One name really stood out to me, though, and that name is Sandy Koufax. So, in the interest of trying to soften the blow that Mr. Koufax has undoubtedly suffered, I'm going to make his day.
Sandy, this is your big moment.
This is a 1955 Sandy Koufax rookie card by the Topps company. It is, without a doubt, one of the most desirable baseball cards in existence.
click to enlarge
To be honest, I don't really have a whole lot to say about Koufax. He was one of the two or three greatest left-handed pitchers of all time, along with Lefty Grove and some guy named Ruth. If Koufax had managed to stay healthy for just a few more years, he may very well have surpassed them both, as his last seasons in baseball, before being forced into retirement by an arthritic elbow, were some of the greatest in baseball history.
For instance, in his twelfth and final year in the major leagues, Koufax threw 323 innings, giving up only 241 hits and 77 walks, for a WHIP (walks + hits per inning pitched), of .985 to go along with 317 strikeouts and a 1.73 ERA. Amazingly enough, that wasn't even his best year.
What I really like about doing this card is it gives me a chance to engage in one of my very favorite pastimes: searching out vintage sporting footage. I love the old players, the old unis, the old deliveries; I love it all. You know what? I'll let the pictures tell the story; they do so much better than I ever could.
Also, check out one of my favorite websites, pitchingclips.com, for more footage. In particular, look at the side-by-side comparison of his fastball and curve. You want to know why Koufax was one of the best? That's why, right there.