Don Drysdale says he’s in good physical shape – strong legs, good reflexes, timing just as good as ever. Only one thing is bothering him but it’s forcing his retirement. The 6-foot-6 Los Angeles Dodger right-hander said yesterday he was quitting baseball because of a painful baseball because of a painful injury to his right shoulder, an injury diagnosed as a torn “rotary cup…what gets your arm in position to throw and creates elasticity.” Team physician Dr. Frank Jobe prescribed complete rest for Drysdale, but the impatient patient didn’t want to postpone the inevitable. Drysdale confirmed doctors said he could continue to pitch, but he would always be troubled with injuries and wouldn’t be able to perform at peak.
Walter Alston seemed to best summarize the feeling of all the Dodgers when he said: “I’m sure I owe Don Drysdale as much as I owe any individual player for all these years.” The veteran manager cut short his remarks, obviously moved deeply. Then he brushed away a tear. Drysdale, a local product from Van Nuys High School, was the last active player among the Dodgers who moved to Los Angeles from Brooklyn in 1958.