Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sandy Koufax's birthday gift to me

Maybe nine or 10 months ago, social media sports folks were figuring out what notable events happened the day they were born.

I'm a sucker for stuff like that and I also happen to be blessed with a summer birthday, so I looked it up because baseball was surely involved.

I could not have been more pleased with what I found.

On the day I was born, Sandy Koufax shut out the Cubs, 3-0, on a four-hitter in front of a crowd of 47,947 fans at Dodger Stadium on a Friday night. Koufax struck out nine and walked two. He allowed only one extra base hit, a double.

The victory extended his record to 16-3 on the season and kept the Dodgers -- involved in a pennant race with the Reds at the time -- tied for first place in the National League.

But there was more to Koufax's game that day.

Koufax, known for being a lousy hitter, was a key contributor to both run-scoring innings for the Dodgers.

In the second inning, rookie Jim Lefebvre hit a two-out single. Koufax followed with a single of his own. Maury Wills than reached on an error by the first baseman, allowing Lefebvre to score. Jim Gilliam followed with another single, scoring Koufax.

In the sixth inning, Lefebvre singled again with two outs. And Koufax followed again with a single. Maury Wills also singled, scoring Lefebvre.

Koufax was 2-for-3 that night.

So for one, wonderful, midsummer evening, Koufax was a star from the mound and the plate.

That day was July 16, 1965.

My birthdate.

Less than two months later, Koufax would pitch a perfect game (against those same Cubs) for his fourth no-hitter. A month after that, the Dodgers would win the World Series.

Seems like I was meant to be a Dodger fan, huh?

Enjoy the rest of your day. I'm certainly enjoying mine.


  1. Happy birthday. A great post as always! Pitchers and catchers are usually just starting to report to spring training facilities around my birthday, but you've got me curious as to whether any noteworthy non-baseball events might have happened the day I was born...

  2. Happy Birthday. What a cool thing to look up & write about. Very neat. I just had a birthday myself so I'll have to look up what happened on mine in the baseball world.

  3. The day I was born, it turns out, the Mets lost 8-4 to Rick Wise and the Phillies. Guess I was meant to be a Mets fan...Must Endure The Suffering.

    1. Oh, and a very happy birthday to you!

  4. Happy birthday! As a mid-November birthday guy myself, I don't get cool baseball happenings on my day. My day is the day that both the old and the new St. Peter's Basilicas were consecrated, so that's something.

  5. Happy Birthday! My birthday in early October is usually bad in baseball terms - it's the day the season ends or it's within a few days of the end of the regular season. If only my parents could have held out about another 2 weeks so I might be able to claim some World Series events on my birthday date. ;)

    On my exact birthdate (Oct 2, 1971), the **** SF Giants beat the Pirates in the first postseason game of the 1971 season.

  6. Happy birthday! I hope the day is full of Dodger goodness and relaxing cardboard activities!

  7. Happy birthday from one collector to another!

  8. Happy birthday, a little late now.

  9. Happy belated birthday! That was definitely a cool bit of baseball history there!

  10. Happy belated birthday! Nothing quite as epic occurred on my date of birth in terms of the Athletics and Padres. Probably the coolest thing is Rollie Fingers pitching 4 scoreless innings of relief... or Joe Rudi hitting a home run.