The Dodgers beat the Twins in the !965 World Series. The seventh and final game was played on October 14, 1965. Sandy Koufax pitched a three-hit, complete game shutout, and was named the series MVP. This was the second World Series MVP for Koufax. He won that honor for the first time in 1963, after the Dodgers swept the Yankees in four games. In the 1963 series Koufax won the first and last games, but his performance in 1963 pales in comparison to what he did two years later.
Now, what is most remembered about Koufax in the 1965 series, is not so much his almost other-worldly pitching performances in three games, instead, Koufax left his mark on the 1965 World Series in a game in which he did even not play. That would be the first game of the World Series, when Koufax, a not particularly religious man, chose to sit out, in observance of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
Don Drysdale pitched the opener instead of Koufax. He got lit up and got lifted in the third inning, having given up seven runs. As he was handing the ball over to manager Walter Alston he allegedly said to him, “I bet right now you wish I was Jewish, too.”
Koufax did pitch game two and lost, even though he certainly pitched well enough to win; going six innings, striking out nine, and only giving up one earned run. Unfortunately for Koufax, the Twins’ Jim Kaat pitched even better and the Minnesota won 5-1.
In game three, the Dodgers’ Claude Osteen showed his teammates the correct way to muzzle an offense, as he shut out the Twins, allowing only five hits. Then, leading two games to one, the Twins had to face “the real Drysdale” in game four. LA won 7-2, and again Minnesota could only muster five hits. The Twins were even more helpless against Koufax in game five, losing 7-0. He struck out 10 and gave up four hits.
Minnesota made it interesting though, they won game six, 5-1, and the series was tied. But what they had actually won was the right to face Koufax a third time. And it was the same story. The Dodgers only managed to get two runs, but with Koufax on the mound, that was one more than they needed.