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October 27, 2003|Larry Stewart

What: "Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy" (paperback edition).

Author: Jane Leavy.

Publisher: Perennial/HarperCollins.

Price: $13.95.

The book that became an instant bestseller and drew so much attention last year is now available in paperback. Jane Leavy, a former Washington Post sportswriter, uses Koufax's perfect game against the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 9, 1965, as a backdrop as she adeptly weaves the story of Koufax's life in between pitches.

Koufax initially resisted the writing of the book, but eventually warmed up to Leavy and didn't prevent her from talking to anyone. More than 400 people were interviewed, and the result is a marvelous book, filled with many interesting stories and anecdotes.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday October 29, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 1 inches; 61 words Type of Material: Correction
Jane Leavy -- Jane Leavy, the author of "Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy," will appear at a lecture and book signing at the Jewish Community Center of Orange County, 250 E. Baker St., Costa Mesa, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The name of the organization was reported incorrectly as the Junior Chamber of Orange County in Hot Corner on Monday in Sports.

One thing that stands out if you read the book a second time is that in 1963 Koufax had a problem with the New York Post, the same newspaper he had a problem with after it printed an untruthful item about him in a gossip column last December.

In 1963, the Post printed a story that revealed that Irving Koufax was not Sandy Koufax's biological father. He was born to Jack and Evelyn Braun, who were divorced when Sandy was 3. In 1963, divorce was more of a stigma than it is today, and newspapers didn't delve into the personal lives of athletes.

The Koufax biography was Leavy's second book. Her first, "Squeeze Play," also was recently released in paperback. The only similarity between "Squeeze Play" and the Koufax book is that both deal with baseball. "Squeeze Play" is an outlandish novel about a female sportswriter who covers a fictitious baseball team, the Washington Senators, through the 1989 season. It has been called baseball's version of Peter Gent's "North Dallas Forty."

Leavy, currently on tour to promote the release of the two paperbacks, will be at the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center next Sunday night and at the Junior Chamber of Orange County meeting in Costa Mesa on Nov. 4.

-- Larry Stewart

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