Saturday, April 4, 2015

HALL OF FAME #14: SANDY KOUFAX: CLASS OF 1972

Here's a fun card for the Hall of Fame thread: fellow Bensonhurst, Brooklyn native Sandy Koufax and his 1972 induction:


I love anything to do with Koufax, and any chance to design a card for him is jumped at.
Koufax and the "Left Arm of God" legend has only gotten bigger over time.
The years between 1961 and 1966 were amazing, but it was the 1963-1966 period in particular that was just unconscious, and what got him into Cooperstown.
Just look at the numbers, all in FOUR seasons of play:
A 97-27 record, with four E.R.A. crowns, three years of a sub-2.00 mark, 31 shutouts, 89 complete games and 1228 strikeouts, with three of those years topping 300+ K's!
He took home three Cy Young Awards, finished third in 1964, and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1963, with two other second-place finishes in 1965 and 1966, his final two years of Major League ball.
In the postseason he was equally as brilliant, being voted MVP of the World Series in both 1963 and 1965, leading the Dodgers to championships.
He posted a 4-3 lifetime record with a 0.95 earned run average, two shutouts and 61 strikeouts in 57 innings of work.
In his three losses in postseason play, he gave up THREE earned runs! So it's not like he choked in those games either.
Sadly we all know how his career ended because of arm troubles, causing him to retire at the age of only 30.
Man how I wish we could have seen him pitch into the 1970's!
Would have been awesome to see him on those card-issues into the mid-decade, no?
That five year stretch was so awesome that he was elected in the Hall on his first try, being named to 86.9% of the ballot.
There are some out there that feel he didn't "perform" long enough to warrant a Hall selection, let alone a first-year induction.
And most of the time I'd agree.
However we are talking some rarified stuff here, so with Koufax it was indeed a no-brainer.
What do you all think? Anybody out there think Koufax didn't perform long enough for a Hall of Fame induction?

4 comments:

  1. Great picture, great card. No doubt he deserves it. Put his numbers next to your most recent inductee, Mr. Grove, and Koufax's dominance is evident. I am just sorry he didn't stick around here in Cincinnati. He was a basketball player for the Bearcats during the Oscar Robinson era and switched over to baseball at some point. I don't know much after that but he would have made a nice addition to that Reds staff of the early 60's that included Joey Jay, Jim Maloney and Jim O'Toole.

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  2. Yeah, Koufax is kind of the yardstick for how amazing you have to be to get in with such a short career. You basically have to be the absolute best-of-the-best for the time you're on top, and Koufax did that. So I'd have voted yes, definitely.

    Great job on the card.

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  3. Similar to the career and stats pedro Martinez put together. Very dominant over a 5-6 year period

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    1. Sometimes I consider Martinez' run between 1997-2003 as even more spectacular considering he pitched in the American League during the PED/power era for all but the first year, as opposed to Koufax during the pitching era of the mid-60's.
      As much as I hated Martinez then, he was just unbelievable....I still look at his numbers and stare at amazement...

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