There was a nice field for the Travelers Championship Celebrity-Pro Am.
Among them: the usual crowd from ESPN and UConn, Joe Pesci, other actors whose faces you know but might have to think about their names (Aidan Quinn, Peter Krause, Rob Morrow, Luke Wilson, and local guy James Naughton), Boston sports guys Bill Belichick, Doug Flutie, and Dwight Evans, and Roger Staubach.
And there was Sandy Koufax.
You don’t hear much about Sandy Koufax because he doesn’t want you to. He pitched in the big leagues for parts of just 12 seasons, and half of them were forgettable. But the other six? He set a standard that perhaps Pedro Martinez once approached, but no one ever topped.
In 1966, he went 27-9 with a 1.73 ERA. He started 41 games, and completed 27 of them. And then he quit. Said he didn’t want to risk permanent injury to his golden arm (the left one), and he walked away. Trying to figure out what he’d be worth in today’s baseball dollars would give a sabermetrician a splitting headache.
Since 1966, he hasn’t exactly been baseball’s Garbo, but he has chosen his public appearances quite carefully. That makes his appearance in Cromwell one to remember.
Back in the day, producers in L.A. took note of Koufax’s good looks, and worked him into a number of television shows, often with his teammates. So we leave you with this: Sandy Koufax pitching to “Mr. Ed.”
(Thanks to BG, who pointed this out.)