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Sandy Koufax.

metirish
Jun 16 2005 10:06 AM

I was looking at the Baseball HOF website and I came accross a link about great game 7 performances and here is all Koufax did in game 7 of the 1965 WS and his numbers for the series.

]Sandy Koufax, 1965 Game Seven
Koufax pitched the Dodgers to a 2-0 victory, retiring 20 of the last 23 Minnesota batters he faced. The Dodger left-hander went the distance, allowing just three hits and fanning ten batters for his second victory of the Fall Classic. Koufax' ERA for the series was 0.38 with 29 K's in three complete games.



Those numbers are staggering.
Anyone here see him pitch in person and what are your memories?
Where do you think he rates all time?

http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/history/2002/021106_seventh_game_HOFers.htm

some great games in that link.

Diamond Dad
Jun 16 2005 10:18 AM
Koufax

Never saw Koufax pitch in person. Read a bit about him, including recent biography that was very well done.

His career was cut short, so he lacks the longevity of some other great pitchers, but in those 5-7 years when he was in his prime, he dominated as few pitchers ever have. Every start was a potential no-hitter. Earlier in his career he was wild, so it was only a brief window of dominance before his arthritis made him retire.

He also participated in one of the significant events in the history of the players' association, by holding out with Don Drysdale to force the Dodgers to bargain with them as a duo. They both refused to sign contracts one year, and the clubs exercised their option to renew them. The next year, both claimed that they were "free agents" and demanded that the Dodgers negotiate with their agent. The Dodgers refused, and both sat out spring training. Koufax talked about going into movies. Eventually, the club offered them both $100,000 contracts (very big money at the time) and they both signed. The owners avoided a confrontation with the "reserve" clause in the uniform players' agreement, but other players saw the bargaining leverage they had, and it was only a few years later that Andy Messerschmidt first tested the reserve clause (he lost, but the ball was rolling toward the players' association).

If you needed one pitcher to pitch one game that you had to win to save the planet from destruction, it would be safe to choose Koufax from 1965 or 1966. Could also pick Gibson from 1968. Gooden from 1985. Pedro Martinez 1999. Orel Hersheiser -- second half of 1988.

Of course, my ultimate choice would be Satchel Paige -- 1942 -- but Koufax ranks right up there.

Frayed Knot
Jun 16 2005 10:20 AM

Check out his years from about '62-''66.

He didn't have a real long career but for a five-year span he may have been the best there ever was.

MFS62
Jun 16 2005 10:41 AM

I saw him pitch.
Nice easy motion, then the ball just exploded. Same overhand motion for both the fastball and the curve.
He didn't need no steenking third pitch.

Later, I read thet he was tipping his pitches throughout his career, and the batters still couldn't hit him. That says a lot abut his stuff.

Later

metirish
Jun 16 2005 10:45 AM

Yeah I guess Koufax didn't have many bad nights on the mound, won 25 games 3 times, won 5 straight ERA titles and SO 382 in 1965, NL MVP in 63, WS MVP in 63 & 65, 3 time Cy Young winner.

I wonder what he's worth in today's money..

Bret Sabermetric
Jun 16 2005 12:04 PM

One of my favorites all time.

I went to his high school (or he went to mine) and we both went to the Jewish Community House in Bensonhurst, where we both played basketball. In the high school, there was a big trophy case outside the gym, and his glove and picture were all over the place. (He mostly played 1B--Fred Wilpon pitched, I think.) Also he dated a woman who lived in my future GF's house on 83rd street and some kids (not me) saw him all the time when he came to pick her up. In addition to being a totally dominating athlete, he was incredibly modest and manly. His picture goes in my own personal lexicon right next to the entry on "Perfection of Man."

I saw him on TV many times, just about every time he was on TV in NYC between 1962- and 1966, which wasn't that often, mostly Mets games and World Series and Games of the Week and All-Star games. I've never seen a pitcher since who was so impossible to hit for so long. Some (Seaver, Clemens, Gibson) have been almost as good for longer, and some (Gooden, Guidry) have been as good for short periods but that five year run that coincided with my dawning interest in baseball has never been matched, IMO.

Johnny Dickshot
Jun 16 2005 12:10 PM

Dated a woman, eh?

MFS62
Jun 16 2005 12:12 PM

Johnny Dickshot wrote:
Dated a woman, eh?


What makes you feel that's strange?

Later

Yancy Street Gang
Jun 16 2005 12:54 PM

There have been some Piazza-like rumors about Sandy Koufax.

Frayed Knot
Jun 16 2005 01:20 PM

]What makes you feel that's strange?


Because he's thin, single, and neat.




