Jews In Sports: Exhibit Page @ Virtual Museum

Harold U. Ribalow and Meir Z. Ribalow
Page 181 of 290

Jewish Baseball Stars


Sandy Koufax

Hall of Fame Pitcher 


In the long history of baseball there have been many great pitchers and so it is dangerous to call any one pitcher the most effective, brilliant, spectacular twirler in the annals of a game which has an army of statisticians. But an excellent case can be made for Sandy Koufax, the Jewish southpaw star of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League.

Let us begin with a night game between the Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium, September 9, 1965. Koufax faced Bob Hendley, a tough opponent, and Sandy started off fast by striking out two of the first three batters in the opening inning. Byron Browne, a rookie playing in his initial major league game, solved one of Koufax' pitches and lined it hard to Willie Davis in center field for the final out in the second inning. This was the first time in the game that anyone had come close to hitting safely. But Sandy then "settled down" and his fast ball and curve had the Cub batters perplexed and puzzled. Throughout the proceeding innings, this game became one of the best-pitched any of the fans had ever seen. Bob Hendley kept pace with Koufax and it was a hitless, scoreless game up to the fifth inning. Lou Johnson, in the Dodger half of the fifth, drew a walk and was sacrificed to second by Ron Fairly. Johnson stole third and came home on a throwing