View Full Version : Why did Koufax retire?

09-13-2010, 12:54 PM
I always had heard Sandy Koufax retired due to his arthritic elbow giving him so much pain, plus he was afraid it would lock up one day.

However, I recently read (I forget where) that Koufax said he couldnt take the stomach pain anymore from the pain-killers he was taking for his elbow, and that the stomach pain was the actual reason he retired.

Anybody know the true reason?:confused:

09-13-2010, 07:12 PM
It wasn't the meds, though they did affect him. I went to the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation's fundraiser this year, which was an evening with Sandy Kouax being interviewed. Koufax said that he told the doctors who were treating him that he wanted them to tell him when he was in danger of doing permanent injury to his arm and that he would retire when they gave him that indication, which is what ended up happening.

09-13-2010, 08:57 PM
Im just finishing his book - Sandy Koufax by Jane Leavy
it said the same thing that (Exhibitman) said about him not
wanting lasting damage. But he did pitch for years in big time pain.
The book isn't a bad read and does a good job of covering his arm problems and personality that helps understand the kind of guy he is.

09-28-2010, 07:27 PM
I think the truth is a little of both stories. Ken Burns had video of Koufax's retirement press conference in "Baseball" and there Koufax indicated that he was afraid of permanent damage to his arm as well as the long-term effects of the drugs he was having to take. He said something about trading his arm for money and deciding he'd rather have his arm.