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Extended Audio Sample Sandy Koufax Audiobook, by Jane Leavy Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,797 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jane Leavy Narrator: Jane Leavy, Robert Pinsky Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2009 ISBN: 9780061956416
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“The incomparable and mysterious Sandy Koufax is revealed…. This is an absorbing book, beautifully written.” —Wall Street Journal

“Leavy has hit it out of the park…A lot more than a biography. It’s a consideration of how we create our heroes, and how this hero’s self perception distinguishes him from nearly every other great athlete in living memory… a remarkably rich portrait.” — Time

The instant New York Times bestseller about the baseball legend and famously reclusive Dodgers’ pitcher Sandy Koufax, from award-winning former Washington Post sportswriter Jane Leavy. Sandy Koufax reveals, for the first time, what drove the three-time Cy Young award winner to the pinnacle of baseball and then—just as quickly—into self-imposed exile.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Leavy has written a very good and meaningful book about baseball. She knows the game and she is acute in placing it in its social context. She writes gracefully and with feeling.” 

    Los Angeles Times Book Review 

  • “An exhaustively researched study that paints an intriguing portrait of the famously reclusive Dodger pitcher.” 

    Sports Illustrated

  • “A rich baseball pastiche and an engaging look at the game’s more innocent period…An honest and exquisitely detailed examination of a complex man.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The author’s extensive research and interviews with Koufax’s friends and former ballplayers are extraordinary…Highly recommended…Hard to imagine it being any better written.” 

    VOYA

  • “Comments from contemporaries in baseball as well as from others Koufax touched and continues to touch today make this audio absolutely inspiring…Very highly recommended.” 

    Library Journal

  • “A very convincing portrait…Leavy reveals also a man of dignity, honesty, and courtesy…Well-conceived and sharply drawn, a thinking fan’s biography.”  

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandon | 2/18/2014

    " I took this book with me once to my parents' house. My father asked me about it and expressed mild interest. A few months after I finished it he received it from his boss and then he told me all about this new book I should read entitled "Sandy Koufax." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 West | 2/16/2014

    " Story about the greatest player from the only team that matters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phillip | 2/13/2014

    " A great book about a great pitcher and a good guy. Koufax was so much better than anyone else in the league there's only ever been one pitcher that has approximated his success over a shot time period. Well written in a clever format. If you like baseball, and like the Koufax era, you'll enjoy this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rob Schoenbach | 2/2/2014

    " This book switches back and forth between Koufax's life story and his Sept 9 1965 perfect game. This aspect makes for a fun read. Being Jewish and growing up in New York in the 40s and 50s is what you learn about here. Being that Koufax was my Dad's athletic hero, I felt very close to him the 2 times I read this book. This book would make a great Bar Mitzvah gift :-) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Raymond | 1/28/2014

    " Sandy Koufax' story does not rank with Jackie Robinson's but the Koufax story is important nonetheless. Robinson was breaking a color barrier. Koufax was breaking a religious barrier. Minnesotans remember: Sandy Koufax refused to put his left arm into action for the opening game of the 1965 World Series because the opener fell on Yom Kippur. (Alas, Sandy won the seventh game of the Series; Minnesota lost 2-0.) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 noisy penguin | 1/26/2014

    " This is a fabulous biography. Left arm of God indeed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 HBalikov | 1/25/2014

    " A well-told biography about a truly legendary player at a pivotal time in the history of the sport. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian123 | 1/12/2014

    " Sandy has always fascinated me, probably one of the best lefties of all time. This is a very good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike Kriesel | 1/4/2014

    " Now I understand why he is considered one of the greatest left-handed pitchers of all-time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rick | 1/4/2014

    " There's been nobody great better. Great story of Sandy and the times in which he pitched. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve Tornello | 12/20/2013

    " Baseball books are usually written with an elegance and romanticism that invites skepticism. Because Sandy Koufax has such an aura about him, this book's eloquence came from unraveling his mysterious persona through the stories of those who admired him. Great stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caitlin | 11/26/2013

    " This book juxtaposes Koufax's life and baseball life between each inning of his perfect game. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 11/9/2013

    " If you like baseball, read this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 8/30/2013

    " A fabulous biography! Brought back huge childhood memories! I have tremendous respect for the man, and understand now why he stepped out of baseball at only the age of 30. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 7/28/2013

    " Very good baseball read. Part of me wishes I was alive when this guy was in his prime because for those years he sounds like he was out of this world with those two pitches (fast and faster). Leavy does a good job trying to define his persona now outside of baseball, too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Franklin | 10/2/2012

    " Sandy was a good book, but I was expecting leavy to make it a real page turner. Instead it was enjoyable and worth reading. Recommended for the subject material even if the writing was only mediocre. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Riley | 9/6/2012

    " One of the most glowing biographies I've ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 8/1/2012

