Book review: "Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy" by Jane Leavy

Posted on August 23, 2008

Did Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax even enjoy playing baseball? As one of baseball's all-time best pitchers (and arguably the best left-handed pitcher), Koufax grew up wanting to play basketball. Instead, he turned in eight so-so years and four ridiculously remarkable ones in his second-favorite sport.

The book "Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy" by Jane Leavy alternates chapters between Koufax's perfect game, the last of four no-hitters he pitched. Many people do not realize that Cubs pitcher Bob Hendley pitched a one-hitter, losing 1-0 on an error.

But that's not the only thing people fail to realize when reviewing Koufax's career. During a time period when African-American players were just starting to play in the majors, there was also discontent from allowing Jewish individuals to compete. While Koufax did not go through all the same hardships as some of his teammates, he was scorned for various reasons, including his religion, his penchant for being a recluse and, essentially, his statue among the greatest.

Leavy does a wonderful job alternating between the perfect game and Koufax's life. This book is one of the better baseball biographies I've read, and I've read a ton of them.