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Sandy Koufax

Sandy Koufax

Personal Info
Birth December 30 1935
Birthplace Brooklyn, New York
Professional Career
Debut June 24, 1955, Brooklyn Dodgers vs. Milwaukee Braves, County Stadium
Team(s) Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1955 to 1966)
Career Highlights

Sanford "Sandy" Koufax (IPA pronunciation: /'kofæks/) (born Sanford Braun on December 30 1935 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers from 1955 to 1966.

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, and won the 1963, 1965, and 1966 Cy Young Awards by unanimous votes, leading both leagues in wins, strikeouts, and earned run average in all three seasons.[1][2] A notoriously difficult pitcher to bat against, he was the first major leaguer to pitch more than three no-hitters, the first to average fewer than seven hits allowed per nine innings pitched over his career, and the first to strike out more than nine batters per nine innings pitched in his career.[3]

Among NL pitchers with at least 2,000 innings pitched who have debuted since 1913, he has the highest career winning percentage (.655), and had the lowest career ERA (2.76) until Tom Seaver ended 1974 with a 2.47 mark; his 2,396 career strikeouts ranked 7th in major league history upon his retirement, and trailed only Warren Spahn's total of 2,583 among left-handers. Retiring virtually at the peak of his career, he became, at age 36 and 20 days, the youngest player ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.[4]

Koufax, an American Jew, also refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because game day fell on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.[5]

Early life

Sandy Koufax was born in Brooklyn to Evelyn and Jack Braun.[6] He grew up in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn. His parents divorced when he was three years old; when he was nine his mother remarried, and Koufax took the surname of her new husband Irving.[7] Shortly after his mother's remarriage, the family moved to the Long Island suburb of Rockville Centre; when he graduated from ninth grade, they moved back to the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn.[8]

Koufax attended Brooklyn's Lafayette High School. While there, he was better known for basketball and than for baseball. When he started high school, school sports were not available because the New York school teachers were refusing to supervise extracurricular activities without monetary compensation. As an alternative to school sports, Koufax started playing basketball for a local Jewish Community Center team. After the labor action was settled, he played for the high school basketball team. During his senior year he became team captain and ranked second in his division in scoring, with 165 points in 10 games.[6][9]

While attending high school, Koufax also played baseball. In 1951, at the age of 15, Koufax began playing in a local youth baseball league known as the "Ice Cream League." He started out as a left-handed catcher, and the next year moved to first base; he also played first base for the Lafayette High School team. While playing for Lafayette, he was spotted throwing the ball around the infield by Milt Laurie, the father of two of Koufax's teammates and coach of the Coney Island Sports League's Parkviews. Laurie recognized that Koufax might be able to pitch and recruited the 17-year old Koufax to pitch for the Parkviews.[10]

Koufax graduated from high school and decided to attend the University of Cincinnati on a basketball scholarship.[7] In the spring of 1954, the University of Cincinnati baseball team was planning a trip to New Orleans and Koufax decided to try out; he made the varsity team.[11] That season, Koufax went 3–1 with 51 strikeouts and 30 walks, in 31 innings.[12] Bill Zinser, a scout for the Brooklyn Dodgers, sent the Dodgers front office a glowing report that apparently was filed and forgotten.[13]

Koufax's first tryout was with the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds.[14] His next tryout was for the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field.[15] During the tryout, Koufax threw so hard that he broke the thumb of his catcher, Sam Narron, the bullpen coach for the Pirates. Branch Rickey, then general manager of the Pirates, told his scout Clyde Sukeforth that Koufax had the "greatest arm I've ever seen".[16] The Pirates, however, didn't offer Koufax a contract until after he'd already committed to signing with the Dodgers.[17]

Dodgers scout Al Campanis had been told about Koufax from a local sporting goods store owner. After seeing Koufax pitch at Lafayette High School, Campanis immediately invited him to a try out at Ebbets Field. Dodgers manager Walter Alston and scouting director Fresco Thompson watched as Campanis assumed the hitter's stance while Koufax started throwing. Campanis later said that "the hair on my arms rose, and the only other time that happened was the first time I saw the Sistine Chapel".[18] The Dodgers signed Koufax for $20,000—a $14,000 signing bonus and a $6,000 salary. Koufax accepted this offer, planning to use the signing bonus as tuition to finish his university education in case baseball did not work out.[19]

Professional career

Early years (1956–60)


