SI Vault
December 20, 1965
The year was rich in excellence. Princeton's Bill Bradley astonished the nation by leading his Ivy League team to the semifinals of the NCAA basketball tournament. Gary Player won the U.S. Open to complete his career sweep of all the major golf titles. Jimmy Clark showed his total command of the racing car. Distance Runners Michel Jazy and Ron Clarke broke one world record after another. Willie Mays hit home runs, stopped fights and just missed winning the pennant for San Francisco. But beyond everyone stood Sandy Koufax, Sportsman of the Year (see cover). He overcame a depressing physical disability that manifested itself in spring training (he had to pack his elbow in ice after each game during the season) and spread-eagled baseball as he pitched the Dodgers to the world championship. Of him, baseball's Paul Richards said, 'This man has a sense of responsibility beyond gain and glory.' Jack Olsen asked the normally reticent Koufax about that sense of responsibility—the management of excellence—and got this unique interview KOUFAX ON KOUFAX
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December 20, 1965

Koufax On Koufax

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Well, I like sporting events, but I don't go to as many as I used to. Mostly I stay home and watch them on television. Then I can be comfortable, get up and get a cup of coffee, whatever I want. To my mind, color television has done more for football. It's great.

Color TV's a little hard on you, though, because it shows your heavy beard.

So? It vouldn't help, it vouldn't hoit!

Wouldn't there be a great temptation for somebody in your position to "go Hollywood"? You're living out here, you're a big hero, you must be invited to be a member of these swinging crowds, but you don't do it.

Oh, I have a lot of good friends out here. It depends on what crowd you're in and how much they're swinging.

Isn't there a temptation to do what certain other ballplayers have done, to lose a lot of time in the bright lights?

If I'd been out here when I first started, there might have been a lot more temptation.

Yes, but the way you were going in those days you wouldn't have been much of a hero.

Oh, I agree with you. But there would have been a lot more temptation for a young kid.

What about long range, Sandy? What are your goals?

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