MLB

Flashback: Dodgers' Koufax tosses perfect game, strikes out 14 Cubs

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 9: Pitcher Sandy Koufax #32 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is mobbed by teammates Willie Davis #3, Wes Parker #28, Ron Fairly #6 and Don LeJohn #31 after pitching a perfect game against the Chicago Cubs on September 9, 1965 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. This would be Koufax's 4th no-hitter and only perfect game. (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 9: Pitcher Sandy Koufax #32 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is mobbed by teammates Willie Davis #3, Wes Parker #28, Ron Fairly #6 and Don LeJohn #31 after pitching a perfect game against the Chicago Cubs on September 9, 1965 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. This would be Koufax's 4th no-hitter and only perfect game. (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)

You literally can't get better than perfect, but Sandy Koufax certainly tried.

On Sept. 9, 1965, Koufax pitched the eighth perfect game in major-league history. And the left-hander struck out 14 Chicago Cubs in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 1-0 win. It was his fourth career no-hitter.

Every batter in the Cubs lineup struck out at least once, with the exception of shortstop Don Kessinger, who was removed for a pinch hitter in the ninth inning (and that pinch hitter struck out). In fact, Koufax struck out the side in the eighth and ninth innings.

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In his brief 12-season major-league career -- spent entirely with the Dodgers -- Koufax won five ERA titles, led the league in strikeouts four times and totaled 25 or more wins three times. In his final season (1966), he had career bests with 27 wins, a 1.73 ERA and 27 complete games -- to go along with 317 strikeouts (the third time he eclipsed the 300-K plateau).

Sadly, he was forced to retire at the age of only 30 because of an elbow injury.

Koufax won the 1963 NL MVP Award and unanimously won three NL Cy Young Awards (1963, 1965, 1966). He was elected to the Hall of in his first year of eligibility in 1972.