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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 03:43 pm
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beejmi
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Tiger Woods was in a car accident yesterday and you hear things like crushed feet and bones and followed up with the promise of recovery and the installation of rods, pins and screws. One has to wonder if Woods will ever step onto a golf course again.



So- give me a career that got cut short.



I'll go with the legendary SANDY KOFAX. Only pitched 12 seasons. retired at age 30. Arthritis in his pitching arm the culprit. I believe as a pitcher he won an MVP award also.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 04:27 pm
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Superstar
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Billy Sims, as mentioned in the Superstars post. Other notable football players - Marcus Dupree, Terrell Davis, Neil Lomax. In baseball, the standard bearer is Tony Conigliaro. I won't get into the people that died, it's morbid and not where I think Beej is aiming. As far as Koufax goes, what makes him so much more amazing is that he really didn't have what you'd call a good season until 1962. And the last two seasons his arm was really, REALLY bad. As in, he couldn't bend it the day after he pitched, and he had fluid drained out of it a couple dozen times. Yet he threw 54 complete games in those last two seasons, and a total of 658 innings pitched. In 1965, he also made two relief appearances and got two saves. How crazy is that? And, do you think if worked like a 2000's era pitcher where he maybe makes 28 starts a year and goes six innings that he may have lasted until 1969? I think it's certainly possible.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 04:43 pm
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srossi
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Bo Jackson obviously. Imagine what he could've done if he stayed even remotely healthy.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 04:44 pm
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J.R. Richard-suffered a stroke while playing catch before a game in 1980.Done at age 30.

Lyman Bostock-He quickly became a favorite player of mine playing for the Twins. Shot dead at 27 after 4 seasons. 

Curt Flood-by his own volition really, but all future ball players can thank him for taking a stand.


Mark Fidrych-One great season, then injuries. Done at 26. 



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 04:57 pm
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“Señor Sack” Gabe Rivera - DT for the Pittsburgh Stillers. Drunk-driving accident paralyzed him from the neck down.

Darryl Stingley - WR Patriots paralyzed by hit by “The Assassin” Jack Tatum.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 05:49 pm
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So many in motor racing. For a while in the 1950s winning the Indy 500 seemed to be a curse. 1951 winner Lee Wallard never raced in it again after serious burns soon afterwards; 1953-4 winner Bill Vukovich was killed leading the 1955 race; 1955 winner Bob Sweikert was killed soon after; 1956 winner Pat Flaherty missed 3 years with a serious injury; 1957 winner Sam Hanks retired in Victory Lane; 1958 winner Jimmy Bryan died at Langhorne 2 years later.

The more poignant ones are those killed before they had a chance to make their name. Tom Pryce, the only Welshman to win a Formula 1 race, killed at Kyalami in 1977 when a fire marshal ran in front of his car at top speed. Stefan Bellof, Marcel Albers, Bertrand Fabi, all top talents. Tony Brise, a surefire can't-miss talent, killed in a plane crash after his first F1 half-season. François Cevert, favourite for the 1974 world title, cut in half at Watkins Glen in 1973.

More recently, Stateside, Tony Renna, in an accident so gruesome nobody talks about it. The rumour is that he was shredded by the catch-fencing. Sam Schmidt and Robert Wickens have been put in wheelchairs.

Jim Clark died aged 32 when he already had the record for most Grand Prix wins. And the one nobody knows is Guy Moll; Enzo Ferrari rated him one of the top three of all time (with Nuvolari and Moss) but he was dead at 24, caught out by a sirocco while making an overtaking manoeuvre at Pescara.

Last edited on Wed Feb 24th, 2021 05:49 pm by kargol



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 05:53 pm
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Before there was Walter Payton---


Bears RB Gale Sayers. Basically only played five full seasons ('65 to '70) before tearing up his knee too badly to really go on. Was already on pace to do crazy numbers. Still made the HOF ...youngest inductee ever.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 05:55 pm
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Joe Delaney
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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 06:21 pm
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George Best. One of the world's greatest footballers and the greatest ever from Northern Ireland, alcoholism led to his career all but ending at the age of 27. Best played for Manchester United for 11 seasons, making his first appearance aged 17, playing a total of 470 games and scoring 179 goals. At age 27, he should have been reaching the peak of his abilities and could have played at the top level for 10 more years, but he spent those years playing at a far lower level everywhere in the English speaking world (Scotland, Ireland, South Africa, the USA) trading on his name and past glories. He later died at age 59 due to complications with a liver transplant.

Last edited on Wed Feb 24th, 2021 06:23 pm by Kriss



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 06:24 pm
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brodiescomics



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Angelic Assassin wrote: J.R. Richard-suffered a stroke while playing catch before a game in 1980.Done at age 30.
He is the first player I thought of as well.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 06:44 pm
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WongLee
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Herb Score - Rookie of the Year in 1955 and won 20 games in 1956. He set the record for rookie strikeouts that held on to 1984 when Dwight Gooden broke it. Score was on the AL All Star team in his first two seasons. In 1957 he was hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Gil McDougald and was never the same again.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 06:59 pm
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srossi
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brodiescomics wrote: Angelic Assassin wrote: J.R. Richard-suffered a stroke while playing catch before a game in 1980.Done at age 30.
He is the first player I thought of as well.

And I believe living under a bridge a few years later.  A truly tragic tale.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 07:39 pm
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lobo316
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Andrew Luck

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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 08:20 pm
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tamalie
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From his rookie season in 1975-76 through 1980-81, David Thompson of the Denver Nuggets was one of the most explosive and exciting players in the NBA as a shooting guard/small forward swing man. He was considered the heir to Dr. J before anyone had heard of Michael Jordan. However, he got into cocaine use late in his rookie season. It was out of control by the late 1970s, impacting his reliability. 

After a subpar 1981-82 season, and well aware of what was going in with his drug use, the Nuggets sent him to the Seattle Supersonics ahead of the 1982-83 season. He bounced back a bit and was voted as a starter in the 1983 NBA All Star Game, admittedly mostly on name and rep rather than performance that season, but the drugs took a deeper hold. During the 1983-84 season, while the Sonics were in New York on a road swing, Thompson had an altercation with a bouncer and either fell or was pushed down a flight of stairs.

The resulting knee injury ended his career. Including his rookie ABA season, in nine seasons he'd played in 5 All Star Games winning MVP honors in the game 2 times, been first team All NBA 2 times, had been second team All ABA and first team All ABA Rookie (by which time the NBA and ABA had comparable talent pools), had come in 2nd and 3rd in separate NBA MVP votes, had finished in the Top 5 NBA scorers 4 times with a another season in 6th and was in the Top 5 of his lone ABA season. When David Thompson played his final game in his 9th and last season as a pro, he was still 29.

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 Posted: Wed Feb 24th, 2021 09:17 pm
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Not a HOF (pro anyway) career but Christian Laettner was having a good NBA career until he ruptured his Achilles in the offseason in the late 90's. Up until then he was averaging 17 and 8 for his career and was a serviceable starter...he was never the same after that injury. Which always bugs me because people just assume he went to the NBA and never succeeded there but he made the all-star team in 97...he wasn't a superstar but he wasn't really a bust..



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