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Born in Brooklyn with Pride: Sandy Koufax Hall of Fame Pitcher

Sandy Koufax

Sandy Koufax

Sandy Koufax was born in Brooklyn in Borough Park and raised there until he was 9. Then returned to live in Bensonhurst in the 10th grade. He went on to become a Hall of Fame pitcher for the L.A. Dodgers. He played his first three seasons for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1955-1957 and moved with the team in 1958 to Los Angeles.

When people talk about the greatest pitchers of the game, you will rightfully hear Sandy Koufax's name mentioned. In his 12-year playing career, he won 3 Cy Young Awards and won 3 World Series rings. Koufax won over 20-games in a season three times. I remember what Pete Rose said in an interview once "Koufax's curveball was unhittable. It would drop like a rock when it crossed the plate."

In his final season in 1966, he was 27-9 with an ERA of 1.73 to go with 317 strikeouts. Koufax was the NL MVP in 1963 going 25-5 with a 1.88 ERA. He struck out 306 batters that season. Koufax was a 7-time All-Star and lead the NL in ERA for five consecutive seasons from 1962-1966.

He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1972. In 2022, the Dodgers unveiled a statue of Koufax at Dodgers Stadium which is the same year the Mets unveiled a statue of fellow Hall of Famer Tom Seaver at Citi Field.

The famous Brooklyn-born list of people is long and includes Jackie Gleason, Moe and Curly Howard of The Three Stooges, Danny Kaye, Chuck Connors, Jerry Seinfeld, Tony Danza, Anne Hathaway, Larry King, Vince Lombardi, Vinnie Testaverde, Phil Rizzuto, Tommy Davis, Connie Hawkins, Chris Mullins, Carmelo Anthony, Mike Tyson, Michael Jordan, and Dr. Anthony Fauci to name some.

Though I was a proud Manhattan resident for 12 years, I was equally as proud to say I was born in Brooklyn. I lived in Brooklyn for the first seven years of my life in the Avenue J section near Brooklyn College and later in Sunset Park (53rd St. & 6th Avenue).

I attended PS 94 and remember as a kid going to Sunset Park with my mother and little cousins to cool off in their large water sprinkler version of a pool. It was how- we city kids survived the hot summers. As a teenager, I spent three enjoyable summers at my uncle's house in Gerritsen Beach. As an adult, I worked at the Brooklyn Army Terminal for three years as a marketing manager for a music company.

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No matter who I meet or work with, there’s never any hesitation when asked; Where were you born? I say Brooklyn with pride.

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