The Dynamic Duo: When Koufax and Drysdale Ruled

From Dr. Vassilios E. Haloulakos and George A. Haloulakos at Baseball Past and Present on October 16, 2011:

The careers of Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax were my childhood. From 1959 to 1966, this Hall of Fame pitching duo hurled the Los Angeles Dodgers to three world championships and four National League pennants while breaking records that had stood since the early 1900s. Their dominance and personas took on a mystical aura as their diamond exploits were carried over the airwaves, uniting Southern California into a huge community of baseball fans following the games on their portable transistor radios.

This paper celebrates a special era in Major League Baseball and one that is particularly meaningful to the history of Southern California–and America, overall. When the Dodgers and Giants moved from New York to California in 1958, it not only changed the baseball landscape but placed an exclamation mark on America’s westward expansion that had begun in earnest a century before. The longstanding rivalry between the two teams peaked over the next decade, with both clubs often near the top of the National League, and for the Dodgers, the heroics of their two star hurler often gave them the edge.

Drysdale and Koufax were especially notable for accomplishing their feats at a relatively young age and in short time. Their Hall of Fame careers not only offered impressive stats but feats that are appreciable from a scientific perspective. This paper offers statistical, historical, and scientific appraisal of the Drysdale and Koufax era when perhaps the best righty-lefty pitching duo in baseball history dominated baseball and left a lasting, positive legacy in Southern California.

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Originally published: October 17, 2011. Last Updated: October 17, 2011.