Koufax’s arm had been giving him problems since 1965, and rather than play through it and have it affect him the rest of his life, he gave it all up at the age of 31. After what he had all ready accomplished in his life, I don’t blame him. Had modern surgery been available, and at the ready like it is today, who knows how things would have turned out?
Hershiser made three All-Star Game appearances (1987-1989) throughout his career and won one Silver Slugger award in 1993. 1995 and 1997 were the only other times when Hershiser came close to winning another World Series ring. In both of those seasons he and the Cleveland Indians made it to the end, but came up short losing to the Atlanta Braves and Florida Marlins respectively.
#34 was an interesting specimen. Having grown up playing ball in Mexico he was a diamond in the rough when he was brought into the league in 1980. In 1981, his first full season, Valenzuela went 13-7 with a 2.48 ERA and a league-high 180 strikeout to become the first, and only pitcher to win the Cy Young Award and Rookie of the Year in the same season. His dominance and pleasant manner made him a fan favorite amongst the hodgepodge of cultures that resided in Los Angeles and the surrounding area. Fernando-Mania, as they called it, took over the game and opened up the pathway for other talented players to cross the border and show off what they had.
From 1981-1986 Valenzuela made six consecutive All-Star Game Appearances, finished in the Top-five for the NL Cy Young three additional times(1982, 1985-1986), won two Silver Slugger awards (1981 and 1983), one Gold Glove award in 1986 and two World Series rings in 1981 and 1988.