Sanford "Sandy" Koufax is a retired American baseball player. A left-handed pitcher, he played his entire Major League Baseball career for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, from 1955 to 1966. He retired at the peak of his career, and in 1972 became the youngest player ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, aged 36 years and 20 days.
Koufax's career peaked with a run of six outstanding seasons from 1961 to 1966, before arthritis in his left elbow ended his career prematurely at age 30. He was named the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1963. He also won the 1963, 1965, and 1966 Cy Young Awards by unanimous votes, making him the first 3-time Cy Young winner in baseball history and the only one to win 3 times when the award was for all of baseball, not just one league. In each of his Cy Young seasons, Koufax won the pitcher's triple crown by leading the NL in wins, strikeouts, and earned run average. Koufax's totals would also have led the American League in those seasons.
Koufax was the first major leaguer to pitch four no-hitters. Despite his comparatively short career, Koufax's 2,396 career strikeouts ranked 7th in history as of his retirement, trailing only Warren Spahn among left-handers. Koufax and Nolan Ryan are the only two pitchers inducted into the Hall of Fame who had more strikeouts than innings pitched.