‘Trying to hit Sandy Koufax was like drinking coffee with a fork’

You’re keen on baseball. Tim Kurkjian loves baseball. So whereas we await its return, daily we’ll offer you a narrative or two tied to this date in baseball historical past.

ON THIS DATE IN 1962, Sandy Koufax threw his first no-hitter.

He would end with 4 no-hitters — solely Nolan Ryan had extra. One in all Koufax’s no-hitters was an ideal recreation. In Koufax’s first no-hitter, he struck out 13, together with the aspect on 9 pitches within the first inning. Relating to peak worth for a pitcher, few in main league historical past may match Sandy Koufax. Former teammate Don Sutton, a 300-game winner, stated, “Essentially the most dominating pitcher I ever noticed, for sure, with out recourse, is Sandy Koufax.”

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In his last 4 seasons, Koufax received three Cy Younger Awards and went an astounding 97-27. Then he retired at age 30 due to an arm damage. He stays the youngest participant (36) ever to be inducted into the Corridor of Fame. He led the Nationwide League in ERA in every of his final 5 seasons. In 1965-66, his last two seasons, he received the pitching Triple Crown: the league chief in victories, ERA and strikeouts. In his last two seasons, he had 27 full video games every year, and he led the league in innings pitched in every season.

Koufax led the league in strikeouts 4 occasions; in 1965, he struck out 382 batters, which established a significant league report. That season, he walked solely 71 — he stays the one pitcher in main league historical past to have a season by which he had 300 extra strikeouts than walks. “Attempting to hit Koufax,” Willie Stargell as soon as stated, “was like ingesting espresso with a fork.”

Koufax was at his finest within the postseason, when it mattered most. He pitched in eight World Sequence video games, beginning seven of them. He went 4-Three with a 0.95 ERA and two shutouts. He threw 57 innings, allowed 36 hits, walked 11 and struck out 61. In 1963 in opposition to the mighty Yankees, he set the report for many strikeouts in a World Sequence recreation with 15.

Koufax was an amazing basketball participant on the College of Cincinnati thanks partly to his monumental fingers. In baseball, these fingers allowed him to wrap his exceptionally lengthy fingers across the ball in a approach to manipulate it. His vicious overhand curveball was top-of-the-line ever. Corridor of Famer Frank Robinson was top-of-the-line, most assured hitters of all time. He hated pitchers, and there wasn’t one he did not suppose he may hit. I requested how he did in opposition to Corridor of Famers Juan Marichal, Bob Gibson and Don Drysdale. Robinson answered, to every one, “Oh, I hit him good.” But once I requested about Sandy Koufax, Robinson’s tone and physique language modified. “Nobody,” Robinson stated, “may hit that man.”

Different baseball notes for June 30

  • In 1912, Shoeless Joe Jackson hit three triples in a single recreation. “His glove is the place triples go to die,” Ray Kinsella stated.

  • In 1995, Eddie Murray collected his 3,000th hit. He, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols are the one members of the three,000-hit, 500-home run membership.

  • In 1964, Doug Dascenzo was born. He’s 5-foot-7. He pitched in 4 video games in his profession. “I actually was the brief reliever,” he stated.

  • In 1957, pitcher Bud Black was born. On someday in 1992, his profession report was 92-92, and the groups for which he performed have been 796-796. The final word .500 pitcher. I tracked that stat for months, then when all of it lined up completely. I flew from Dallas to San Francisco to inform Black. He checked out me, smiled and stated, “You flew 1,500 miles simply to inform me that? Is that each one you must do along with your life?”

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