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Dodgers Legend Was Named NL MVP On This Day in 1963

If you’re a big baseball fan then you know the name Sandy Koufax. If not, then we’re here to tell you all about him. 

The iconic Dodgers southpaw earned his first and only NL MVP title 59 years ago today. That was the same year he led the team to a World Series title sweeping the Yankees 4-0 in 1963 to secure their third title in franchise history. The ’63 squad went 99-63-1 that year and finished first in the NL West. 

The 27-year-old Sandy Koufax was then named the NL MVP for his incredible season after going 25-5, posting a 1.88 ERA and collecting 306 K’s which wasn’t even a career high in striekouts. He also had the highest win percentage in 1963, winning 83.3% of his games. Impressive right? 

Compared to this most recent 2022 season, Koufax’s 1963 season would have dominated the leaderboard with Gerritt Cole finishing second with only 257 strikeouts. His 25-5 record would also be the best in the whole MLB and he would have finished right behind Verlander (1.58) for the best ERA this season.

Verlander and Cole both are a part of the AL so Koufax would most likely be the best pitcher in the NL if not the entire league. 

That same year, Koufax his first ever unanimous deletion for the Cy Young award and he also won the Hickok Belt award, an award given from 1950-1976 to the top professional athlete of the year in the United States. 

In April of 1966, just three years after his MVP season, he was told to stop pitching due to severe arthritis yet he still pitched his way to 27 wins and a 1.73 ERA; both are career highs. 

In his 12-year career, Koufax went 165-87 with a 2.76 ERA, 397 games pitched, 2,324.1 innings pitched, 2,396 strikeouts, pitched a perfect game, and four no-hitters. He was a first-ballot hall of Famer inducted in 1972, but his career was cut short due that arthritis. 

Koufax will forever go down as not only one of the most legendary Dodgers in history but also a Baseball great and we’re lucky to have had him for the entirety of his career. 

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NEXT: Pros and Cons of Another Season of Dave Roberts at The Helm

Kristilyn Hetherington

Kristilyn is a student at Azusa Pacific University pursuing a B.A. in Journalism with a concentration on sports. She worked for her high school newspaper as Editor in Chief for three years and has been working here since July 2022. She also works for the Sports Information Office at her college and has served as a Student-Athlete Representative for the Student Government at APU. She was recently inducted into the National Journalism Honor Society, Kappa Tau Alpha, and has written a few pieces for the school newspaper and magazine. She's an avid sports lover and is excited to continue growing and learning in this field.

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