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Exactly 50 Years Since Sandy Koufax Announced His Retirement From Baseball

November 18, 2016

Exactly 50 years ago, on November 18, 1966, I was playing some kind of sports game with dice. Imaginative and statistically oriented, I was ahead of my time.

My father came home and warned I would not like the headline I was about to read in The New York Post, late afternoon edition.

I truly prayed each time Sandy Koufax pitched from say (1964-1966), that he both win and pitch a low run game.

How often those prayers were answered is a tribute to Sandy’s greatness as a pitcher.

The headline this day 50 years ago, conveyed it would happen no more, the manifestations of that acute hurt, still felt today.

Sandy did the right thing in retiring on more than one level, both saving his arm, and in not taking the high salary he would have been offered, based on a 27 win season.

My hero carried on and continues to in exemplary, low key, modest fashion.

Yet though I know what he did was right, I think of all the records, all the comparisons I could have avoided hearing and frankly the time wasted rooting vs any, or all pitchers considered comparable, (none were and I felt my intensity had something to do with it), after say 1970.

An intensity and ferocity without a positive place to go!

I chose well in picking Sandy as a hero. I wish the complicated story that is my or anybody’s life had been or will be a better tribute to the great pitcher and person, who announced his retirement from baseball, exactly 50 years ago today.


Sandy Koufax 1965 World Series

Sandy Koufax pitching in The 1965 World Series

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