I liked a description (back to his pitching prowess for a moment) that was in an SI article a few years back. In talking about his physical gifts for pitching - he was a well-built 6' 2" or so but not overly huge - it described him as having 'huge hands to impart the spin for his curveball, long arms for leverage, and the wide back of a prize-fighter'

metirish
Jun 16 2005 01:37 PM

Didn't Kiner during the game last week mention that Koufax had the longest fingers on a pitcher he ever saw.Did Koufax no hit the Mets?


Bret Sabermetric
Jun 16 2005 02:33 PM

Johnny Dickshot wrote:
Dated a woman, eh?


D. can give you her name, apartment number and bra size, if you like.

Does a boy need more?

Nymr83
Jun 16 2005 05:35 PM

if you want short-term dominance he is the best pitcher since WW2, possibly ever. his lack of longevity sucks, especially considering that today he'd probably have been able to pitch 20 years with the joys of modern medicine.

metirish
Jun 16 2005 11:34 PM

Why is Koufax on the outs with the Dodgers?, anyone know that deal, Pedro and Koufax chatted at Spring training this year, kinda cool that he goes to Mets ST,two of the best chatting, had to be cool.

Nymr83
Jun 17 2005 02:02 AM

i think his problems with the Dodgers relate to the stories a few years back about his alleged homosexuality and the Dodgers being somehow involved in that.

but hey i'm glad to have him with the Mets in spring training.

Edgy DC
Jun 17 2005 07:39 AM

The story alleging homosexuality came from a Rupert Murdoch-owned paper, when Murdoch also owned the Dodgers.

Spacemans Bong
Jun 17 2005 11:05 AM

Edgy DC wrote:
The story alleging homosexuality came from a Rupert Murdoch-owned paper, when Murdoch also owned the Dodgers.

The Post, in fact.

MFS62
Jun 17 2005 11:13 AM

This discussion reminds me of a line from a very mediocre book called Sheila Levine is Dead, and Living in Brooklyn.
It was about a Jewish girl trying to meet a nice Jewish boy.
It went something like;
"More young Jewish boys have been lost to homosexuality than in all the wars in history".

Just because he's "neat" (AND Jewish, AND single) doesn't mean he's gay. I seem to recall that he dated one of HOF Football player Tom Harmon's daughters. Were those rumors mentioned in the recent book about him?

Later

EDITS: typos

Willets Point
Jun 17 2005 11:15 AM

="Spacemans Bong"]
="Edgy DC"]The story alleging homosexuality came from a Rupert Murdoch-owned paper, when Murdoch also owned the Dodgers.

The Post, in fact.


And if it's in the Post, it's gotta be true.

MFS62
Jun 17 2005 11:25 AM

WP, I think you have two NY newspaper slogans confused.

The Times; All The News That's Fit to Print
The Post: All The News That's Shit, They Print


Yeah, I got your sarcasm. :lol:

Later

Diamond Dad
Jun 17 2005 01:09 PM
The Post

I always liked the line about the Post, which I think was from an old Saturday Night Live show --

When an executive from Bloomingdale's was asked why the store advertised in the New York Times, but not in the Post, the response was:

"because their readers are our shoplifters."

RealityChuck
Jun 17 2005 03:34 PM

Yeah, I was there when Koufax pitch in what turned out to be his last appearance in Shea Stadium. It was billed as a chance to see Tug McGraw start against him, since McGraw was the only Mets pitcher to beat him.

Koufax had a terrible day. Got knocked out of the box and took the loss. Pitched two innings and gave up six runs, and left in the third without getting a man out. As he left the mound, he gave a shrug as though to say, "I just don't have it tody."

It was the last bad game he pitched, though.

Most of the time, Koufax was unhittable. He was by far the most dominant pitcher of the 60s.

Edgy DC
Jun 17 2005 03:40 PM

Welcome backn Chuck.

Yancy Street Gang
Jun 17 2005 03:42 PM

Sandy Koufax vs. the Mets:

http://ultimatemets.com/opponent.php?PlayerCode=3417

Bret Sabermetric
Jun 17 2005 06:08 PM

Wow--98 hits and 42 walks in exactly 162 IP.

And he couldn't even manage a .900 W/L pct against us, the bum.

Yancy Street Gang
Jun 17 2005 06:31 PM

And 14 complete games in 20 starts. An ERA of 1.44.

Before that final August 30, 1966 start at Shea, his ERA against the Mets was 1.18.

Bret Sabermetric
Jun 17 2005 06:47 PM

that averages out, per start, to over 8 innings per start, giving less than 5 hits and a shade over 2 walks per start, with an ERA of 1.44--over five years.

