1965 World Series – Dodgers Win – October 14, 1965

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.

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Yom Kippur Koufax Does Not Pitch – October 6, 1965

There are three things any self-respecting Jewish boy should want to grow up to be: a doctor, a lawyer, or Sandy Koufax. Unfortunately, I don’t like blood, I’m afraid of courtrooms, and Sandy Duncan has a better arm than I do. Read more The Atlantic

Half a century ago, when Los Angeles Dodgers ace Sandy Koufax chose not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series against the Minnesota Twins because it fell on Yom Kippur, Elliot Strom was a 15-year-old baseball fan in Toronto. After attending services that morning, Strom, who acknowledges that at the time he “wasn’t the best synagogue attender in the world,” told his father he planned to stay home that afternoon and watch the World Series on TV rather than return for late services. This did not go over well.

“My father was very unhappy with me,” Strom recalls. “He said, ‘The star pitcher for the Dodgers is not going to pitch in the game. This is the kind of commitment he’s showing. Where is your commitment?'” Read more ESPN

There are three things any self-respecting Jewish boy should want to grow up to be: a doctor, a lawyer, or Sandy Koufax. Unfortunately, I don’t like blood, I’m afraid of courtrooms, and Sandy Duncan has a better arm than I do.

Alas, I became a reporter, a profession that at least allows me to write about Koufax, who I continued to idolize long after my baseball career ended in the sixth grade. It’s been 45 years since Koufax refused to pitch the first game of the World Series on Yom Kippur, yet he remains the go-to American Jewish sports icon. He’s even name-checked in The Big Lebowski: Read more The Atlantic

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Muhammad Ali on What’s My Line – September 19, 1965

He Fails to Stump the Panel

Go to 21:51 of the video. Muhammad Ali’s success in the ring did not transfer to this game show. The heavyweight champion, affecting a high-pitched squeaky voice got “knocked out” by panelist Arlene Francis after he had to answer “yes” to the question, “Are you a fellow who is named after the chap that they brought the mountains to, by the name of Mohammad? Moments later he was down for the count.

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Willie Mays Slams 500th HR – September 13, 1965

Willie Mays 500th home run -Click here to see on eBay

Willie Mays 500th home run – Click here to see on eBay

Willie Mays became the fifth Major League player to join the “500 Home Run Club.” His historic blast came on September 13, 1965 in Houston. Leading off in the fourth inning Mays went yard against Astros starter Don Nottebart. It was Mays’ 47th home run of the season. Mays wound up hitting 52 homers for the season that year, hit .317, knocked in 117 RBI and was the runaway choice for the National League MVP.

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Staubach Leads Navy Past Army, JFK Attends December 1, 1962

Former Dallas Cowboys All-Pro quarterback, Roger Staubach, then a sophomore at The Naval Academy, led the midshipmen to stunning upset win over Army. In front of more than 100,000 fans at Philadelphia’s Municipal Stadium (including President John F. Kennedy), Navy took the
field with the words “Beat Army” inscribed on their helmets, in response to Army’s highly touted defensive squad choosing to call itself “The Chinese Bandits”

Sports Illustrtrated described the spectacle

The game was attended by so much folderol, schmaltz and razzmatazz that at times it appeared to be more Barnum and Bailey than Army and Navy. Both academies reported that never had there been such excitement over the game. A group of midshipmen took a full-page ad in The New York Times, urging the team to victory. Just before game time, Army produced a huge gray machine with blinking lights. “This is the voice of the Navy subconscious,” said the machine. “We know we are going to lose.” Navy countered with a battleship chasing and finally destroying a Chinese junk, symbol of Army’s Chinese Bandits. There were cadets dressed as spacemen and Chinamen, middies dressed as Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound. There were also balloons and cannons and party horns and American flags and, of course, the constant roaring of the cadets and midshipmen.

After President Kennedy officiated with the coin toss, things became a lot less exciting as Staubach and The Middies pretty much ran roughshod over for the rest of the afternoon.

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