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Dodgers unveil Sandy Koufax statue next to Jackie Robinson

When Sandy Koufax joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955, he was in awe of being on the identical workforce with Jackie Robinson.

Now 67 years later, the 2 are immortalized in bronze on the entrance to Dodger Stadium.

Koufax’s statue was unveiled on Saturday within the Centerfield Plaza earlier than the Los Angeles Dodgers confronted the Cleveland Guardians. It is the second sculpture the Dodgers have commissioned after Robinson’s in 2017.

“At that point sharing this house with him would have been completely unimaginable. And at this time, it’s nonetheless one of many biggest honors of my life,” the 86-year-old Koufax stated.

Koufax’s statue was introduced in 2019 and was initially slated to be unveiled the next yr, till the coronavirus pandemic put these plans on maintain. The Dodgers waited till this yr, which could have been extra becoming.

It has been 50 years since Koufax was one of many first Dodgers to have his quantity retired, together with Robinson and Roy Campanella. It can be the golden anniversary of Koufax being the youngest participant elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Koufax was a two-time World Series MVP with the Dodgers. The lefty received three Cy Young Awards, threw 4 no-hitters, and was 165-87 in a 12-year profession with Brooklyn and Los Angeles.

The 19.5-ton statue was sculpted by Branly Cadet, who additionally did Robinson’s. The sculpture captures Koufax’s signature leg kick as he prepares to throw. It additionally exhibits Koufax decided and an image of calm as he’s in his windup.

Koufax picked the inspiration picture for the statue. He additionally gripped a baseball they usually took an image of his left hand to completely seize that as effectively.

“I believe for me greater than something I wished to seize his energy, his focus and integrity,” Cadet stated. “Although he’s a really quiet and absolute gentleman, there’s part of him that’s only a fierce competitor.”

Former Dodgers supervisor Joe Torre, who confronted Koufax throughout his taking part in profession, and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw additionally spoke through the ceremony.

“I hope a child sees the statue and requested his mother or dad about Sandy Koufax and I hope that they inform him he was an ideal pitcher. But greater than that he was an ideal man who represented the Dodgers with humility, kindness, ardour and sophistication,” Kershaw stated.

“And for each rookie who sees it for the primary time and asks if he was any good. I hope the veterans inform him merely that he was the very best ever do it,” he stated.

Reporting by the Associated Press.

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