The Los Angeles Dodgers officially unveiled a Sandy Koufax statue at Dodger Stadium on Saturday prior to their game against the Cleveland Guardians. The pregame ceremony was hosted by Charley Steiner, and included speeches from Joe Torre, Clayton Kershaw and Mark Walter.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was also in attendance for the ceremony.
Sandy Koufax and his wife Jane Koufax flew into L.A. for the ceremony. Roberts shared on Friday how excited the organization is to be able to honor one of its all-time greats with this special day.
“This is going to be uncomfortable for him to make something solely about him,” Roberts said. “It’s not what he likes, it’s not who he is. But I know that we’re all very grateful he and Jane are going to make the trip out here.”
Kershaw shared an emotional speech detailing the impact the Hall of Famer has had on his career and shared his hope he can one day inspire others as Koufax has.
“In the years and generations to come, I hope a kid sees this statue and asks his mom or dad about Sandy Koufax, and I hope that they tell him he was a great pitcher,” Kershaw said. “But more than that he was a great man who represented the Dodgers with humility, kindness, passion and class.
“And for every rookie who sees the statue for the first time and asks was he any good? I hope the veterans tell him simply that he was the best ever to do it.”
Sandy Koufax statue at Dodger Stadium. pic.twitter.com/0aGuV2af9c
— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) June 18, 2022
The ceremony concluded with the group gathering for the dropping of a blue curtain that surrounded the bronze statue.
The statue was sculpted by Branly Cadet, who also created the Jackie Robinson statue that is featured next to the Koufax statue in the center field plaza at the main entrance of Dodger Stadium.
“67 years ago, Jackie Robinson became my teammate, my friend,” Koufax said. “At that time, sharing this space with him was absolutely unimaginable. And today, it still is. It’s one of the greatest honors of my life.”
In addition to the Robinson and Koufax statues, the center field space features an oversized World Series ring, SportsNet LA set and Tommy Lasorda bobblehead, among other highlights.
“The statue will be located at our main entrance in the Center field Plaza, right next to Jackie Robinson’s statue, and fans entering those gates will be ‘greeted’ by Jackie and Sandy,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said in a statement.
“Not only are both of these Hall of Famers part of our rich Dodger history, they are also continuously inspiring sports fans everywhere.”
Roberts shares what made Koufax a remarkable player
Koufax spent his entire 12-year career with the Dodgers organization, both in Brooklyn and L.A. He debuted as a 19-year-old in 1955 and from that point, pitched 2,324.1 innings while posting a 2.76 ERA and 2.69 FIP with 2,396 strikeouts.
“Just a very smart player,” Roberts said. “And then I think that a lot of the stuff that he talked about mirrors, goes hand in hand, with data. And so he’s just a student of the game, always has been. Clayton still leans on him at times.”
The 1963 MVP was also a three-time Cy Young Award winner and six-time All-Star before entering the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.
“I, unfortunately, didn’t get a chance to see him,” Roberts said. “I saw video and obviously see the numbers. Just the commanding of the baseball, what he can do with the baseball, the fastball, the curveball, the feel, the intelligence, and all of his teammates adored him.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!