Sep. 29, 2016
The Left Arm of God, Sandy Koufax Won National League Triple Crown Three Times
If you compile a list of top-ten best pitchers in MLB history there is no way it cannot include Sandy Koufax of the Dodgers. Koufax was truly something to behold and if he never developed arthritis in his left arm, there is little doubt that he would have been the very best pitcher in history (he retired at age 30). There is no doubt he is the best pitcher in California history.
Consider this, in 1963, 1965 and 1966 he won the National League Triple Crown by leading in wins, strikeouts and earned-run-average. He also won the Cy Yong Award all three of those seasons by unanimous votes. Only Grover Cleveland Alexander accomplished the Triple Crown three times, and those were in the dead-ball era (1915, '16, '20).
In Koufax's three Triple Crown seasons he averaged an ERA of 1.78, 26 wins and 335 strikeouts.
Koufax was the first major league pitcher to pitch four no-hitters and the eighth pitcher to pitch a perfect game in baseball history.
In his 12-season career, Koufax had a 165–87 record with a 2.76 ERA, 2,396 strikeouts, 137 complete games, and 40 shutouts. He was the first pitcher to average fewer than seven hits allowed per nine innings pitched in his career (6.79) and to strike out more than nine batters (9.28) per nine innings pitched in his career.
He also became the 2nd pitcher in baseball history to have two games with 18 or more strikeouts, and the first to have eight games with 15 or more strikeouts. In his last ten seasons, from 1957 to 1966, batters hit .203 against Koufax, with a .271 on-base percentage and a .315 slugging average.
Koufax's postseason record is impressive: a 4–3 won-lost record with a 0.95 earned run average, in four World Series. He is on the very short list of pitchers who retired with more career strikeouts than innings pitched. Koufax was selected as an All-Star for six consecutive seasons and made seven out of eight All-Star Game appearances those seasons (not selected for 2nd All-Star Game in 1962