On This Day, June 30, 1962 – Sandy Koufax Pitches His First No Hitter

1962 – Sandy Koufax strikes out 13 batters and walks five to lead the Brooklyn Dodgers to victory over the New York Mets 5-0 with his first career no-hitter. Koufax went on to throw three more no-hitters, including a perfect game on September 9, 1965, in which he allowed no hits and no walks.

Sandy Koufax was a talented all-around athlete from Borough Park in Brooklyn, New York. His first love was basketball, and he attended the University of Cincinnati on a basketball scholarship. His impressive left arm, however, attracted the attention of major league ball clubs and in 1954 he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers. Despite his promising talent, Koufax won just 36 games to 51 losses from 1955 to 1961, and was incredibly inconsistent, blowing hitters away one game and walking runs in the next. Finally, advice from veteran catcher Norm Sherry turned Koufax around. As Koufax recounted in his autobiography, Sherry told him to “take the grunt out of the fastball.”

From 1962 to 1966, Sandy Koufax executed what are arguably the five greatest seasons by a pitcher in baseball history. His newfound control limited his walks from 4.8 per game to just 2.1. His first no-hitter on this day in 1962 saw him walk five men, but after six innings he had already struck out 12 batters. He pitched a no-hitter every year after that until 1965 and led the Dodgers to World Series wins in 1963 and 1965 and the National League pennant in 1966. He won four World Series games, with a .95 earned run average and 61 strikeouts for his postseason career. Koufax won three Cy Young Awards (1963, 1965 and 1966), all of them unanimous. In 1965 he struck out 382 men, breaking Rube Waddell’s 1904 record of 350 by 32. According to longtime Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, Koufax was so well-regarded that he would often receive a standing ovation from fans while just warming up for a game.

Sandy Koufax retired after the 1966 season at just 30 years old because of arthritis in his elbow. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972.


1841 – The Erie Railroad rolled out its first passenger train.

1894 – Korea declared independence from China and asked for Japanese aid.

1908 – A meteor explosion in Siberia knocked down trees in a 40-mile radius and struck people unconscious some 40 miles away.

1912 – Belgian workers went on strike to demand universal suffrage.

1922 – Irish rebels in London assassinate Sir Henry Wilson, the British deputy for Northern Ireland.


The_Night_of_the_Long_Knives

1934 – In Germany, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler orders a bloody purge of his own political party, assassinating hundreds of Nazis whom he believed had the potential to become political enemies in the future. The leadership of the Nazi Storm Troopers (SA), whose four million members had helped bring Hitler to power in the early 1930s, was especially targeted. Hitler feared that some of his followers had taken his early “National Socialism” propaganda too seriously and thus might compromise his plan to suppress workers’ rights in exchange for German industry making the country war-ready.


1935 – Fascists caused an uproar at the League of Nations when Haile Selassie of Ethiopia speaks.

1936 – Margaret Mitchell’s book, “Gone with the Wind,” was published.

1950 – U.S. President Harry Truman ordered U.S. troops into Korea and authorizes the draft.

1951 – On orders from Washington, General Matthew Ridgeway broadcasts that the United Nations was willing to discuss an armistice with North Korea.

1953 – The first Corvette rolled off the Chevrolet assembly line in Flint, MI. It sold for $3,250.

1955 – The U.S. began funding West Germany’s rearmament.

1958 – The U.S. Congress passed a law authorizing the admission of Alaska as the 49th state in the Union.

1971 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government could not prevent The Washington Post or The New York Times from publishing the Pentagon Papers.

1971 – The Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 11 returned to Earth. The three cosmonauts were found dead inside.

1971 – The 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified when Ohio became the 38th state to approve it. The amendment lowered the minimum voting age to 18.

1974 – Russian ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov defected in Toronto, Canada.

1974 – The July 4th scene from the Steven Spielberg movie “Jaws” was filmed.

1977 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced his opposition to the B-1 bomber.

1984 – The longest professional football game took place in the United States Football League (USFL). The Los Angeles Express beat the Michigan Panthers 27-21 after 93 minutes and 33 seconds.

1985 – Yul Brynner left his role as the King of Siam after 4,600 performances in “The King and I.”

1986 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that states could outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults.

1994 – The U.S. Figure Skating Association stripped Tonya Harding of the 1994 national championship and banned her from the organization for life for an attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan.

1998 – Officials confirmed that the remains of a Vietnam War serviceman buried in the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery were identified as those of Air Force pilot Michael J. Blassie.

2000 – U.S. President Clinton signed the E-Signature bill to give the same legal validity to an electronic signature as a signature in pen and ink.

 

Source: On-This-Day.com; History.com

 

Save up to 90% on top of our already low prices with coupon code CYBERWEEK at checkout.  Note - to activate coupon code, offer must be shared on Facebook.