Another way of looking at it is that if Koufax could have worked against the Mets exclusively, and gotten 40 starts per year (a standard he met or exceeded 3 out of his last 4 years) he would have had a W/L record of 34-4.

ScarletKnight41
Jun 17 2005 06:53 PM

August 30, 1966 was Tug's 22nd birthday. What a present!

Yancy Street Gang
Jun 18 2005 06:36 AM

Koufax, with his 1.44, has the best ERA of all Mets opposing pitchers with 100 or more innings against the Mets.

There are five others with ERA's under 2, but Koufax is the only Hall-of-Famer among them. One guy I never even heard of:

ERA
Minimum 100 Innings
Sandy Koufax
1.44
Bob Friend1.61
Gene Garber1.69
Alan Foster1.76
Jack Billingham1.81
J. R. Richard1.90
Gary Nolan2.09
Claude Osteen
2.09
Juan Marichal2.13
Vern Law2.13
Don Heffner2.16
Pedro Martinez
2.16
Danny Jackson
2.22
Larry Jackson2.24
Zane Smith2.26
Don Drysdale2.26
Steve Avery2.31
Jack Sanford2.32
Bill Stoneman2.37
Tug McGraw2.39
Ron Reed2.39

Bret Sabermetric
Jun 18 2005 07:24 AM

If the guy you never heard of is Don Heffner, that would be because he never pitched against the Mets.

He was, as far as I can remember an elderly coach for the late Stengel, early Westrum Mets. I'm not even sure if he was a pitcher in his younger days, but he sure was a short, dumpy old man when I saw him in the mid-sixties.

Do you have a list of Met coahces on the UMDB? Look him up.

Yancy Street Gang
Jun 18 2005 08:36 AM

The one I never heard of was Alan Foster.

I'm not sure what happened with Don Heffner!

It looks like something is awry.

I'll have to look into it when I get back from vacation.

Bret Sabermetric
Jun 18 2005 08:41 AM

The detail I remember about Heffner (I read in someone's memoirs) was that the players called him "Grandpa Snazzy" and that every story he told began "Well, back in 1934..." For some reason, I think this was in a memoir written by a Cincinnati Red, who he managed very briefly. Rose, maybe? I don't know any other Reds of the 1960s who might have written memoirs that I read.

Yancy Street Gang
Jun 18 2005 08:54 AM

Maybe Jim Brosnan's book?

Yancy Street Gang
Jun 18 2005 09:38 AM

I'm not sure how that Heffner thing got there.

Here's how it should have looked:

ERA
Minimum 100 Innings
Sandy Koufax
1.44
Bob Friend1.61
Gene Garber1.69
Alan Foster1.76
Jack Billingham1.81
J. R. Richard1.90
Gary Nolan2.09
Claude Osteen
2.09
Juan Marichal2.13
Vern Law2.13
Pedro Martinez
2.16
Danny Jackson
2.22
Larry Jackson2.24
Zane Smith2.26
Don Drysdale2.26
Steve Avery2.31
Jack Sanford2.32
Bill Stoneman2.37
Tug McGraw2.39
Ron Reed2.39
Curt Schilling
2.41


Exit Heffner, enter Schilling.

Frayed Knot
Jun 18 2005 10:45 AM

I remember it was a big deal when the Mets first beat Juan Marichal. Prior to that he had won his [u:302c553d35]first 19 decisions[/u:302c553d35] against them (w/a couple of NDs - *Plus a Save!!!* - throw in).
They beat him up a few times over the remaining years as his career wound down and the NYM got better - but for a time he was at least as tough on them as Koufax and was doing it for far longer.

Edgy DC
Jun 18 2005 11:02 AM

Fun to see Vernon Law on that list. To carry on the tradition, his shortstop son also threw a scoreless inning against the Mets.

RealityChuck
Jun 18 2005 12:28 PM

Interesting to see Bob Friend as #2 on the list: he was the second Mets pitcher to get a win against Koufax (other than McGraw). McGraw started that game, but left in the second inning.

Glad to be here, EdgyDC.

Edgy DC
Jun 18 2005 12:50 PM

If he stayed with Pittsburgh (or another NL team) one more year, he might've overcome Koufax.

Edgy DC
Jun 18 2005 01:12 PM

Some other youngish NL-ish pitchers hoping to one day join those elite:

Josh Beckett, 66.2 IP, 2.43 ERA

Kris Benson, 46.2 IP, 3.47 ERA

Brian Moehler, 16.1 IP, 0.55 ERA

Kip Wells, 19.1 IP, 2.33 ERA

Mark Prior, 29.1 IP, 1.23 ERA

Dontrelle Willis, 52.2 IP, 2.39 ERA

Kerry Wood, 63.0 IP, 1.71 ERA