Books: A Prince of a Pitcher

A new biography of Sandy Koufax suggests the Dodger great was stellar on and off the mound

Any experienced reader of baseball biographies would know that when Jane Leavy began her book about Sandy Koufax, she was already behind in the count. Strike one: most baseball biographies are about as interesting as foul balls. Strike two: in the 36 years since he last threw his atomic fastball, Koufax has accommodated the intrusions of reporters about as frequently as he used to accommodate opposing hitters.

Even so, Leavy has hit it out of the park. Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy (HarperCollins; 282 pages) is a lot more than a biography. It's a consideration of how we create our...

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