Sandy Koufax played his entire 12-season major league career with the Dodgers, the first three when they were based in his native Brooklyn. The Hall of Famer is the second player in the Dodgers organization to be honored with a statue. Courtesy LA Dodgers.
Sandy Koufax statue unveiled
LOS ANGELES (CNS)—A statue of Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax was unveiled in Dodger Sta- dium's Centerfield Plaza today, three years after it was announced and two years later than planned.
The Dodgers announced in 2019 that Koufax would be the second person in their "statue series," with the unveiling expected in summer 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic altered those plans.
The statue sits adjacent to Jackie Robinson's in the Centerfield Plaza. Robinson's was unveiled on April 15, 2017. Both sculptures were created by Branly Cadet.
"Sixty-seven years ago, Jackie Robinson became my teammate and friend. At that time, sharing this space with him would have been unimaginable, today it still is," said Koufax, 86. "It's one of the greatest honors of my life."
Koufax was the National League MVP and MLB's Cy Young Award winner in 1963 and also won Cy Young awards in 1965 and 1966, his final season before retirement at age 31 because of an arthritic elbow. Courtesy LA Dodgers
Koufax also paid tribute to the late Don Drysdale, his fellow ace on the Dodgers staff in the early to mid-1960s.
"We were together for 11 years, we grew up toge- ther. I think we were friends but I think in some ways we were competitors because he (set a standard of) excellence that I tried to live up to, and I tied to set an excellence that he lived up to, and I think it made us both better."
Current Dodgers pitching star Clayton Kershaw and Hall of Famer Joe Torre, now a special assistant to base- ball's commissioner, also attended Saturday's ceremony.
Torre noted that he was the only person present who had to bat against Koufax. "You knew he was pitching because you could hear it," he said.
"In the years and generations to come, I hope a kid see this statue and asks his mom or dad about Sandy Koufax, and I hope that they tell him he was a great pitcher but more than that he was a great man who represented the Dodgers with humility, kindness, passion, class," Kershaw said.
"And for every rookie who sees this statue for the first time and asks, 'Was he any good?' I hope the veterans tell him simply that he was the best to ever do it," Kershaw added.
Koufax played his entire 12-season major league career with the Dodgers, the first three when they were based in his native Brooklyn.
Koufax was the National League MVP and MLB's Cy Young Award winner in 1963 and also won Cy Young awards in 1965 and 1966, his final season before retirement at age 31 because of an arthritic elbow.
Koufax was the first pitcher to average fewer than seven hits allowed per nine innings pitched in his career (6.79), to strike out more than nine batters (9.28) per nine innings and to pitch four no-hitters.
In Koufax's last 10 seasons, batters hit .203 against him with a .271 on-base percentage and a .315 slugging average.
Los Angeles Dodgers power-hitting first baseman Gil Hodges was elected to the Hall of Fame on Dec. 5, 2022 receiving 12 votes—the minimum required for election—from the 16-member committee. Courtesy LA Dodgers
Dodgers to retire Gil Hodges' No. 14
LOS ANGELES (CNS)—The Los Angeles Dodgers tonight will retire the No. 14 worn by Gil Hodges, the power-hitting first baseman on the Brooklyn Dodgers teams of the 1950s, six months after his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Team policy is to limit retiring numbers to Hall of Famers. The only exception to the rule was Jim Gilliam, the longtime Dodger infielder, outfielder and coach whose No. 19 was retired on Oct. 10, 1978, before Game 1
of the World Series, two days after he died from a massive brain hemorrhage at the age of 49.
The number is the 11th in team history to be retired and first since Aug. 14, 1998 when Don Sutton's No. 20 was retired, eight months after his election to the Hall of Fame.
The ceremony coincides with the New York Mets' lone regular-season series against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Hodges concluded his playing career with the Mets in 1963 and managed them from 1968 until his death on April 2, 1972, two days before what would have been his 48th birthday.
Hodges guided the Mets to the 1969 World Series championship after they had never finished higher than ninth during their first seven seasons.
Hodges' son Gil Jr. and daughter Irene will participate in the jersey retirement ceremony.
Hodges was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Golden Days Era Committee on Dec. 5, receiving 12 votes—the minimum required for election—from the 16-member committee, which considers candidates whose primary contribution to the game came from 1950-69. He had failed to be elected by the Golden Era Com- mittee in 2011 and 2014.
