BROOKLYN, NEW YORK • One of the greatest pitchers of all-time was born on this date in 1935, Sanford Braun.
Never heard of him.
That’s because he’s better known as Sandy Koufax. Koufax was born to Evelyn and Jack Braun, but his parents divorced when he was a child, and his mother remarried Irving Koufax.
Koufax played baseball and basketball growing up. In fact, attended the University of Cincinnati on a basketball scholarship. He impressed baseball scouts enough though that they offered him a contract in 1954.
Koufax’s major league baseball career was not long, eleven years (1955 to 1966). It took him a few seasons to harness his talent, but for a six year stretch he was as dominating a pitcher as there’s ever been.
From 1961 to 1966:
- He won 129 games, losing just 47
- His ERA was 2.76, lead the league 5 of those six year, 3 seasons his ERA was under 2.00
- Lead the league in strikeouts 4 times, striking out more than 300 three times
- Won 3 Cy Young awards
He ranks 19th in the major leagues in winning percentage (.655).
Arm trouble forced Koufax to retire at age 30. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972.