Sandy Koufax - 1961 Morrell Meats Dodgers

Sanford "Sandy" Koufax (December 30, 1935-) was one of the most dominant pitcher of the 1960s, breaking a 58-year old strikeout record set by Christy Mathewson in 1903, becoming not only the first pitcher to throw four no-hitters (including one perfect game), but also the first to win multiple Cy Young Awards. Sandy, nee Sanford Braun, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York where he excelled in basketball, but also enjoyed baseball. After captaining his Lafayette High School basketball team, he accepted a scholarship to play at the University of Cincinnati, but he eventually chose to play baseball and signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers after only one year at Cincy. Because the Dodgers signed the hard-throwing left handed to a $14,000 bonus, MLB rules required that he remain on the Major League roster for two years, thereby foregoing his much needed minor league guidance. Sandy would learn the ropes of professional baseball at its highest level. Though he would begin his career at a critical point in the Brooklyn Dodgers history, as they finally achieved the ultimate goal beating the New York Yankees in the World Series for the franchise's first Major League title, Koufax struggled mightily to find his control and consistency. August 27, 1955 marked Sandy's first career win, beating the Cincinnati Reds as he struck out 14 batters, but he would finish the year at .500 going 2-2 with 30 Ks and a 3.02 ERA. However, he was still only 19-year old. His struggles would continue for the next five seasons with Koufax going 36-40 with 683 strikeouts and a 4.10 ERA in 174 appearances. Hardly considered much more than mediocre, let alone the making of a Hall of Fame caliber career. The Dodgers were able to return to the World Series 1959 where they dispatched the Chicago White Sox in six games.

However, in 1961, on the advice of backup catcher Norm Sherry, Sandy learned to control his fastball by not over-throwing. Sherry took the young hurler aside and told him to just try to throw strikes and not try to throw so hard and success would follow. Koufax stated that during those early years, he "tried to throw every pitch harder than the last one." But that simple advice turned his career around, and hitters around the league considered his fastball and curveball virtually unhittable. Adding a change-up to the mix soon made Sandy the most dominant pitcher of the 1960s and one of the most dominant in the history of the game. For the first time, in 1961 he led the National League in strikeouts with 269, to more than Christy Mathewson in 1903 and went 18-13 with 15 complete games. He also earned his first of six straight trips to the MLB All-Star Game. A change of venue for the Dodgers, now playing in Los Angeles, playing in the new pitcher-friendly Dodgers Stadium, Koufax was immediately benefitted by the larger park and his ERA plummeting from 4.29 to 1.75. He threw his first of four no-hitters against the expansion New York Mets on June 30, and in the end pitched to a 14-7 record with a league leading 2.54 ERA and 216 strikeouts. In 1963, the reluctant star, Koufax captured his first of three pitching Triple Crowns, going 25-5 with 306 strikeouts, a 1.88 ERA and 11 shutouts - all league leading statistics to earn MLB's Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player Award. And, once again, he led the Dodgers to the National League pennant. 

He would go on to win his second and third Triple Crowns and Cy Youngs in 1965 and 1966, respectively, and he spirited the Boys in Blue to a second World Series appearance in 1965. But, not without controversy. Koufax became a hero to Jews worldwide when he refused to pitch in Game 1 of the 1965 World Series as it fell on Yom Kippur, a religious high holiday. Koufax stood up for his beliefs and the Dodgers fell to the Yankees in Game 1, but Sandy returned to outpitch the World Series record-setting Whitey Ford in Games 3 & 5 to lead the Dodgers to their second MLB title in three years. He threw no-hitters against the San Francisco Giants (5/11/1963), the Philadelphia Phillies (6/4/1964) and a perfect game against the Chicago Cubs on September 9, 1965. Sadly though, injuries and arthritis caught up wth the hard-throwing lefty who was forced to use heat on his elbow before each game and then plunge that elbow into a bucket of ice water after, not to mention the myriad of painkillers. And so, Sandy shocked his teammates, management and the baseball world for that matter when he retired at the age of 30, becoming of the youngest ever to call it quits in the prime of his career in any sport. Koufax’s splendid, seemingly limitless career was cut short due to arthritis limiting him to 12 seasons, but his impact on the game is timeless. Sandy Koufax retired with a record of 165-87 with 2,396 strikeouts and a 2.76 earned run average. Koufax continued to cover baseball as a broadcaster for NBC. Sanford "Sandy" Koufax was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.



