Few pitchers in MLB history come close to matching the skill of Sandy Koufax. For eleven years in the 1950s and
1960s, the left-handed Koufax struck fear in the hearts of any batter he faced.
Koufax had a short career compared to many other players. He retired at the age of 30 after arthritis in his pitching elbow made it too difficult for him to continue.
Still, in a short time, Koufax made a name for himself as the first pitcher ever to win the Cy Young Award three times. In the same three years that Koufax won the Cy Young Award, he also led National League pitchers with the most strikeouts, lowest earned run average, and most wins.
Koufax was only the eighth pitcher ever to pitch a perfect game and was the first-ever to pitch four no-hitters in a career. But Koufax's accomplishments expand beyond individual performance.
For the entirety of his career, Koufax played for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers. With that team, he won the World Series four times and was the most valuable player in two of those wins.
Koufax is impressive even compared to other Hall of Fame Pitchers. For instance, he is one of five Hall of Fame pitchers to record more strikeouts than innings pitched. Regarding strikeouts, Koufax ranks seventh all-time for his career total.
Along with being a great player, Koufax was also devoted to his religion. The most remarkable expression of that devotion came in 1965 when he refused to play the first game of the World Series because it coincided with Yom Kippur.