Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy Paperback – March 16, 2010
|New from||Used from|
"Ali: A Life" by Jonathan Eig
Ali: A Life breaks bold new ground, revealing Ali in the complexity he deserves, shedding important new light on his politics and his neurological condition. Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Sportswriter Leavy describes her book as not so much a biography of a ballplayer as a social history of baseball, with the former star pitcher's career as the barometer of change. While both a preface and an introduction spin Leavy's storytelling wheels, a compelling, literary social history does indeed get rolling. Koufax refused to participate in the project, so Leavy has spoken to hundreds of people with something to share on the former Brooklyn/L.A. Dodger Hank Aaron, Joe Torre, childhood friend and Mets co-owner Fred Wilpon and even the old Dodgers equipment manager among them and their testimonies make for a rich baseball pastiche and an engaging look at the game's more innocent period. Koufax capped off his first year by watching the 1955 World Series against the hated Yankees from the bench, and following the Dodgers' historic victory headed from Yankee Stadium to class at Columbia University, where he studied architecture (in case the baseball thing didn't work out). Even when Leavy's historical anecdotes are quaint, they prove timely: she details Koufax holding out for a better contract with fellow star pitcher Don Drysdale in '66, paving the way for free agency. While Leavy's interest in Koufax's Jewish heritage at times seems to border on the obsessive, she delivers an honest and exquisitely detailed examination of a complex man, one whose skills were such that slugger Willie Stargell once likened hitting against Koufax to "trying to drink coffee with a fork."
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This highly anticipated book affords a lucid examination of arguably major league baseball's all-time greatest southpaw pitcher, from his bonus baby days with the world-champion Brooklyn Dodgers to his receipt of three Cy Young awards as the game's top moundsman. But Leavy's (Squeeze Play) story is far richer than simply a tale of the promising youngster who finally struck gold. Calling on her hundreds of interviews, she offers a richly drawn account of an often misunderstood yet greatly celebrated athlete. Leavy also captures a not-too-distant era in American life when the scourge of anti-Semitism never lurked far beneath the surface. Koufax comes across as a boy from Brooklyn who was comfortable with his secular brand of Jewishness but didn't need to wear it on his sleeve. He was also a naturally gifted celebrity athlete, blessed by unique musculature, long fingers perfectly suited for power pitching, and movie-star looks. At the same time, the battles Koufax endured, with his own youthful problems and his manager, made him more determined to excel in the fashion that he would, particularly in five golden years, 1962-66, when he shone as baseball's finest. Offering an apt analysis of Koufax and pitching partner Don Drysdale's role in challenging baseball's antiquated reserve clause, this biography also dispels the notion that its subject, once out of baseball, proved a tormented soul. Highly recommended.
R.C. Cottrell, California State Univ., Chico
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 68%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
The story of Koufax's early career was unknown to me. I had no idea he spent the early years on the bench because Walter Alston wouldn't pitch him.
I recommend this book for an fan of the game of baseball.
This book captures elegantly the Koufax aura that existed at the time; young fans like myself were in awe of him; older fans realized how rare was his talent; and even his contemporaries on the diamond still carry memories of his incredible impact.
I personally went to buy Koufax's 1966 biography, which Sandy kindly autographed for me at Shillito's department store in Cincinnati, then went to see him beat the Reds that night in what turned out to be his final start in Cincinnati. I couldn't have known, until reading this book, just how tender his arm must have been on that September day, or that he knew even then that he was planning to retire only a month later. I still have the book, with his kind note addressed to me on the inside cover.
But beyond personal reasons, I liked the book for its interesting account of Koufax the man, breaking down the myth of the reclusive former superstar, while capturing the essence of his fun-loving and kind nature.
The book also revealed the intensely competitive nature of Koufax the athlete. Like many athletes of his day, he sacrificed his body, playing through intense pain in order to keep himself, and the Dodgers, in the game - or in the World Series. But in his case, the results had so much more of an impact on the game than any other single player in the lineup possibly could have.
All of this and more comes out in this very inside look at a man who gave baseball all he had, then proceeded to live out the rest of his life with the same intensity, returning to the sport when it suited him simply because he loved the game, the players and being able to satisfy some of the public curiosity that inevitably would build up over years and decades. He liked being out in public, but he liked his privacy, just as we all do.
Finally, for those who remember the role his Jewishness played in the public perception of him, we find in this book some very rich anecdotal material about this side of Sandy Koufax. The book would not have been the same without it, and the topic is well-covered. I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in this unusual man's life and career accomplishments.
That was not the case with this book but it didn't matter.
The author did a magnificent job of gracefully weaving the story of Koufax's life into the story of his 1965 perfect game. The rehashing of the time periods being covered at first seemed forced and too long but as you got used to the style they became an integral part of the story, creating a backdrop for the period of the subjects life that she was dealing with.
This is not a tell-all because frankly there is not much to tell. Koufax appears to be as amazing off the Dianomd as on and that comes through loud and clear.
It's a quick and complete read and I can't recommend this book more. It is a must biography not just among sports figures but among men (and women).
I finally decided to read Jane Leavy's book when I bought her recent bio on Mickey Mantle. I'm certainly glad I decided to read about the great Koufax. This book was pure baseball nirvana for me. Leavy structure is to intersperse each objective and insightful chapter on the life and career of Koufax with a chapter that covers each inning of his only perfect game (one of his three no-hitters) against the Cubs in 1965. That game might have been the best pitched baseball game ever when you consider it was the cleanest baseball box score in history -- 1 run, 1 hit and 1 error.... for BOTH teams. Perhaps because of Koufax's brilliance and aura, I never realized that the Cubs pitcher Bob Hendley lost this duel 1-0, giving up a solitary hit (it didn't factor in the run) and losing as the result of an error and a few stolen bases that led to the run.
Much of what Leavy covers was new to me --- from Koufax love of basketball, the lack of trust and outright mis-use (or no use) by Walter Alston, Dodger manager, for the first 6 years of Koufax's career, to his family background and the role of Judaism in his life. In the day of 24 hour sports cycles, coddled athletes, primadonnas and performance enhancing drugs, --- and leaves me with an even fonder appreciation for this baseball legend. The only thing that I truly regret after finishing this book was never having a chance to watch #32 pitch at the ballpark.
Most recent customer reviews
with math lessons on the curve ball.