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Koufax retires, but still part of Dodgers

MLB.com @kengurnick

PHOENIX -- After the Dodgers confirmed on Friday that Sandy Koufax is no longer a member of the team's front office, the Hall of Famer issued a statement on Sunday clarifying his departure.

"I'm 80 years old and I have retired," said Koufax. "I have not quit. I'm still part of the Dodgers' organization and always will be especially as long as Mark and Kimbra Walter are part of ownership. I will do most of what I have done in the past with no official title. I hope all the players, coaches, manager and everyone else in the clubhouse have successful and healthy seasons with a spectacular ending. See you Opening Day."

PHOENIX -- After the Dodgers confirmed on Friday that Sandy Koufax is no longer a member of the team's front office, the Hall of Famer issued a statement on Sunday clarifying his departure.

"I'm 80 years old and I have retired," said Koufax. "I have not quit. I'm still part of the Dodgers' organization and always will be especially as long as Mark and Kimbra Walter are part of ownership. I will do most of what I have done in the past with no official title. I hope all the players, coaches, manager and everyone else in the clubhouse have successful and healthy seasons with a spectacular ending. See you Opening Day."

Koufax, who returned to the organization in 2013 as special advisor to the chairman, made his first appearance at Spring Training on Friday and met with former teammate Maury Wills, manager Dave Roberts, fellow left-hander Clayton Kershaw and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, among others.

Lon Rosen, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said Koufax was visiting as a very "close friend of the organization" and that the parting was "very amicable".

As special advisor to Walter, Koufax would spend about a week in camp, working with pitchers and consulting with the front office. Much of that role was due to his post-playing job as a Minor League pitching instructor with the organization.

In 1979, Koufax began an 11-year stint with the Dodgers as a Minor League pitching instructor. He's been highly lauded for his ability to translate mechanical themes and mental approach into simple language for pitchers.

Koufax was estranged from the organization after it was sold by the O'Malley family to News Corp., which also owned publications that delved into Koufax's private life. Koufax resurfaced when the club was bought by Frank McCourt and was an occasional Spring Training visitor, as he has been with the New York Mets, who are owned by Koufax's childhood friend, Fred Wilpon.

Koufax was a three-time unanimous Cy Young Award winner with four no-hitters, an MVP Award, three 25-win seasons and five consecutive ERA titles to his credit. In each of his Cy Young seasons, he led the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts. He threw 54 complete games in his last two seasons, led the league in strikeouts four times and innings pitched his last two years.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com.

Los Angeles Dodgers