Picks and Pans Review: Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy
Who knew that Sandy Koufax, the Dodger pitcher who famously declined to start a 1965 World Series game because it fell on Yom Kippur, was never even bar mitzvahed? Unfortunately, that's one of the few revelations in a biography built on more than 400 interviews with friends and teammates who were finally given permission to speak by the reclusive Koufax, now 66.
The result is little more than a rehash of the oft-told life story of an ex-basketball prospect who became such a dominating pitcher that his fastball, Stan Musical once said, seemed to speed up in midair. But when arthritis forced him into a pre-game regimen of slathering his arm with hot pepper paste, Koufax just walked away. Leavy never really explains why baseball's greatest lefty—who could've banked on his celebrity for a generation—disappeared after his 1966 retirement, forsaking the legacy of the book's subtitle. (HarperCollins, $23.95)
Bottom Line: Great pitcher, less than great bio