Odd and premature retirements

�cUnknown date and location; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax (32) in action. Koufax led the Dodgers to three World Series titles and had a 0.95 earned run average in four World Series. Koufax also threw four no-hitters in four consecutive seasons and set a new mark for strikeouts with 382 in 1965. Mandatory Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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30-year old New Jersey Devils player Ilya Kovalchuk announced his retirement. He retires with $77 million and 12 years remaining on his contract. Here's a look back at some odd, abrupt or premature retirements by star athletes over the years.

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