1966 Topps
Sandy Koufax

Sandy Koufax went out on top. And in pain.

In 1966, Koufax went 27-9 with a 1.73 ERA. He led the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts (317). He was an All Star, won his third Cy Young award and finished second to Roberto Clemente in MVP voting.

Yet, on Nov. 18, 1966, Koufax walked away from the game at the ripe old age of 30.

But why?

The bottom line – Koufax realized the toll pitching was taking on his health and his arm. The pain was punishing. The pain was excruciating.

L.A. Times columnist Jim Murray put it this way: "Baseball lost its left arm because Sandy Koufax didn't want to lose his."

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