A biography suitable for chapter book readers, this look at the famous baseball pitcher’s life focuses almost entirely on his professional baseball career from the late ‘50s to the mid-60s. Koufax came to sports from a Brooklyn Jewish home. His grandfather Max influenced his upbringing and instilled Jewish values and religion. Koufax came to the major leagues from success in several sports. His college career highlighted the blazing speed of his pitches, but shaky control. Once signed to the major leagues, the rules at the time forced the Brooklyn Dodgers, to keep him on the major league roster before he was ready for it. The result was several frustrating, inconsistent, and far from successful years in Brooklyn. After Koufax established his control, he became perhaps the premiere pitcher of his time. He maintained that status for a relatively few years before injuries forced his premature retirement after his team moved to Los Angeles. At the beginning of one of his team’s World Series appearances, Koufax’ refusal to pitch on Yom Kippur brought his commitment to his faith into the public eye. The facts are presented clearly, accurately, and chronologically and with notes that help baseball novices understand its terminology. The information appears to be only public record and conjecture about the feelings of this quiet, non-public man’s life. Frequent boxed sidebars bring helpful details and tidbits to the story. For ages 8 – 12.
Steve Silverman has an M.A. in Special Education and has taught elementary school for more than twenty-five years.