Sandy Koufax's 1955 Topps rookie baseball card

Because Koufax's signing bonus was greater than $4,000, he was known as a bonus baby. That forced the Dodgers to keep him in the major leagues for at least two years before he could be sent to the minors. To make room for him on the roster, the Dodgers optioned their future manager, Tommy Lasorda, to the Montreal Royals of the International League. Lasorda would later joke that it took Sandy Koufax to keep him off the Dodger pitching staff.[20]

Koufax made his major league debut on June 24, 1955, in the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Braves with the Dodgers trailing 7–1. Johnny Logan, the first batter Koufax faced, got a bloop single. He was followed by future Hall of Famers Eddie Mathews and Hank Aaron. Mathews bunted, and Koufax calmly fielded the ball and threw it into center field, trying to get Logan on the force. Aaron then walked on four pitches to load the bases. Bobby Thomson was the next batter, and after working the count full, he struck out swinging. Thomson had just become Koufax's first strikeout victim.[21]

Koufax's first game as starting pitcher was on July 6. He lasted only 4 2/3 innings, giving up eight walks.[22] He did not start again for almost two months, but he made the most of it when it did happen. On August 27, playing at Ebbets Field against the Cincinnati Reds, Koufax threw a two hit, 7–0 complete game shutout for his first major league win.[23] Koufax made only twelve appearances in 1955, pitching 41.7 innings and walking almost as many men (28) as he struck out (30). His only other win in 1955 was also a shutout.[24]

During the fall, he enrolled in Columbia University's School of General Studies, which offered night classes in architecture. The Dodgers won the 1955 World Series for the first title in franchise history—but without any help from Koufax, who sat on the bench for the entire series. After the final out of the Series, Koufax drove to Columbia to attend class.[25]

1956 wasn't very different from 1955 for Koufax. He saw little work, pitching only 58.2 innings, walking 29 and striking out 30; he had a 4.91 ERA. Rarely was he allowed to work out of a jam. As soon as he threw a couple of balls in a row, Alston would have somebody start warming up in the bullpen. Jackie Robinson, in his final season, clashed with Alston on several different subjects, including Koufax. Robinson saw that Koufax was talented and had flashes of brilliance, and Robinson objected to Koufax being benched for weeks at a time.[26]

To prepare for the 1957 season, the Dodgers sent Koufax to Puerto Rico to play winter ball. On May 15, the restriction on sending Koufax down to the minors was lifted. Alston gave him a chance to justify his place on the major league roster by giving him the next day's start. Facing the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, Koufax struck out 13 and earned a complete game win. It was his first complete game in almost two years. For the next two weeks, and for the first time in his career, he was in the starting rotation. Despite winning three of his next five, leading the league in strikeouts and having a 2.90 ERA, Koufax didn't get another start for 45 days. In his next start, on July 19, he struck out eleven in seven innings, but got a no decision. On September 29, Koufax became the last man ever to pitch for the Brooklyn Dodgers before their move to Los Angeles, by throwing an inning of relief in the final game of the season.[27]

Over the next three seasons, Koufax was in and out of the Dodger starting rotation due to injuries. He started the 1958 season strong by going 7–3 through July, but ended up spraining his ankle in a collision at first base. He finished the season with an 11–11 record, leading the league in wild pitches. In June 1959, Koufax struck out 16 Philadelphia Phillies to set the record for a night game. On August 31, 1959, he broke that record and tied Bob Feller's major league record for strikeouts in one game with 18 strikeouts, pitching in Los Angeles against the Giants.[28]

In 1959 the Dodgers won a close pennant race against the Milwaukee Braves and the San Francisco Giants and went on to face the Chicago White Sox in the World Series. The opening game of the series was in Chicago, and Koufax pitched two perfect innings in relief, though they came after the Dodgers were already behind 11–0. Alston gave him the start in the fifth game, played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in front of 92,706 fans. He allowed only one run in seven innings, but was charged with the loss in the 1–0 game when Nellie Fox scored on a double play. However, the Dodgers came back to win the Series in Game 6 in Chicago.[29]

In early 1960 Koufax asked Dodgers GM Buzzie Bavasi to trade him because he wasn't getting enough playing time. By the end of 1960, after going 8–13, Koufax was thinking about quitting baseball to devote himself to an electronics business that he'd invested in. After the last game of the season, he threw his gloves and spikes into the trash. Nobe Kawano, the clubhouse supervisor, retrieved the equipment to return to Koufax the following year (or to somebody else if Koufax did not return to play).[30]

Domination (1961–64)