    " Jame Leavy is a great sportswriter. For this effort she chose one of the most enigmatic ballplayers of all time. Koufax added nothing to the book personally yet Leavy does a masterful job of painting the complete pictures by research by those close to the lefty. Very nice read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adam | 6/6/2012

    " Pedro was better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 11/19/2011

    " Sandy Koufax was before my time, but even with a little knowledge of baseball, one knows that he was a pitcher to be reckoned with. I found this book intriguing as to how good he really was and what the other players thought of him and his ability to pitch. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Boivin | 9/29/2011

    " Very well written book about a great baseball player and even more fascinating man, I recommend it to anyone who likes baseball "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tommy | 8/10/2011

    " A well-written book that reminds us - in this era of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens - that ballplayers can lead lives of integrity on and off the field. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark R. McCallum | 4/25/2011

    " Great retelling of Koufax' career built around the drama of his perfect game. Well pitched. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 4/22/2011

    " i READ THIS BIOGRAPHY OF SANDY KOUFAX WHEN IT FIRST CAME OUT SEVERAL YEARS AGO. I DO LOVE MY SPORTS BIOGRAPHIES. KOUFAX IN MY OPINION WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST PITCHERS OF ALL TIME "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 1/14/2011

    " great bio of a great pitcher. Learned a lot about Dodger and baseball history "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sasha | 1/12/2011

    " going to pass it on to you soon sarah!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brandon | 12/21/2010

    " Made me a huge fan. Great look into the history of the man and a great interpretation of his perfect game against the cubs. Great stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louis | 12/1/2010

    " An essential book for any Dodgers fan. It's also interesting for the backstory of how Leavy drew out her very reticent subject and win his cooperation. I just bought her biography of Mickey Mantle and am looking forward to it as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben | 11/20/2010

    " I really liked this book. It was a good representations of one of the best pitchers in baseball history. The author really engages the reader and is very effective at communicating un-tangible things like anti-semitism or other discriminatory factors. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellie | 8/18/2010

    " This is probably a very good book, but I think I was looking for more about Sandy, the man----my error. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leslie | 2/4/2010

    " I understand that not everyone is into sports or baseball. But this is really a fantastic bio of one of the greatest left-handed pitchers to ever throw a ball. I heart lefties. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Olivia | 8/14/2009

    " Well, he is my favorite baseball player of all time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stacey | 7/18/2009

    " Never quite finished it...I found it interesting, but hard to read at night when I was reading it. The writing style is complex and you have to pay attention throughout. "

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About the Author

Jane Leavy is an award-winning former sportswriter and feature writer for the Washington Post. She is the author of Sandy Koufax and the comic novel Squeeze Play, called “the best novel ever written about baseball” by Entertainment Weekly. She lives in Washington, D.C.

About the Narrator

Robert Pinsky was born on October 20, 1940 in Long Branch, New Jersey. He received a B.A. from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and earned both an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Stanford University, where he was a Stegner Fellow in creative writing, and studied under the poet and critic Yvor Winters .

He is the author of several collections of poetry, most recently Gulf Music: Poems; Jersey Rain (2000); The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996 (1996), which received the 1997 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and was a Pulitzer Prize nominee; The Want Bone (1990); History of My Heart (1984); An Explanation of America (1980); and Sadness and Happiness (1975).

He is also the author of several prose titles, including The Life of David; Democracy, Culture, and the Voice of Poetry (2002); The Sounds of Poetry (1998), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Poetry and the World (1988); and The Situation of Poetry (1977). In 1985 he also released a computerized novel, Mindwheel.

Pinsky has published two acclaimed works of traslation: The Inferno of Dante (1994), which was a Book-of-the-Month-Club Editor's Choice, and received both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award ; and The Separate Notebooks by Czeslaw Milosz (with Renata Gorczynski and Robert Hass ).

About his work, the poet Louise Glück has said, "Robert Pinsky has what I think Shakespeare must have had: dexterity combined with worldliness, the magician's dazzling quickness fused with subtle intelligence, a taste for tasks and assignments to which he devises ingenious solutions."

From 1997 to 2000, he served as the United States Poet Laureate and Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. During that time, he founded the Favorite Poem Project, a program dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry's role in Americans' lives.

In 1999, he co-edited Americans' Favorite Poems: The Favorite Poem Project Anthology with Maggie Dietz. Other anthologies he has edited include An Invitation to Poetry (W. W. Norton & Company, 2004); Poems to Read (2002); and Handbook of Heartbreak (1998).

His honors include an American Academy of Arts and Letters award, both the William Carlos Williams Award and the Shelley Memorial prize from the Poetry Society of America, the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, and a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. He is currently poetry editor of the weekly Internet magazine Slate .

Pinsky has taught at both Wellesley College and the University of California, Berkeley, and currently teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.