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Sandy Koufax defined and distinguished himself by what he did on the baseball field and what he refused to do In 1965 at the pinnacle of his illustrious career and as the dominant sports figure of the day Sandy Koufax refused to pitch the opening game of the World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur the holiest day of the Jewish calendar To the Jewish community Koufax was the source of unimaginable pride at the time barley twenty years after the Holocaust To the baseball community Koufax was a man among men Koufaxs induction into the Hall of Fame and selection to the All-Century Team was based mostly on a remarkable five-year stretch when he dominated the game like no one had before Another remarkable aspect of his career is that for a good portion of it he pitched with an arm injury that kept him in constant pain He relieved the pain with a mix of painkillers ice baths and an analgesic balm that was so strong people cried when they were around him Sandy Koufax was one of few athletes who never cashed in on his fame Success never went to his head He maintained friendships with his childhood buddies from Brooklyn and around his teammates he was known for treating everyone the same regardless of their color or hierarchy as an athlete Through hundreds of discussions with players managers fans and fellow sports writers Leavy pieces together the story of the handsome articulate complex Brooklyn-born south paw who conquered baseball and the sports world at large Sandy Koufax A Leftys Legacy is a wonderfully written book with helpful background and insight from friends and former teammates Anyone who enjoys baseball or stories that are so remarkable that they leave you in awe then this is a book that should be at the top of your list
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