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Old 09-23-2019, 07:43 PM
StusBlues is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 4,649
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
I'll add Otto Graham and Marion Motley of the Cleveland Browns. Both only played ten years, and both were dominating presences in their time.
As noted above, ten years really isn't an exceptionally short career for an NFL player.

On Koufax's age comparisons: it is widely acknowledged that Sandy's career was...weird. As a bonus baby, they couldn't farm him out, so he missed out on the great training in Montreal and St Paul that characterized so many Dodger standouts of the era -- he had to work out his early wildness on a major league bench, and he was only a marginal player for six years. He had a blazing fastball, but got behind on hitters and couldn't stay in the rotation. Then he had a legendary eureka moment during spring training in 1961, adopting an easy motion instead of bearing down. Suddenly, he could hit the corners with that amazing lefthanded heat, and he was a different player for six years before putting down his glove due to chronic arthritis. His top ten comparable pitchers at age 30 are Roger Clemens, Jim Palmer, Tom Seaver, Lefty Gomez, Dwight Gooden, Dave McNally, Greg Maddux, C.C. Sabathia, Vida Blue, and Clayton Kershaw. Five Hall of Famers, the best pitcher of the last ten years, and two guys who were on the express train to Cooperstown until they pulled into Cocaine Depot, plus two guys who got off to much better starts than Koufax (Sabathia was 17-5 as a 20-year-old rookie), but didn't do a lot past 30.

So yeah, by age 24 Koufax looked like a scrub who'd been moping around the league for six years. Then things changed.
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