Condition Census (Explain)

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MINT 9
1 MINT 9
1 MINT 9
1 MINT 9
1 MINT 9
2 NM-MT+ 8.5
2 NM-MT+ 8.5
2 NM-MT+ 8.5
3 NM-MT 8 (18)

PRICES BY GRADE

1961 MORRELL MEATS DODGERS SANDY KOUFAX

Grade Most Recent Price Average Price SMR Price Population POP Higher
Auth 1 129
PR 1 5 123
FR 1.5 123
GOOD 2 3 119
VG 3 $154.31 $154.31 4 115
VG - EX 4 $256.98 $256.98 19 96
EX 5 $375.00 $375.00 $175.00 19 77
EX - MT 6 $539.46 $539.46 $265.00 23 52
NM 7 $400.00 $400.00 $475.00 20 28
NM - MT 8 $790.00 $700.02 $1,000.00 18 8
MINT 9 $2,325.00 $2,325.00 $3,500.00 5
GEM - MT 10

AUCTION PRICES REALIZED

Date Price Grade Lot # Auction House Auction/Seller Type Cert
04/15/2020 $790 8 353036077069 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 16998195
12/09/2019 $51 2 (MK) 401978004133 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 23259142
06/12/2019 $2,325 9 401779009033 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 26559041
05/13/2019 $1,463 8.5 143238042218 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 41305227
05/13/2019 $610 8 401760859944 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 21712651
03/28/2019 $1,348 8.5 3 Sirius Sports Auctions Sirius Sports Cards Auction # 234 - Ends 3/28/19 Auction 41305227
03/22/2019 $1,279 8.5 337 Mile High Card Company March 2019 Auction Auction 42371977
12/07/2018 $1,875 8.5 137 Mile High Card Company December 2018 Auction Auction 41305227
12/06/2018 $1,597 8.5 143029122854 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 28171414
10/05/2018 $3,035 9 13 Mile High Card Company September/October 2018 Auction Auction 26559041
08/15/2018 $257 4 401577147864 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 40933756
04/20/2018 $900 8 81943 Heritage Auctions 2018 April 19-20 Spring Sports Card Catalog Auction Ended Apr 20th Auction 08119475
03/23/2018 $4,891 9 10 Mile High Card Company March 2018 Auction Auction 26802515
02/08/2018 $3,100 8.5 142672880874 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 28171414
12/03/2017 $400 7 112669243399 eBay k32dodger Best Offer 31414434
11/23/2017 $267 4 372138386299 eBay probstein123 Auction 28168150
09/15/2017 $430 7 372 Mile High Card Company September 2017 Auction 23095596
09/15/2017 $539 6 371 Mile High Card Company September 2017 Auction 23095597
08/30/2017 $154 3 63 Mile High Card Company Extra Innings August 2017 Auction 07253816
06/13/2017 $375 5 391814138449 eBay yepbg Best Offer 16554334
11/19/2016 $215 5 51134 Heritage Auctions 2016 November 17 - 19 Sports Collectibles Catalo... Nov 19, 2016 Auction 26107147
10/16/2016 $643 8 361761601750 eBay partnerone Auction 23651218
12/04/2015 $270 6 443 Greg Bussineau Auctions Fall 2015 Vintage Trading Cards and Memorabilia Auction Auction 24175939
01/11/2015 $563 7.5 566 Memory Lane, Inc. Past & Present Winter Auction Auction 22759266
08/24/2014 $465 7 481 Memory Lane, Inc. 2014 Summer Rarities Auction Auction 22736739
05/12/2013 $927 8 341 Memory Lane, Inc. THE SPRING BREAK AUCTION 2013 Auction 09077373
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05/06/2012 $1,122 8 558 Memory Lane, Inc. HOLY GRAIL AUCTION SPRING 2012 Auction 02021288
11/10/2010 $3,775 9 659 SCP Auctions SCP Auctions November 2010 Internet Auction Auction 17281061
08/15/2010 $1,454 8 432 Memory Lane, Inc. Sizzling Summer 2010 Treasures Auction Auction 09077373
10/07/2009 $2,178 8 478 Mile High Card Company October 2009 Auction Auction 14637742
12/14/2008 $670 7 510 Memory Lane, Inc. Winter Extravaganza Rarities Auction Auction 15135077
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12/16/2007 $14,039 8 560 Memory Lane, Inc. Serious Rarities - December 8th Auction Auction 09077373
11/06/2006 $752 7 523 SCP Auctions SCP Auctions November 2006 Internet Auction Auction 09126882