Hodges was considered for selection by the Hall of Fame's Veterans Committee beginning in 1987, but was never elected. The closest he came to being elected in voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America was in 1983, his 15th and final ballot appearance under rules at the time, appearing on 63.4 percent of the ballots, with 75 percent being required for election.
Hodges is second in Dodger history in home runs (361) and RBI (1,254), third in total bases (3,357), extra-base hits (703) and walks (925), fourth in games played (2,006) and fifth in runs scored (1,088). He shares the team's single-game records for home runs with four and RBI with nine.
During the era there was no draft, the Brooklyn Dodgers signed Hodges as an amateur free agent on Sept. 6, 1943 and made his professional debut with them on Oct. 3, 1943, playing third base, striking out twice and walking once in three plate appearances in a 6-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on the final day of the season.
Hodges spent the next two years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He returned to the Dodgers organization for the 1946 season, playing 129 games for Newport News and leading the Class B Piedmont League catchers in putouts, assists and fielding percentage.
Hodges returned to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, wearing No. 14. The No. 4 jersey he wore in his 1943 major league debut was given to another future Hall of Famer, Duke Snider.
He made seven consecutive All-Star Game appearances from 1949-55, all seasons in which he drove in more than 100 runs, and became an eight-time All-Star in 1957. When Gold Glove awards were handed out for the first time in 1957, Hodges was a recipient, as he was each of the following two seasons.
Hodges drove in both runs in the Dodgers' 2-0 victory over the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 1955 World Series, their only World Series championship in Brooklyn. He hit .391 in the Dodgers six-game victory over the
Chicago White Sox in the 1959 World Series, including an eighth-inning tie-breaking homer in Game 4 that gave the Dodgers a 5-4 victory and 3-1 series lead.
Hodges played with the Dodgers through 1961 when he was chosen by the Mets in the expansion draft to stock them for their inaugural 1962 season.
Hodges began his managerial career with the Washington Senators in 1963, remaining with them through the 1967 season.
Reid Detmers' (No. 48) no-hitter is the 12th in the Angels' 62-season history, including four by Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, and first since Taylor Cole and Felix Pena combined for one in July 2019. Screen shot
Rookie Reid Detmers no-hits Rays
ANAHEIM (CNS)—Los Angeles Angels rookie left-hander Reid Detmers pitched a no-hitter in a 12-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays May 10 at Angel Stadium.
Only two Rays' batters reached base. Taylor Walls walked on a full count leading off the sixth, and first base- man Jared Walsh flubbed a grounder by Brett Phillips which was ruled an error with one out in the seventh.
Detmers completed the no-hitter by retiring Yandy Diaz on a ground out to shortstop Andrew Velazquez.
The 22-year-old Detmers threw 108 pitches, with 68 going for strikes. He struck out two before a crowd announced at 39,313. He faced one batter over the minimum, ending the sixth by getting Kevin Kiermaier to ground into a double play.
The no-hitter was the second of the lockout delayed 2022 season and the first by an individual pitcher. Five New York Mets pitchers combined on a no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies April 29.
The no-hitter is the 12th in the Angels' 62-season history, including four by Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, and first since Taylor Cole and Felix Pena combined for one in July 2019. It was the first individual no-hitter by an
Angel pitcher since Jered Weaver in May 2012.
Detmers is the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter after entering the game with a career ERA of 6.00 or higher in at least 40 innings since ERA became an official stat in both leagues in 1913, according to the sports techno-
logy company Stats Perform.
Detmers' ERA was 6.33 in 42.2 innings entering Tuesday's game. The no-hitter came in Detmers' 11th career major league start. He never pitched more than 6 innings in a major league game before Tuesday.
The Angels selected Detmers with the 10th pick in the 2020 MLB draft out of the University of Louisville. With minor league baseball not being played in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, Detmers made his
professional debut in 2021 with the Rocket City Trash Pandas, the Angels' double-A affiliate.
Detmers was promoted to the Angels' triple-A Salt Lake City affiliate after 12 starts with Rocket City and called up to the Angels last Aug. 1 after making one start for Salt Lake City.
After going 1-3 in four starts for the Angels in 2021, Detmers was placed on the injured list with no reason given. He missed 25 games while on the injured list and made one rehabilitation start with Salt Lake City. He made the Angels' final start of the 2021 season.
Detmers entered 2022 rated by Baseball America as the top prospect in the Angels organization.