(East Los Angeles, CA) March 21, 2022 [From The Editor’s Desk]: In the Los Angeles Dodgers much anticipated, historical, and momentous organizational decision, they will unveil the Bronze statue of one of its most famous, beloved, and deserving players. It is now time to mark your calendars, that on Saturday, June 18, 2022 at 4:15 PM, the unfurling of their great left-handed pitcher, #32/Sandy Koufax’s statue will take place. He will be forever enshrined next to his endearing teammate,#42 Jackie Robinson on that time and date. Here is the team’s full press announcement concerning this epic moment in its history.
DODGERS TO UNVEIL SANDY KOUFAX STATUE ON JUNE 18
The Koufax sculpture will be the second in a series of larger-than life bronze statues in the Centerfield Plaza
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers recently announced that the long-anticipated Sandy Koufax statue will be unveiled in the Centerfield Plaza prior to the Dodgers’ June 18 home game vs. the Cleveland Guardians at 4:15 p.m. The Koufax statue will be the second one of its kind to be installed by the club, following the Jackie Robinson statue, which was unveiled on April 15, 2017. The piece will be sculpted by Branly Cadet, who also created the Robinson statue.
The first 40,000 ticketed fans in attendance at the June 18 contest will receive a replica Koufax statue. “I am very proud to announce that the unveiling of the Sandy Koufax statue at Dodger Stadium will finally take place on Saturday, June 18,” said Dodger President and CEO, Stan Kasten. “The statue will be located at our main entrance in the Centerfield Plaza, right next to Jackie Robinson’s statue, and fans entering those gates will be ‘greeted’ by Jackie and Sandy. Not only are both of these Hall of Famers part of our rich Dodger history, they are also continuously inspiring sports fans everywhere.”
It was announced in 2019 that the next legendary name in the Dodgers’ “statue series” was to be Koufax, and the unveiling was intended to be in the summer of 2020, but the global pandemic altered those plans. The sculpture will sit adjacent to Robinson’s in the Centerfield Plaza. The former teammates were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 (Robinson) and 1972 (Koufax), respectively, and both had their numbers retired by the Dodgers on June 4, 1972.
At age 36, Koufax was the youngest player and first pitcher inducted into the Hall of Fame. Throughout his illustrious 12 seasons, he had a career record of 165-87, a 2.76 ERA, 2,396 strikeouts, 137 complete games and 40 shutouts. He was also the first major leaguer to pitch four no-hitters, including a perfect game.
From 1962-66, Koufax led the National League in earned run average and shutouts. He was the first pitcher to average fewer than seven hits allowed per nine innings pitched in his career (6.79) and to strike out more than nine batters (9.28) per nine innings. In his last 10 seasons, batters hit (.203) against him with a (.271) on-base percentage and a (.315) slugging average.
Koufax was the MVP and Cy Young Award winner in 1963 and also won Cy Young awards in 1965 and ’66. He was a member of Dodgers’ world championship teams in 1955, ’59, ’63 and ’65, earning MVP honors in 1963 and ‘65. His postseason record was (4-3) with a 0.95 ERA. He was selected to seven consecutive All-Star games from 1961-66.
(Special Note From The Editor): I was able to see Sandy Koufax during his prime years and his Dodger greatness as a young teenager, and will never forget the way he pitched as a “leftie” or southpaw. A true “pitcher of pitchers” who always stayed a “step-or-two” ahead on his batters and always appeared as a puzzle or a riddle to solve for each player who came to face him in their at-bats. His remarkable “rainbow” and “12 noon-6 pm” curve-balls, and his “four-seam fastball” were his “go-to” pitches, but his slider was also a thing of beauty to behold as opposing players literally would be mesmerized by his dominance on the hill. He truly set the acclaimed standard for today’s pitching corps everywhere.
Fast-forwarding us back to the present-day, do note that from 6/18/2022 onward, Centerfield Plaza will become yet another delightful Dodgers fan-gathering landmark and great photo opportunity location at the ballpark, as he will now join his beloved and renowned teammate, Jackie Robinson, in a much-heralded “side-by-side” posture. Just imagine, now, they can be seen “together” once more by every Major League Baseball fan, re-united “forever“/”en aeternum est“.