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Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy Paperback – Illustrated, March 16, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 499 ratings

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  • Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Leavy has hit it out of the park…A lot more than a biography. It’s a consideration of how we create our heroes, and how this hero’s self perception distinguishes him from nearly every other great athlete in living memory…a remarkably rich portrait.” — Daniel Okrent, Time magazine

“Ms. Leavy has done a dizzying amount of reporting—more than 400 interviews—and Koufax doesn’t just survive the scrutiny, he emerges from it larger than ever. . . Ms. Leavy humanizes her subject even as she demythologizes him. The incomparable and mysterious Sandy Koufax is revealed…This is an absorbing book, beautifully written.” — Jonathan Mahler, Wall Street Journal

“A baseball classic; the first in-depth reporting on the life and career of the Dodger icon…a must read.” — New York Daily News

“An exhaustively researched study that paints an intriguing portrait of the famously reclusive Dodger pitcher.” — Sports Illustrated

“A perfect game of a book…Jane Leavy scatters the clouds of mythology to show us, after all these years, the man Koufax.” — The Sporting News

From the Back Cover

No immortal in the history of baseball retired so young, so well, or so completely as Sandy Koufax. After compiling a remarkable record from 1962 to 1966 that saw him lead the National League in ERA all five years, win three Cy Young awards, and pitch four no-hitters including a perfect game, Koufax essentially disappeared. Save for his induction into the Hall of Fame and occasional appearances at the Dodgers training camp, Koufax has remained unavailable, unassailable, and unsullied, in the process becoming much more than just the best pitcher of his generation. He is the Jewish boy from Brooklyn, who refused to pitch the opening game of the 1965 World Series on Yom Kippur, defining himself as a man who placed faith over fame. This act made him the standard to which Jewish parents still hold their children. Except for his autobiography (published in 1966), Koufax has resolutely avoided talking about himself. But through sheer doggedness that even Koufax came to marvel at, Jane Leavy was able to gain his trust to the point where they talked regularly over the three years Leavy reported her book. With Koufax′s blessing, Leavy interviewed nearly every one of his former teammates, opponents, and friends, and emerged with a portrait of the artist that is as thorough and stylish as was his command on the pitching mound.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper Perennial; Illustrated edition (March 16, 2010)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0061779008
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0061779008
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.31 x 0.79 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 499 ratings

About the author

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Jane Leavy is the author of the New York Times bestseller Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy and the comic novel Squeeze Play, which Entertainment Weekly called "the best novel ever written about baseball." She was a staff writer at The Washington Post from 1979 to1988, first in the sports section, then writing for the style section. She covered baseball, tennis, and the Olympics for the paper. She wrote features for the style section about sports, politics, and pop culture, including, most memorably, a profile of Mugsy Bogues, the 5'3" guard for the Washington Wizards, which was longer than he is tall.

Before joining the The Washington Post, she was a staff writer at womenSports and Self magazines. She has written for many publications, including The New York Times, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, The Village Voice, and The New York Daily News. Leavy's work has been anthologized in many collections, including Best Sportswriting, Coach: 25 Writers Reflect on People Who Made a Difference, Child of Mine: Essays on Becoming a Mother, Nike Is a Goddess: The History of Women in Sports, Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend: Women Writers on Baseball, A Kind of Grace: A Treasury of Sportswriting by Women, and Making Words Dance: Reflections on Red Smith, Journalism and Writing.

She grew up on Long Island where she pitched briefly and poorly for the Blue Jays of the Roslyn Long Island Little League. On her parents' first date, her father, a water boy for the 1927 New York football Giants, took her mother to a Brooklyn College football game. She retaliated by taking him to Loehmann's after the final whistle. It was a template for their 63-year union. As a child, Jane Leavy worshipped Mickey Mantle from the second-floor ballroom in the Concourse Plaza Hotel where her grandmother's synagogue held services on the High Holidays.

Jane Leavy attended Barnard College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she wrote her master's essay (later published in The Village Voice) on Red Smith, the late sports columnist for The New York Times, who was her other childhood hero.

She has two adult children, Nick and Emma Isakoff, and she lives in Washington, DC, and Truro, Massachusetts.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
499 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Top reviews from other countries

gibson
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 5, 2015
a.
5.0 out of 5 stars Livré une journée plus tôt.
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on September 10, 2020
Noella H.
1.0 out of 5 stars DONT BUT
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on April 12, 2021
FitsFan25
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on April 29, 2018
AVanAMAZON
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book about a very good pitcher
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on October 22, 2018