On this date in Mets History, the Mets fell to one of the great ones in 1962 when Sandy Koufax threw the first of his four career no-hitters, winning 5-0, at Dodger Stadium.
To illustrate the strange nature of the sport, the previous day the Mets drew 16 walks to win 10-4.
Koufax issued five walks and struck out 13 Mets, including Rod Kanehl, Cliff Cook, Elio Chacon, Chris Cannizzaro and Ray Daviault twice each.
In 20 career starts against the Mets, Koufax was 17-2 with a 1.44 ERA, including 14 complete games.
Koufax had a dominating six-year run from 1961-66, when he was named the National League MVP in 1963, and won the Cy Young Award in 1963, 65 and 66. His career was cut short at the age of 30 with arthritis.
At 36 years and 20 days, he was the youngest entry into Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Koufax played basketball at the University of Cincinnati, and played for the baseball team in 1954. He was scouted by the Dodgers, but the report was lost.
Koufax later tried out for the Giants and Pirates – neither of which offered a contract – and the Dodgers again. This time, he was signed for $6,000 with a $14,000 signing bonus.
A close friend of owner Fred Wilpon, Koufax is a frequent visitor to the Mets’ spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and tutors the pitchers most every spring.
After a long drought, Koufax is back in the Dodgers’ family. The Dodgers hired him to be a minor league pitching coach in 1979, but he resigned in 2000, the departure blamed on an uneasy relationship with then Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda.
Koufax severed ties with the Dodgers in 2003 when a New York Post article wrote of his sexual orientation and implied he was gay. Both the Post and Dodgers were owned by Rupert Murdoch at the time. Koufax resumed his relationship with the Dodgers when Frank McCourt purchased the team in 2004.