Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Mystery Only Deepens . . .

Vin Scully says he's surprised, Joe Torre's still in shock, the mystery that is an elusive Sandy Koufax for so many years, is about to take center stage in Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.

There might never be a night like the one with Scully &John Wooden sitting together for 90 minutes as they did 18 months ago, but filling those chairs Feb. 27 with Koufax & Torre has the makings of something just as special.

Koufax has taken such a low profile that even though he gave his approval to the 2002 book, "Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy," he would not consent to being interviewed by the author, Jane Leavy.

In his 1966 autobiography, Koufax wrote, "When I told [my mom] I was writing this book, she asked if I'd give her one of the first copies so she could find out something about me. 'You never told me anything,' " she said.

Later he would add, "My folks didn't know that I was playing baseball at [the University of] Cincinnati, possibly because I didn't tell them."

But now he's agreed to sit across from Page 2 in front of 7,000 people, as good a guarantee as any that after Feb. 27 he will never speak publicly again -- making it truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"Try not to talk to him before Feb. 27," Torre suggested.

KOUFAX, THE Hall of Fame's youngest inductee at age 36 after retiring at age 30, tossed four no-hitters, Scully's "Two and two to Harvey Kuenn, one strike away," to immortalize Koufax's perfect game, still chilling today.

But beyond the history books, we know only bits and pieces. He has run marathons, he went to college on a basketball scholarship, he almost quit playing for the Dodgers before becoming a star, retiring later because of pain in his left arm -- an arm to this day he cannot straighten.

Some of what you hear is true, so much more a matter of misconception, finally a chance to separate the two.

And so why now, why has Koufax agreed to appear in front of so many people on Feb. 27 in Los Angeles?

It was as simple, it turned out, as asking him to do it for the benefit of those in need.

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