By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com February 25 2003 12:00 AM ET
The New York Post has apologized to Sandy Koufax and retracted a gossip column item that prompted the Hall of Fame pitcher to end his 48-year relationship with the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, which along with the Post is owned by News Corp.
The Post published a reference in December to an unidentified "Hall of Fame baseball hero" who is secretly gay. The paper said the player cooperated on a biography after the book's author, who also wasn't identified, agreed to keep the player's homosexuality private. Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy, by Jane Leavy, was published three months before the Post story appeared.
The Post now says the item was wrong, according to a statement published Saturday. "A two-sentence blind item we ran here on December 19 about a 'Hall of Fame baseball hero' has sparked a series of unfortunate consequences for which we are very sorry.... The author has denied making any deal with Koufax and called our item 'erroneous.' We apologize to both Koufax and Leavy for getting it wrong," the Post said.
In comments to the Los Angeles Times published Friday, Leavy said: "[The item] was blatantly unfair, scandalous, and contemptible." Koufax told the Dodgers he would no longer attend spring training at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla., visit Dodger Stadium, or participate in any Dodger-related activities while the team is owned by News Corp.