This Day In Dodgers History: Sandy Koufax Breaks Strikeouts Record; Mike Piazza & Tommy Lasorda Achieve Milestones

This day in Los Angeles Dodgers history saw Sandy Koufax break the National League record for strikeouts in a season on Sept. 27, 1961. The left-hander surpassed Christy Mathewson, who held the previous mark with 267 during the 1903 campaign.

Koufax struck out seven batters over eight innings pitched in a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. It was the Hall of Famer’s final start of the 1961 season, finishing with a then-record 269 strikeouts.

Koufax recorded 2,396 strikeouts across his 12 MLB seasons with the Dodgers. His most in a single campaign was 382, which came during the 1965 season. That stood as the MLB record until Nolan Ryan of the California Angels recorded 383 strikeouts during the 1973 season.

Koufax finished with 2,396 strikeouts in his illustrious Dodgers career. The franchise celebrated him in June 2022 with a Sandy Koufax statue in the center field plaza at Dodger Stadium.

Mike Piazza breaks MLB rookie record for home runs

Thirty-two years after Koufax broke the MLB record for most strikeouts in a season, Mike Piazza set the rookie mark for most home runs with 33.

Piazza surpassed the previous L.A. Dodgers record set by Steve Garvey (1977) and Pedro Guerrero (1985). Duke Snider established the franchise record with 43 homers playing with Brooklyn in 1956.

Piazza went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI in a 7-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs. He ended the 1993 season with 35 home runs and went on to hit 177 in seven seasons with the Dodgers.

The Hall of Famer finished his career with 427 home runs, 220 of which came as a member of the New York Mets.

Tommy Lasorda leads Team USA to gold medal in Olympics

On Sept. 27, 2000, legendary Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda led Team USA to a gold medal over Cuba, an overwhelming favorite, in the Olympic Games. Ben Sheets ended Cuba’s 21-game Olympic winning streak with a 4-0 shutout.

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