Today In Dodger History: Sandy Koufax Wins Most Valuable Player Award
October 30, 1963
Six days after winning the Cy Young award, Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player on this date for the 1963 season.
That year, Koufax had 25 wins, a 1.88 ERA and 306 strikeouts, leading the league in each category.He finished 25-5 for the Dodgers and led them to the World Series where they would beat the New York Yankees in four games. In the first game, Koufax threw a complete game while allowing just two runs and the Dodgers won 5-2. In Game 4, the left-hander threw another complete game besting his Game 1 performance by allowing just one run. The Dodgers would go on to win 2-1 and become World Series champions. After the game, Koufax was named World Series MVP for his two complete games.
In 1963, Koufax started 40 games and completed half of them, 11 by shutout. He threw 311.0 innings and had a WHIP of just 0.87. That season would become the first in a stretch of four dominant seasons by Koufax where he won 97 games and had an ERA of 1.86 with 1,228 strikeouts.
The MVP would be the only time that Koufax won the award in his career. He would be the first pitcher to win the award since the Don Newcombe of the Dodgers in 1956. He would go on to win the Cy Young two more times in his career and was also a four-time World Series champion and a seven-time All-Star.
Koufax is one of the most prominent pitchers, not only in Dodger history, but in major league history. He finished his career with a record of 167-85 and a 2.76 ERA in 12 seasons. The left-hander ranks in the top -five all-time for the Dodgers in wins, ERA, strikeouts and WHIP. He would rank higher if he wasn’t forced to retire at the age of 30 due to an arthritis problem in his throwing elbow.
In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!