Greatest moments in Dodger history No. 7: Winning the 1963 World Series

Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.
(Associated Press)
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Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and the greatest moment countdown continues

I’m assuming everyone knows how this works by now, so I’m going to drop the explanatory introduction to these. If you need a reminder, click on any of the Nos. 20-25 greatest moments below.

Up next is the an important sweep of the Yankees.

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No. 7: Dodgers sweep Yankees in 1963 World Series (14 first-place votes, 16,489 points)

Maury Wills, Sandy Koufax and Willie Davis.
(Lou Mack)

The 1963 World Series put Sandy Koufax’s name into the national consciousness and finally erased the stigma of the Yankees’ dominance over the Dodgers through the years. Sure, the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the Yankees in the 1955 World Series, but they had lost to the Yankees in 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953 and 1956.

The Dodgers ran away with the National League that season, finishing with a 99-63 record. Koufax won the Cy Young and Most Valuable Player Awards after going 25-5 with a 1.88 ERA and 306 strikeouts in 311 innings.


Game 1 was all Koufax as he struck out a World Series record 15 Yankees in a 5-2 victory at Yankee Stadium. You can revisit that moment by clicking the appropriate link below.

Game 2 was a 4-1 Dodgers victory. Willie Davis doubled in two runs in the first inning, Bill “Moose” Skowron homered, and Tommy Davis had two triples to lead the Dodgers as Johnny Podres notched the win over Al Downing. It was a pedestrian performance for Podres, but only if you compared it to Koufax in Game 1. Podres gave up six hits and struck out four in 8 1/3 innings.

Like Koufax after Game 1, Podres also downplayed his performance.

“The Yankees hit a lot of balls real good. Mantle probably would have had three home runs today if we had been playing this game in Dodger Stadium. Mickey didn’t get any hits off me but he hit me real good.”

Continuing the trend of not being boastful, Manager Walt Alston wasn’t too impressed that his team was up in the Series, 2-0, and heading home to Dodger Stadium.

“It don’t mean a thing,” Alston said “if we don’t win two more.”

Game 3 sent defending Cy Young winner Don Drysdale to the mound against Jim Bouton, who would go on to claim greater fame as the author of one of the best baseball books ever written, “Ball Four.” And it turned into quite the pitcher’s duel.

The Dodgers scored in the bottom of the first when Tommy Davis singled in Jim Gilliam. That concluded the scoring for the day, as the Dodgers won, 1-0, on a three-hit shutout by Drysdale, who struck out nine.


Following the footsteps of his teammates, Drysdale said it was no big deal.

“I don’t know if this was the best I’ve ever pitched, but I had real good stuff and I was able to put almost every pitch right where I wanted it to go,” Drysdale said before praising his opponent.

“These Yankees are tremendous. I have a lot of respect for them and I knew I would have to be good …… and lucky, too.”

Game 4 saw more of the same. The Dodgers scored in the fifth on a Frank Howard home run. The Yankees tied it on a Mickey Mantle home run in the top of the seventh. But in the bottom of the inning, Gilliam hit a hopper to Yankees third baseman Clete Boyer who threw to first. First baseman Joe Pepitone lost track of the ball, which hit him in the arm and rolled down the right-field line, allowing Gilliam to make it all the way to third. He then scored on Willie Davis’ sacrifice fly.

Koufax went all the way again, giving up one run and six hits while striking out eight. He was named Series MVP.

Lost somewhat in the shuffle was the fact Howard’s home run was the first hit into the second deck at Dodger Stadium.

“I just guessed right,” Howard said. “I was looking for a breaking pitch and that’s what Whitey [Ford] threw. I thought it might curve foul, but then I knew it was a homer.”

Koufax said he pitched better in Game 4 than when he struck out 15 in Game 1.

“I think I was a more consistent pitcher today,” Koufax told the media. “I thought I made my two best pitches in the ninth. You have to be fortunate to beat the Yankees and I certainly was.”


Mantle said the 1963 loss was worse than the loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960, when Bill Mazeroski hit his memorable walk-off home run to end Game 7.

“You have to lose sometimes, but never four straight,” Mantle said in the clubhouse after the Game 4 loss. “People forget what happened in Pittsburgh, but they’ll never forget this. I know I won’t.”

Dodgers fans certainly didn’t.

Previous greatest moments

No. 8: Fernandomania

No. 9: Vin Scully’s final game at Dodger Stadium

No. 10: Maury Wills sets the stolen base record

No. 11: Dodgers move to L.A.


No. 12: Don Drysdale’s scoreless innings streak

No. 13: Four straight homers against the Padres

No. 14: Sandy Koufax’s shutout in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series

No. 15: Dodgers win 1981 World Series

No. 16: Roy Campanella Night

No. 17: Rick Monday’s 1981 NLCS home run


No. 18: Rick Monday saves the flag

No. 19: Winning the 1988 World Series

No. 20: Winning the 1959 World Series

No. 21: Sandy Amorós’ catch in 1955 World Series

No. 22: Cody Bellinger’s catch in 2020 NLDS

No. 23: Justin Turner’s walkoff homer in 2017 NLCS


No. 24: Sandy Koufax strikes out 15 in 1963 World Series Game 1

No. 25: Mike Scioscia’s 1988 NLCS homer

And finally

Listen to the radio broadcast of Game 4 of the 1963 World Series. Click here to listen.

Until next time...

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