Sanford (Sandy) Koufax, the former Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers pitching star, was elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame with one of the highest vote percentages ever, it was announced today. Koufax, who received 344–or 87 percent–of the record 396 ballots cast by veteran members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, becomes only the second Jewish electee to the Hall, joining Henry Benjamin (Hank) Greenberg, elected in 1956.
With the election this year of Koufax, the New York Yankees’ Yogi Berra and the Cleveland Indians’ Early Wynn, there are III players and 18 others in the shrine. At 36 the youngest electee to the Hall, Koufax retired prematurely in 1966 with arm trouble after winning 165 games and losing 87 in 12 seasons. He was named the National League’s most valuable player in 1963 and the majors’ top pitcher three times.
The holder of numerous strikeout records, Koufax was the only pitcher ever to hurl four no-hitters (one of them, a perfect game). Election to the Hall this year required 297 votes, 75 percent of the total. Sources here disputed the assertion in today’s JTA Daily News Bulletin that John C. Kling and Edward Marvin Reulbach, two long-ago players who might be selected later this month by the Hall of Fame’s Committee on Veterans, were in fact Jewish. The JTA obtained the information from Hall director Ken Smith.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.