The Man with the Golden Arm

Sandy Koufax became a GREAT pitcher when he stopped overthrowing. Koufax’s battery mate with the Dodgers, Norm Sherry, is credited with getting Sandy to “trust his stuff.” Once Sandy did that, he become unbeatable.

During his five years of total domination, I feel(as do many others) that Koufax was the best pitcher in the Post World War II era. There have been other pitchers who were great for a much longer period of time, but nobody dominated like Sandy did from 1962-66.

Not only did Sandy throw very hard, but he had an outstanding curve ball. He also finished what he started (27 complete games in both 1965 and ’66.)

Sandy set a World Series strikeout record(later broken by Bob Gibson) when he struck out 15 New York Yankees in Game 1 of the 1963 World Series. This was a  great Yankee team that won 104 game during the regular season.. Koufax also beat them in Game 4 to give the Dodgers a sweep of the Series.

Koufax was well respected by his peers during his playing days and by young players when Sandy was a coach in his post-playing days. I remember Johnny Franco telling me how much the Dodger pitchers liked Sandy when Koufax was an instructor in their Minor League System.

All this from the man from Brooklyn, who was known more for his ability to play basketball during his high school days.

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One Response to The Man with the Golden Arm

  1. Pete Cava says:

    What Howard writes about Sandy Koufax is true. From 1962 to 1966, Koufax was lethal — perhaps one of the most dominating pitchers in baseball history. And Howard’s right about something else: Koufax accepted a scholarship from the University of Cincinnati not for baseball, but to play basketball. Koufax was not just a terrific pitcher; he was also an excellent athlete.

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