Koufax or Pedro?



I realize that this includes a current player but I think it fits better here.

They are both very similar players in that they had relatively short, yet nothing short of Hall of Fame standard, peaks.

Pedro Martinez '97-'03 118-36 (20-6/Season) 2.58ERA, 1,761K's (294K's/Season), ERA+251

Sandy Koufax '61-'66 129-49 (26-10/Season) 2.69ERA, 1,713K's (343K's/Season), ERA+ 193

Pretty eerily similar numbers over those stretches. The difference being that Koufax was in his prime when he was forced to retire due to arthritis, Pedro has shown his sign of age when hes pitched lately, or maybe more importantly when he hasn't pitched.

Who would you take when they were in their prime and who do you think is/was better?

My pick would be Pedro, and not just because I'm a Sox fan, I'll take the ERA over the W's and K's anyday. Because chances are that if Koufax ERA has been the same as Pedro, not that his was bad, he would've won even more games and had fewer losses.


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
It's very hard to select between these two, especially that Koufax retired at the tender age of 30 years old, who knows how many more victories and strike outs he would of had.

Between 1962-1966 Koufax was 111-34, led the league in ERA each season (averaging under two earned runs per game) pitched four no-hitters, including a perfect game in 1965. He was a better strike out pitcher then Pedro. So in my opinion I believe Koufax is the better pitcher. Like I said before who knows what he would of done if he played 10 more years.


With the question being presented as to who one would pick in his prime......The obvious answer, simply due to the status of just how "good" he in fact was in his "PRIME".....an all to short prime that actually lasted only 5 or 6 seasons...that choice would be "THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM"...Sandy Koufax.

There are many reasons to my conclusion but the most impressive is the fact that he won 3 cy young awards and should have won all 5 for the period lasting from 62-66, if it were not for injuries.....and one can see why with stats for those years being so "dominanting". Consider....111 and 34 won/loss......2.02 era..over the 1,377 innings pictched during that time....with the 3 cy young awards and the "praise" from his peers like these quotes from some of the greats for that time period.

"Facing Koufax was like eating soup with a fork."....Willie Stargell

"Sandy would strike me out 2 or 3 times a game.....and I would know every pitch, because he would "show" you what was coming....fast ball, curve, or slider....and I still could not touch it.".........Willie Mays

When asked why he thought Koufax won over 25 games.....Yogi Berra replied, "I can see the why he won 25....I just can't see the why he lost more than 5".

For a short time he was the best there ever was.....and could have been the best of all time with the proper training in his youth, as the first six years of his career was practically lost due to ignorance of the game.

The main reason for this was the fact that he had signed a bonus contract and under rules of the league for that time period he had to remain on the big league roster for 2 years......he never had the oppurnity to get the proper training in the "art" of pitching in the minors......the talent was there, but it was just to raw, and when forced into the show as a kid it just overwhelmed him....as he attempted to throw to hard.

As I said for one short period of his prime......there was none better. And I repect the fact that he retired when he did without hanging on to long just for the money. The real reason for his early retirement was the fact that he had suffered the condition of having a "blood clot" in his pitching arm during his prime....and acutally almost lost a couple of his fingers due to the lack of blood flow....and the doctors told him, if he continued to pitch the same way that he was, that he might lose the use of his entire arm.....He replied, "That's the only way I know how.....all out and to win." So he rightly retired after winning his last cy young award....still in his prime, considering the fact of how some players hang on today. He in fact was inducted into the hall of fame as the younest member ever.....at the ripe old age of 36....still a puppy by the standard sit by Satchel Paige. BD


I feel Pedro's competition was better, but Koufax gets the nod. It doesnt hurt that he is usually dubbed the top lefty ever.

Also the quotes from Bulldog's post says alot. When you win over the superstars of your generation like he did, its hard to imagine there is much else to accomplish. I dont know if you would see guys talking about Pedro Martinez like that, though he may have been as dominant.


I'm going to go with Pedro too on this one, he pitched better relative to his era and park then Koufax did.


I saw Sandy Koufax. he not only retired at a young age. But he retired in his prime. The man was awesome.
Agreed Pedro was awesome in his prime too.
We can only wonder what Sandy would have been like in 1967 or 68, especially 1968 when the pitchers dominated totally. But if he had been able to pitch 3/4 as good those years as he did in 1966, his last year, he would have put up some pretty good numbers.
We will never know. But I'll take Sandy. Pedro wouldn't be far behind though.