1961 season

Koufax decided to try one more year of baseball and showed up for the 1961 season in better condition than he had in previous years. Years later he recalled, "That winter was when I really started working out. I started running more. I decided I was really going to find out how good I can be."[31] One evening during spring training, Dodger scout Kenny Myers was talking with Koufax and catcher Norm Sherry and asked Koufax to demonstrate his windup. He discovered a hitch in Koufax's windup: he'd rear back far enough that, in his release, his vision was obstructed and he couldn't see the target.[32]

The next day, Koufax was pitching for the "B team" in Orlando. His teammate, Ed Palmquist, missed the flight, so Koufax was told he would need to pitch at least seven innings. In the first inning, Koufax walked the bases loaded on 12 straight pitches. Sherry told him, as he'd been told before, to take something off the ball to get better control. Koufax finally listened and struck out the side. By the time he came out of the game after seven innings, Koufax had struck out eight batters, walked five and given up no hits.[33]

Koufax finally broke into the starting rotation permanently. On September 27, Koufax broke the National League record for strikeouts in a season, surpassing Christy Mathewson's 58-year-old mark of 267, set in 1903. Koufax finished the year 18–13, with 269 strikeouts and 96 walks.[34] During the two 1961 All-Star games, Koufax pitched two innings without giving up a run.[35]

1962 season

In 1962 the Dodgers moved to their new ballpark, Dodger Stadium. In contrast to the Los Angeles Coliseum, where Koufax had difficulty pitching due to the 250' left field line, Dodger Stadium was a pitcher-friendly park with large foul territory and a poor hitting background. Pitching in this park, Koufax lowered his home ERA from 4.29 to 1.75.[36] On June 30 against the New York Mets, Koufax threw his first no-hitter; he would finish his career with a record four no-hitters. In the first inning of the 5-0 win over the Mets, Koufax struck out three batters on nine pitches to become the sixth National League pitcher and the 11th pitcher in Major League history to accomplish the nine-strike/three-strikeout half-inning. With the no-hitter and a 1.23 ERA for June, he was named Player of the Month.[37][38]

That same season, Koufax's pitching hand was injured. In a batting appearance in April, Koufax had been jammed by a pitch from Earl Francis. Soon a numbness developed in Koufax's index finger on his left hand, and the finger became cold and white. Koufax was pitching better than ever before, however, so he ignored the problem hoping that it would clear up. By July his entire hand was becoming numb and he had to leave some games early. In a start in Cincinnati, his finger split open after one inning. After seeing a vascular specialist, it was determined that Koufax had a crushed artery in his palm. Ten days of experimental medicine successfully reopened the artery. Koufax finally was able to pitch again in September, when the team was locked in a tight pennant race with the Giants. Trying to get back into shape after the long layoff, Koufax was ineffective in three appearances as the Giants caught the Dodgers at the end of the regular season, forcing a three-game playoff.[39]

The night before the National League playoffs began, Manager Walter Alston asked Koufax if he could start the first game the next day. With an overworked pitching staff, there was no one else, as Don Drysdale and Johnny Podres had pitched the prior two days. Koufax obliged. Koufax later said, "I had nothing at all." He was knocked out in the second inning, after giving up home runs to Hall of Famer Willie Mays and Jim Davenport. After winning the second game of the series, the Dodgers blew a 4–2 lead in the ninth inning of the deciding third game, losing the pennant.[40]

1963 season

Koufax came roaring back in 1963. On May 11 he carried a perfect game into the eighth inning against the powerful Giants lineup including future Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, and Orlando Cepeda. Koufax ended up walking Ed Bailey on a 3-and-2 pitch, but preserved the no-hitter, his second in as many years, by closing out the ninth.[41] Koufax finished the year by winning the pitchers' Triple Crown, leading the league in wins (25), strikeouts (306) and ERA (1.88) while also throwing 11 shutouts and leading the Dodgers to the pennant. He won the NL MVP Award and the Cy Young Award (the first unanimous choice) as well as the Hickok Belt.[42][43]

The Dodgers faced the New York Yankees in the 1963 World Series where Koufax beat Whitey Ford 5 to 2 in Game 1, setting a World Series record with 15 strikeouts. Yogi Berra, after seeing Koufax's Game 1 performance, was quoted as saying, "I can see how he won 25 games. What I don't understand is how he lost five."[44] In Game 4, he completed the Dodgers' series sweep of the Yankees with a 2 to 1 victory over Ford, earning the World Series MVP Award for his performance.[45]

