Friday, June 4, 2010

Counting Down a True Rarity: MLB's 20 Perfect Games

Part 9 of 21

8 Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles Dodgers September 9, 1965

Sandy Koufax was one of the game's most dominant pitchers, recording four no-hitters and a bevy of awards over his 12 major league seasons. Ultimately, the flame throwing lefty retired at the peak of his career on the advice of physicians due to arthritis.

The 1966 season was both his finest and final campaign— including baseball's eighth perfect game. Not surprisingly, Koufax recorded arguably the most dominant "perfecto"— mowing down 14 batters on strikes.

The 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs was also the only game in history with just one hit, but the Dodgers were able to scratch out one unearned run with that one base knock.

Koufax came very close to hurling perfect games a couple times earlier in his career. In 1963, he went into the eighth inning before yielding a walk, but was able to complete his second ho-hitter. In 1964, he faced the minimum 27 batters when Richie Allen walked, but was thrown out stealing in Koufax's third no-no.

In the period from 1963 to 1966, the Dodgers hurler posted 25-5, 19-5, 26-8, and 27-9 won/loss records with a 1.86 ERA. For his efforts, he was recognized with three Cy Young Awards and one MVP trophy.

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