1965 World Series, Game 7: Dodgers at Twins
Oct 14, 1965: LAD 2 at MIN 0, F -- With a league-leading 26 wins, 2.04 ERA and a then-record 382 strikeouts, Sandy Koufax was unquestionably the best pitcher in all of baseball. But with an advancing case of arthritis in his golden left arm, every breathtaking outing was countered by hours of treatment to keep the barely tolerable pain at bay. Once again, the light-hitting Dodgers had latched on to the most prized pitcher in baseball to carry them into the World Series, and once again, they were forced to rely on heavy innings from their ace to give them a fighting chance. After over 335 innings of labor in the regular season, it looked like the forces of nature finally caught up with number 32, as he lost Game 2 to the Minnesota Twins. But Koufax bounced back with a shutout victory in Game 5, and was handed the ball for the Series clincher in Minneapolis after only two days of rest. His counterpart on the mound was big southpaw Jim Kaat, whose job in the Series was to keep up with the Dodger ace. The 18-game winner had beaten Koufax in Game 2, then been on the receiving end of the Game 5 shutout. The World Championship depended on which left arm could deliver the best punch.