1964 season

The 1964 season started with great expectations. On April 18, Koufax struck out three batters on nine pitches in the third inning of a 3-0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, becoming the first (and currently only) pitcher to accomplish the nine-strike/three-strikeout half-inning twice in the National League.[38] On April 22, however, against the St. Louis Cardinals, during the first inning of Koufax's third start, he felt something "let go" in his arm. Koufax ended up getting three cortisone shots for his sore elbow, and he missed three starts. On June 4, playing at Shibe Park against the Philadelphia Phillies, in the bottom of the fourth inning, Koufax walked Richie Allen on a very close full-count pitch. Allen, who was thrown out trying to steal second, was the first and last Phillie to reach base. With his third no-hitter in three years, Koufax became only the second pitcher of the modern era (after Bob Feller) to pitch three no-hitters.[46]

On August 8, Koufax jammed his pitching arm while diving back to second base to beat a pick-off throw. He managed to pitch and win two more games. However, the morning after his 19th win, a shutout in which he struck out 13, he couldn't straighten his arm. He was diagnosed by Dodgers' team physician Robert Kerlan with traumatic arthritis. Koufax finished the year with an impressive 19–5 record.[47]

Playing in pain (1965–66)

1965 season

The 1965 season started off badly for Koufax. On March 31, the morning after pitching a full game during spring training, Koufax awoke to find that his entire left arm was black and blue from hemorrhaging. Koufax returned to Los Angeles to consult with Kerlan, who advised Koufax that he'd be lucky to be able to pitch once a week. Kerlan also told Koufax that he would eventually lose full use of his arm. Koufax agreed not to throw at all between games—a resolution that lasted only one start. To get himself through the games he pitched in, Koufax resorted to Empirin with codeine for the pain (which he took every night and sometimes during the fifth inning) and Butazolidin for inflammation. He would also apply capsaicin-based Capsolin ointment (called "atomic balm" by baseball players) before each game, and then soak his arm in a tub of ice.[48]

Despite the constant pain in his pitching elbow, Koufax pitched 335⅔ innings and led the Dodgers to another pennant. He finished the year by winning his second pitchers' Triple Crown, leading the league in wins (26), ERA (2.04) and strikeouts (382). His strikeout total set a modern (post-1900) record that lasted until 1973, when Nolan Ryan struck out 383 batters. Koufax captured his second Cy Young Award (again unanimously).[49][1]

Koufax and the Dodgers faced the Minnesota Twins in the World Series. Koufax declined to pitch Game 1 due to his observance of Yom Kippur; with Drysdale pitching, his team was hit hard. In Game 2 Koufax pitched six innings, giving up 2 runs, but the Twins won the game 5–1 and took an early 2–0 lead in the series. The Dodgers fought back, with Claude Osteen, Don Drysdale, and Koufax picking up vital wins to take a 3-2 lead back to Minnesota. In Game 5 Koufax pitched a complete game shutout, winning 7-0. The Twins won Game 6 to force a seventh game. Starting Game 7 on only two days of rest, Koufax pitched through tiredness and arthritic pain, throwing a three-hit shutout to clinch the Series. The performance was enough to win him his second World Series MVP award. Also, in 1965 he won the Hickok Belt a second time, the first (and only) time anyone had won the belt more than once. He was also awarded Sports Illustrated magazine's Sportsman of the Year award.[50][43][1]


For more details on this topic, see Sandy Koufax's perfect game.

On September 9, 1965, Koufax became the sixth pitcher of the modern era to throw a perfect game. The game was Koufax's fourth no-hitter, setting a Major League record (subsequently broken by Nolan Ryan). Koufax struck out 14 opposing batters, the most ever recorded in a perfect game. The game was also notable for the high quality of performance by the opposing pitcher, Bob Hendley of the Cubs. Hendley pitched a one-hitter and allowed only two batters to reach base. Both pitchers had no-hitters intact until the seventh inning. The only run that the Dodgers scored was unearned.[51][52]

Hold out

Before the 1966 season began, Koufax and Drysdale met separately with Dodger GM Buzzie Bavasi to negotiate their contracts for the upcoming year. After Koufax's meeting, he met Drysdale for dinner and complained that Bavasi was using Drysdale against him in the negotiations, asking, "How come you want that much when Drysale only wants this much?"[53] Drysdale responded that Bavasi did the same thing with him, using Koufax against him. Drysdale's first wife, Ginger Drysdale, suggested that they negotiate together to get what they wanted. They demanded $1 million dollars, divided equally over the next three years, or $167,000 each for the next three seasons. Both players were represented by an entertainment lawyer, J. William Hayes, which was unusual during an era when players were not represented by agents.[54]

