On April 24, 1962, Hall-of-Famer and Los Angeles Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax set a Major League record with 18 strikeouts in a complete game. The Dodgers defeated the Chicago Cubs, 10-2, at Wrigley Field.
Koufax allowed the two runs on six hits and four walks, en route to earning his third win of the young season. Koufax’s 18 strikeouts matched an MLB record set by Bob Feller in October 1938. It was the second time in Koufax’s career he recorded that many strikeouts.
The first instance came Aug. 31, 1959, against the San Francisco Giants at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Major League record for most strikeouts in a single game is now shared by Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood, who fanned 20 batters.
Koufax is tied with Ramon Martinez for the Dodgers record. Martinez struck out 18 during a start at Dodger Stadium during the 1990 season.
Koufax finished the 1962 season with a 14-7 record, 2.54 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 216 strikeouts in 184.1 innings pitched. It was the second of six consecutive All-Star seasons. Koufax, who held the ERA title for five seasons, spent the entirety of his 12-year career with the Dodgers.
He finished a lifetime 165-87 with a 2.76 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. At 36 years old, Koufax went on to become the youngest player enshrined in the Hall of Fame when he was inducted in 1972.
The famed left-hander was born on Dec. 30, 1935, in Brooklyn, N.Y. He attended Lafayette High School, where he starred on the basketball and baseball teams as a senior.
Koufax enrolled to the University of Cincinnati and earned a partial scholarship to play basketball. In 1954, he tried out for the baseball team and earned a spot as a walk-on.
MLB scouts became enamored with Koufax and invited him to tryouts. He auditioned for the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates, but did not receive a contract offers. Dodgers scout Al Campanis invited Koufax to try out for the organization at Ebbets Field in front of manager Walter Alston and scouting director Fresco Thompson.
The Dodgers came away impressed and signed Koufax to a $6,000 salary, with a $14,000 signing bonus.
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