Overcame Ball-control Problem
The inexperienced pitcher struggled in the majors. At the end of the 1960 season, Koufax was a career-losing pitcher with a record of 36 and 40. His mediocrity gnawed at him; Koufax considered quitting, yet had a change of heart and reported to spring training in 1961 determined to take responsibility for his career. He began to sacrifice speed for accuracy. Slowly, Koufax gained control of his unruly fastball.
Koufax explained his transformation in John Grabowski's book, Sandy Koufax, saying that he became a good pitcher when he stopped trying to make batters miss the ball and started trying to make them hit it.
Koufax ended the 1961 season 18-13 and made his first All-Star appearance. He also fanned 269 batters to break a National League strikeout record.
In 1962, Koufax pitched his first of four no-hitters, and by 1963 he was at the top of his game, ending the season 25-5, with 11 shutouts. At 1.88, his earned-run average (ERA) was the lowest posted in the National League in 20 years. Koufax also led his team to a 1963 World Series victory over the New York Yankees by winning two games in the series. Koufax's stellar pitching earned him his first of three Cy Young Awards, presented to the best pitcher in baseball. He was also named the World Series MVP and won the Hickok Belt, awarded to the top professional athlete.