Faith Over Baseball: Where Sandy Koufax Wasn’t On Yom Kippur, 1965

By Karen Harris
Dodgers' pitcher Sandy Koufax holds up four balls with zeros on them, one for each of his no-hitters. Source: (

The LA Dodgers were having a great season in 1965…so great, in fact, that they made it to the World Series against the Minnesota Twins. Much of the team’s success could be credited to their left-handed pitcher, Sandy Koufax. One of the all-time greats, Koufax went on to become the youngest player to ever be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and has been called one of the best pitchers in the history of the sport. But in Game One of the 1965 World Series, Koufax wasn’t on the field to pitch for his team. That year, Game One of the World Series fell on Yom Kippur and Koufax, a practicing Jew, decided that his faith was more important than baseball. Here is the story of Koufax’s controversial decision and the impact it had on the 1965 World Series.