the Major League strikeout leader four times, including a record 382 strikeouts in 1965. He had 2396 career strikeouts, and had three seasons with 300 or more strikeouts.
On October 6th, 1965, the Jewish Koufax refused to pitch for his Los Angeles Dodgers against the Minnesota Twins in the opening game of the World Series. The game fell on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.
The Los Angeles Dodgers under-utilized his talents the first six years. Then they overused him the last six years, resulting in arthritis that forced him into early retirement.
Koufax's Cy Young awards are especially impressive. In each of his Cy Young seasons, Koufax won the pitcher's triple crown by leading the league in wins, strikeouts and earned-run average.
Koufax won Game 7 of the 1965 World Series. He pitched on two days' rest, throwing a three-hit shutout against the Minnesota Twins.
Koufax was a shy person during his playing years. Even in his ninth season, he was still afraid of reporters.
Koufax knew he was a role model for children. He refused to have his picture taken if he was smoking or drinking. However, he drank in such small quantities that some wondered why he drank at all.