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Saturday, April 18, 2009

You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax? (Juvenile Fiction)

Released February 2009

Reviewed by Deb Fowler

Sandy was a Jewish kid that grew up in Brooklyn. He was one of those kids who was fabulous at any sport he tried, including baseball, and rumor had it that he could “throw as hard as a pro.” It wasn’t long before scouts came down to see what this whippersnapper was all about. When Al Campanis invited him to join the Brooklyn Dodgers his answer was faster than his pitch.

His pitching was wild and crazy, but his personality wasn’t. Now Sandy Koufax was a guy that could make a church mouse sound loud. Even though Don Drysdale and Don Newcombe tried to get him to relax, he still couldn’t manage it. At the end of the season he got so disgusted he took his uniform and chucked it right in the trash and “says nothin’ to nobody, just leaves. Quitsville.” He eventually became the “greatest lefty who ever pitched in the game of baseball,” but how did he make a comeback from being a guy who couldn’t even control his pitches?

This book has a lot of panache and the first person point of view, spoken with a Brooklyn accent, makes this brief baseball biography much more interesting. The full color lenticular cover has a moving illusion of Koufax throwing a strike when you move the book. Sidebars with baseball information and stats are scattered through the book and a concise glossary of baseball terms is in the back.

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