Sandy Koufax had a slow start in the major leagues. Drafted in 1955 he struggled the first two years in the league, in fact he couldn’t find the strike zone to save his life but he watched, observed and learned. The result. He evolved into the most dominating pitcher, without a doubt and with no equal.
Between 1961-65 he was the best of the best and dominated like no one had ever seen so his arm was given the nickname, “The Left Arm of God.” Sandy was best when it counted most, in 7 World Series games he has 61 strikeouts and an ERA of .095 and since he reached stardom at the peak of the television era when ever the Dodgers were nationally televised and Sandy was pitching you didn’t miss that game, he captivated the nation.
The great Willie Mays speaks of his experience with Sandy Koufax and has said,
“Sandy would strike me out 2-3 times a game. And I knew every pitch he was going to throw, fastball, breaking ball, you knew it was coming and he would even let you look at it, but I still couldn’t hit it.”
Opponents who have squared up against Koufax have testified that his pitches had a little more zip, a little more spin and his curveball was a thing of absolute beauty.
Sandy always tried to avoid the limelight, he was a perfectionist, an extremely personal guy who moved frequently. He didn’t need to be recognized and preferred to just blend in with the crowd. Somewhat charismatic but more of a mystery man.
Sandy Koufax only played in the major leagues for 12 years. Towards the end of his career he pitched with extreme arm pain and had to use multiple cortisone shots to deal with the chronic pain. Concerned about his life after baseball Sandy shocked the baseball world and opted to go out on top and retired after the 1966 season.
Check out these amazing career stats: 7x All-Star | 4x World Series Champion | 2x World Series MVP | 1963 NL MVP | 3x Cy Young Award | 3x Triple Crown | 4 No Hitters | 1 Perfect Game, September 9, 1965.
ROOKIE CARD OF HALL OF FAMER SANDY KOUFAX
1955 Topps, Card No. 123 (shop ebay)
The 1955 Topps set was the smallest ever printed by Topps, only 206 cards made up the complete set. The odd number was caused by four cards that were never issued for the set: #’s 175, 186, 203 & 209, it’s believed this was caused by contractual issues with certain players. Still only a 210 card set is rather small, perhaps Topps had their hands full with the acquisition of rival Bowman.
The card design is unique because it is the first time Topps designed an all horizontal set. However, the overall design of the card front resembles the 1954 Topps offering quite a bit. The photos and team emblems were rearranged but the card photos were repeats of the 54′ set – not cool Topps!
The card back I absolutely love. Notice the card number inside the baseball this is classic Topps vintage! And my personal favorite, those vintage cartoons offering collectors a bit of baseball trivia. The rookie card of Sandy Koufax is a work of art and offers collectors a painted portrait, action pose, facsimile autograph, put it all together and what you have is one of the greatest cards in baseball card collecting history – of one of the greatest baseball players in history.
As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased between $150.00-$385.00 depending on condition of course. Graded low-end copies (1-3’s) sell for $175.00-$375.00; mid-grade copies (4-6’s) sell between $460.00-$1,160.00 and higher end grades (7-9’s) sell in the $2,700.00-$99,000.00 range.
Congratulations to the 2018 National League Champions Los Angeles Dodgers! Congrats to Dodger fans also!