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Filling the Void: Sandy Koufax Finishes the Job

If I had to choose one pitcher to start a winner-take-all Game 7 of the World Series, I’m picking Sandy Koufax every time.

Sandy Koufax, Minneapolis - 1965 by Cliff is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Filling the Void: Sandy Koufax Finishes the Job

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

We’ve been at this for a while. When we started writing “Filling the Void” pieces, I don’t think we really knew what we were diving into. Within the first couple weeks however, we realized the importance of what we were trying to do. In a time during which live sports were canceled, on hold, or whatever you want to call it, we started exploring games, matches, and rounds of the past.

At first, it was all about what full games we could actually find. Then, as the breadth of what the world was facing came further into focus, leagues with strict copyright laws started loosening restrictions and more and more options landed on our list. Now, here we are, over 100 games later and still going strong.

Today: Sandy Koufax takes the hill in Game 7 with the 1965 World Series title on the line against the Minnesota Twins.

If I had to choose one pitcher to start a winner-take-all Game 7 of the World Series, I’m picking Sandy Koufax every time. No question. There’s no one better.

Sandy Koufax has a resume that is simply astounding. From 1963 to 1966, Koufax won 3 Cy Youngs, NL MVP, and led the entire league in wins, ERA, shutouts, strikeouts, WHIP, H/9, and innings pitched on multiple occasions. When looking at his body of work, it’s incredible that he was able to put up such numbers in a short span, and yet that’s the magic that was Sandy Koufax.

There was no one like him, and there won’t be ever again. Case in point, Game 7 of the 1965 World Series.

If we’re going to be specific, there are two other pitchers who should get nods for pitching incredible Game 7s. Curt Schilling, before he sucked as a person, put up one hell of a fight in 2001 against the Yankees. Going 7.1 innings, fanning 9, and only surrendering one walk, is pretty good. But Schilling did surrender two runs and needed Randy Johnson to help finish the job.

The other is Jack Morris, who threw the famous Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. That game is perfect. It’s aggravating, it’s heartbreaking, it’s thrilling, and it’s the perfect way to end the greatest World Series of all time. Trust me, all seven games are rewatchable. It’s the best.

Morris, with the series on the line, tossed an INSANE 10 innings, giving up 7 hits, striking out 8, and holding the Atlanta Braves scoreless to take the series for Minnesota.

Both of these guys deserve credit for their work, but Koufax still has the cleanest Game 7 of all-time.

First off, Koufax is pitching on two days rest. After tossing Game 5, and blanking the Twins 7-0, while striking out 10 on his way to a four hit shutout, Koufax was handed the ball for the final game. After being touched up in Game 2, Koufax entered Game 7 with a 0.60 ERA in the series and wasn’t looking to give the Twins any signs of hope.

Instead, Sandy Koufax tossed 9 innings of three-hit, 10 strikeout, complete game shutout baseball. Through the entire game only two Twins baserunners reached second base. Finishing off the day, Koufax secured the the victory with back-to-back strikeouts as his teammates surrounded him in celebration.

Koufax would go on to win his second Cy Young, but fall to second place in National League MVP voting. Who could have knocked Koufax off the top spot? The only other player with a better 1965… Willie Mays.

If I had to choose one pitcher to start a winner-take-all Game 7 of the World Series, I’m picking Sandy Koufax every time. No question. There’s no one better. And he’s got the resume to prove it.

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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