Koufax and Drysdale didn't report to spring training in February. Instead, they both signed to appear in the movie Warning Shot, starring David Janssen. Drysdale was going to play a TV commentator and Koufax was going to play a detective. Meanwhile, the Dodgers waged a public relations battle against them. After four weeks, Koufax gave Drysdale the go-ahead to negotiate new deals for the both of them. Koufax ended up getting $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000. They rejoined the team in the last week of spring training.[55]

1966 season

In April 1966, Kerlan told Koufax it was time to retire, that his arm could not take another season. Koufax kept Kerlan's advice to himself and went out every fourth day to pitch. He ended up pitching 323 innings and had a 27–9 record with a 1.73 ERA. In the final game of the regular season, the Dodgers had to beat the Phillies to win the pennant. In the second game of a doubleheader, Koufax faced Jim Bunning in the first ever match-up between perfect game winners. Koufax, on two days rest, pitched a complete game, 6–3 victory to clinch the pennant.[56]

The Dodgers went on to face the Baltimore Orioles in the 1966 World Series. Game 2 marked Koufax's third start in eight days. Koufax pitched well enough—Baltimore first baseman Boog Powell told Koufax's biographer, Jane Leavy, "He might have been hurtin' but he was bringin'"—but three errors by Dodger center fielder Willie Davis in the fifth inning produced three unearned runs. Baltimore's Jim Palmer pitched a four-hitter and the Dodgers ended up losing the game 6–0. Alston lifted Koufax at the end of the sixth inning with the idea of getting him extra rest before pitching a potential fifth Series game. It never happened; the Dodgers were swept in four, not scoring a single run in the last three. After the World Series, Koufax announced his retirement due to his arthritic condition.[57]

In a twelve-season career, Koufax had a 165–87 record with a 2.76 ERA, 2,396 strikeouts, 137 complete games, and 40 shutouts.[1] During his last ten seasons, from 1957 to 1966, batters hit .203 against him, with a .271 on base percentage and a .315 slugging average. They batted .189 in games that were late and close, and .186 in tie games.[58] His World Series record is just as impressive: a 4-3 won-lost record but a 0.95 earned run average in four World Series. He is on the very short list of pitchers who retired with more career strikeouts than innings pitched. Koufax was selected for seven All-Star games (twice in 1961 when there were two games played, and once in each year from 1962 to 1966, with the All-Star Game having returned to one game per year in 1963). Koufax was the first pitcher to win multiple Cy Young Awards, as well as the first pitcher to win a Cy Young Award by a unanimous vote; in fact, all three Cy Young Awards he won were by unanimous vote. More impressive yet, through Koufax's career there was only one such award given out annually. In 1967, the year after Koufax retired, Cy Young Awards began to be given to pitchers in both the National and American Leagues.[1][59]


Whereas many left-handed pitchers throw with a three-quarter or sidearm motion, Koufax threw with a pronounced over-the-top arm action. This may have increased his velocity, but reduced the lateral movement on his pitches, especially movement away from left-handed hitters. Most of his velocity came from his deceptively strong legs and back, combined with a high kicking wind-up and long forward stretch toward the plate. Throughout Koufax's career, he relied on two pitches: his four-seam fastball had a "rising" motion due to underspin and appeared to move very late; the overhand curveball, spun with the middle finger, dropped vertically ("12-to-6") due to his arm action. He also occasionally threw a changeup and a forkball.[60]

At the beginning of his career, Koufax worked with coaches to eliminate his tendency to "tip" pitches (i.e. reveal which pitch was coming due to variations in his wind-up). Late in his career, and especially as his arm problems continued, this variation—usually in the position he held his hands at the top of the wind-up—was even more pronounced. Good hitters could often predict what pitch was coming, but were still unable to hit it. Willie Mays said, "I knew every pitch he was going to throw and still I couldn't hit him."[61]

Post-playing career

In 1967, he signed a ten-year contract with NBC for $1 million to be a broadcaster on the Saturday Game of the Week. Never feeling comfortable in front of the camera, he quit after six years, just prior to the start of the 1973 season.[62][63]

Koufax married to Anne Widmark, daughter of movie star Richard Widmark in 1969; the couple was divorced in the 1980s. He then remarried and divorced again in the 1990s.[63]

