Sandy Koufax A Lefty's Legacy (Hardcover)
|Author: Jane Leavy|
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|An award-winning sportswriter presents this fascinating and eye-opening biography of Dodger great Sandy Koufax, a pitcher who changed the game of baseball forever. Leavy reveals the man behind the myth, creating an unprecedented portrait of a man described by one former Dodger as the most misunderstood man in baseball. 8-page photo insert.|
From the Publisher:
In an era when too many heroes have been toppled from too many pedestals, Sandy Koufax stands apart and alone, a legend who declined his own celebrity. As a pitcher, he was sublime, the ace of baseball lore. As a human being, he aspired to be the one thing his talent and his fame wouldn't allow: a regular guy. A Brooklyn kid, he was the product of the sedate and modest fifties who came to define and dominate baseball in the sixties. In Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy, former award-winning Washington Post sportswriter Jane Leavy delivers an uncommon baseball book, vividly re-creating the Koufax era, when presidents were believed and pitchers aspired to go the distance.
He was only a teenager when Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley proclaimed him "the Great Jewish Hope" of the franchise. But it wasn't until long after the team had abandoned Brooklyn that the man became the myth. Old-fashioned in his willingness to play when he was injured and in his acute sense of responsibility to his team, Koutax answered to an authority higher than manager Walter Alston. When he refused to pitch the opening game of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, he inadvertently made himself a religious icon and an irrevocably public figure. A year later, he was gone -- done with baseball at age thirty. No other sports hero had retired so young, so well, or so completely.
Despite Sandy Koufax's best efforts to protect his privacy, his legend has grown larger ever since. Part biography, part cultural history, Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy gets as close to that legend as he will allow. Through meticulous reporting and interviews with five hundred of his friends, teammates, and opponents, Leavy penetrates the mythology to discover a man more than worthy of myth.
Based on hundreds of interviews with family, friends, and players, this biography of the legendary pitcher for the Brooklyn and (later) Los Angeles Dodgers recalls the unique style and achievement of this Hall of Famer. Koufax played from 1955 through 1966, and set many records, including pitching a perfect game. Through it all, he was determined to be just an ordinary person, but one who lived and played on his own terms.
"We scarcely know Koufax at all, but after Jane Leavy's delightful SANDY KOUFAX: A LEFTY'S LEGACY, we probably know him as well as anyone needs to." - Allen Barra 10/13/2002 Kirkus Reviews
"Well-conceived and sharply drawn, a thinking fan's biography." 09/01/2002