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April 24: Eighteen Ks

April 23, 2016

1963-final-pitch-63ws-250Dodger ace Sandy Koufax, 26, struck out eighteen batters for the second time in his career on this date in 1962 as his team beat the Chicago Cubs 10-2 at Wrigley Field. Koufax threw 144 pitches in nine innings, 96 strikes and 48 balls, and gave up one home run and two doubles. Chicago would also be the victims of Koufax’s September 9, 1965 perfect game. He had tied Bob Feller’s 1933 strikeout record of 18 in 1959, against the Giants. Eventually, Kerry Woods and Roger Clemens would hurl twenty strikeouts in a single game (Clemens did it twice). Sandy Koufax won three Cy Young Awards in his last four seasons before retiring at age 30. To see him in motion, look below.

“Sandy would strike me out two or three times a game. And I knew every pitch he was going to throw — fastball, breaking ball or whatever. Actually, he would let you look at it. And you still couldn’t hit it.” —Willie Mays