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‘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, each day 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. Certainly one of Koufax’s no-hitters was an ideal sport. In Koufax’s first no-hitter, he struck out 13, together with the aspect on 9 pitches within the first inning. In terms of peak worth for a pitcher, few in main league historical past may match Sandy Koufax. Former teammate Don Sutton, a 300-game winner, mentioned, “Probably the most dominating pitcher I ever noticed, for sure, with out recourse, is Sandy Koufax.”

The complete “On this date …” archive

In his closing 4 seasons, Koufax received three Cy Younger Awards and went an astounding 97-27. Then he retired at age 30 due to an arm harm. 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 closing two seasons, he received the pitching Triple Crown: the league chief in victories, ERA and strikeouts. In his closing two seasons, he had 27 full video games annually, 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 document. That season, he walked solely 71 — he stays the one pitcher in main league historical past to have a season during which he had 300 extra strikeouts than walks. “Making an attempt to hit Koufax,” Willie Stargell as soon as mentioned, “was like ingesting espresso with a fork.”

Koufax was at his finest within the postseason, when it mattered most. He pitched in eight World Collection 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 towards the mighty Yankees, he set the document for many strikeouts in a World Collection sport with 15.

Koufax was an amazing basketball participant on the College of Cincinnati thanks partially to his huge palms. In baseball, these palms 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 assume he may hit. I requested how he did towards 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 mentioned, “may hit that man.”

Different baseball notes for June 30

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

  • 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 mentioned.

  • In 1957, pitcher Bud Black was born. On at some point in 1992, his profession document 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 mentioned, “You flew 1,500 miles simply to inform me that? Is that each one you must do together with your life?”

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