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Sandy Koufax strikes out 18 Giants

Sandy Koufax strikes out 18 Giants

Aug. 31, 1959: In a five-photo sequence, Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax throws a pitch during an 18-strikeout performance against the San Francisco Giants. That tied the strikeout record set in 1938 by Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians.

Los Angeles Times sports writer Mal Florence reported:

When Feller set the major league strikeout mark, he lost the game, but [Wally] Moon bailed Koufax out by crashing a three-run homer over the left field screen in the ninth.

Sandy said his curve and fastball were the principal tools he used to subdue the Giants.

“This was the best game and the luckiest I ever pitched,” stated Koufax…

Asked what pitch he used to strike out the dangerous Willie McCovey in the 7th, Koufax replied:

“It was a curve, high and inside, and I debated a long time before I threw the pitch.”

Koufax repeated the 18-strikeout mark on April 24, 1962 against the Chicago Cubs. The current record of 20 is shared by Roger Clemens — who did it twice with the Boston Red Sox — and Kerry Wood of the Cubs.

This photo sequence by staff photographer Cal Montney was published in the Sept. 1, 1959, Los Angeles Mirror-News, sister paper of the Los Angeles Times. The sequence was made by assembling sections of five different black-and-white prints.

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