The start of what turned into a legendary career began on June 24, 1955, when Sandy Koufax made his MLB debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’d signed with the organization for $14,000 the December prior.
Koufax was added to the Dodgers’ active roster at the expense of Tommy Lasorda, who was optioned to Triple-A Montreal. A fringe pitcher, Lasorda went on to become a Hall-of-Fame manager for the Dodgers.
As for Koufax, his tenure with the team during the 1955 season was comprised primarily of relief appearances. Such was the case for his first game, when the famed lefty entered out of the bullpen against the Milwaukee Braves.
Koufax allowed one hit, issued a walk and collected two strikeouts over two scoreless innings. He made a second relief appearance before receiving his first start.
Overall in 1955, Koufax went 2-2 with a 3.02 ERA, 3.64 FIP and 1.46 WHIP in 12 games (five starts). He tossed two complete-game shutouts but regularly struggled with command, finishing with 30 strikeouts to 28 walks in 41.2 innings.
Koufax went on to win three Cy Young Awards, an MVP, earn seven All-Star Game selections, win five ERA titles, throw one perfect game and four no-hitters, and win four World Series with the Dodgers.
Koufax also became the first three-time Cy Young Award winner (1963, ’65 and ’66) in MLB history. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972, becoming the youngest player ever elected.
The legendary left-hander has maintained ties to the organization, both in an official capacity and informally. Koufax has joined the club in Spring Training, offered advice to pitchers throughout a given season, and annually attended multiple games at Dodger Stadium.