In his first year of eligibility in 1972, Koufax was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, just weeks after his 36th birthday. His election made him the Hall's youngest member ever, five months younger than Lou Gehrig upon his induction in 1939.[4] On June 4 of that same year, Koufax's uniform number 32 was retired alongside those of Dodger greats Roy Campanella (39) and Jackie Robinson (42).[64]

The Dodgers hired Koufax to be a minor league pitching coach in 1979. He resigned in 1990, saying he wasn't earning his keep, but most observers blamed it on his uneasy relationship with manager Tommy Lasorda.[65] In 2003, Koufax discontinued his relationship with the Dodgers when the New York Post (which, like the Dodgers, had become part of Rupert Murdoch's business empire) published a story reporting rumors about his sexual orientation and implying that Koufax was gay. Koufax returned to the Dodger organization in 2004 when the Dodgers were sold to Frank McCourt.[51][66]

In 1999, The Sporting News placed Koufax at number 26 on its list of "The 100 Greatest Baseball Players."[67] That same year, he was named as one of the 30 players on the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Although he rarely makes public appearances, he went to Turner Field in Atlanta for the introduction ceremony before Game 2 of the World Series.[68]

See also

  • Koufax Awards
  • List of baseball players who went directly to the major leagues


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  63. 63.0 63.1 Schwartz, Larry. ESPN Classic - Koufax dominating in '65 Series. Retrieved on 2007-02-18.
  64. Dodgers Retired Numbers. Retrieved on 2007-02-15.
  65. Leavy, pp. 255-258.
  66. Koufax returns to Dodgertown. Addict Baseball and Football Forum. Retrieved on 2007-02-15.
  67. TSN Presents - Baseball's 100 Greatest Players. Retrieved on 2007-02-15.
  68. The All-Century Team. Retrieved on 2007-02-15. Koufax makes appearance at World Series. CNN/SI. Retrieved on 2007-02-15.


Career statistics

Pitching statistics

165 87 2.76 397 314 137 40 9 2324 1/3 1754 1754 204 817 2396

See also

External links


Template:Featured article

Preceded by:
Bob Purkey
Major League Player of the Month
June 1962
Succeeded by:
Frank Howard
Preceded by:
Maury Wills
National League Most Valuable Player
Succeeded by:
Ken Boyer
Preceded by:
Don Drysdale
Cy Young Award
Succeeded by:
Dean Chance
Preceded by:
Ralph Terry
World Series MVP
Succeeded by:
Bob Gibson
Preceded by:
Ralph Terry
Babe Ruth Award
Succeeded by:
Bob Gibson
Preceded by:
Bob Gibson
Babe Ruth Award
Succeeded by:
Frank Robinson
Preceded by:
Jim Bunning
Perfect game pitcher
September 9, 1965
Succeeded by:
Catfish Hunter
Preceded by:
Dean Chance
Cy Young Award
1965, 1966
Succeeded by:
Mike McCormick and Jim Lonborg
Preceded by:
Bob Gibson
World Series MVP
Succeeded by:
Frank Robinson
Major League Baseball | MLB All-Century Team

Nolan Ryan | Sandy Koufax | Cy Young | Roger Clemens | Bob Gibson | Walter Johnson | Warren Spahn | Christy Mathewson | Lefty Grove
Johnny Bench | Yogi Berra | Lou Gehrig | Mark McGwire | Jackie Robinson | Rogers Hornsby | Mike Schmidt | Brooks Robinson | Cal Ripken, Jr. | Ernie Banks | Honus Wagner
Babe Ruth | Hank Aaron | Ted Williams | Willie Mays | Joe DiMaggio | Mickey Mantle | Ty Cobb | Ken Griffey, Jr. | Pete Rose | Stan Musial

Major League Baseball | MLB All-Century Team

Nolan Ryan | Sandy Koufax | Cy Young | Roger Clemens | Bob Gibson | Walter Johnson | Warren Spahn | Christy Mathewson | Lefty Grove
Johnny Bench | Yogi Berra | Lou Gehrig | Mark McGwire | Jackie Robinson | Rogers Hornsby | Mike Schmidt | Brooks Robinson | Cal Ripken, Jr. | Ernie Banks | Honus Wagner
Babe Ruth | Hank Aaron | Ted Williams | Willie Mays | Joe DiMaggio | Mickey Mantle | Ty Cobb | Ken Griffey, Jr. | Pete Rose | Stan Musial