Finding the Left Arm of God

Sandy Koufax and the Los Angeles Dodgers, 1960–1963

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SKU: 9780786474158 Categories: , , , Tags: , , ,

About the Book

This is the story of the L.A. Dodgers’ volatile fortunes during Sandy Koufax’s transformation from a wild left-hander with a losing record on the verge of quitting the game, to an artist with exquisite control of the baseball—a veritable Mozart on the mound. From the Dodgers’ sudden plunge into the baseball wilderness in 1960, to their return to pennant contention in Koufax’s breakout year of 1961, through their catastrophic 1962 season—precipitated by Koufax’s freak midseason finger injury—to their redemption in 1963 with their second World Championship on the West Coast, the narrative is set against the backdrop of John F. Kennedy’s fleeting New Frontier presidency.

About the Author(s)

Attorney Brian M. Endsley lives in Pleasant Hill, California.

Bibliographic Details

Brian M. Endsley

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 296
Bibliographic Info: 64 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7415-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1894-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Prologue 3
Part I. 1960: Return to the Wilderness
One. Bright Beginnings 9
Two. Changes, Losses, and a Glimpse at Greatness 19
Three. Out of the Woodshed and into Contention 31
Four. Facing Reality in the Year of the Pirates 41
Part II. 1961: The Great Awakening of Sandy Koufax
Five. Leo 61
Six. Turning Point in Florida 66
Seven. April—A Full Moon and a New Koufax 71
Eight. Koufax Takes Off! 80
Nine. Showdown in August 96
Ten. The Coliseum Era Comes to an End 105
Part III. 1962: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times
Eleven. The Dodger Stadium Era Begins 117
Twelve. A Season Goes Numb 124
Thirteen. Life Without Koufax 137
Fourteen. Black September 146
Fifteen. Left Behind in October 165
Part IV. 1963: Return to the Summit
Sixteen. A Season Riding on a Finger 183
Seventeen. Life Is Good on Planet Koufax 196
Eighteen. An August Lull Becomes a September Fight 221
Nineteen. Four Days in October 242
Twenty. The Apotheosis of Sandy Koufax 250
Epilogue 253
Appendix: Sandy Koufax Statistics (Career; 1961; 1962; 1963) 255
Chapter Notes 267
Bibliography 279
Index 283

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “In this, the second volume of a trilogy on the Dodgers in the Koufax era (1958–1966), Endsley details Koufax’s crucial contributions to the transplanted Brooklynites’ struggle to return to pennant contention. The early ’60s were heady and hopeful times and Endsley paints them vividly and ably, contextualizing what was still a fundamentally conservative sport even as the times they were a changing”—The Daily Beast
  • “an effective examination of the transformation of one hurler’s career. Endsley’s work demonstrates the powerful impact of combining pure athletic talent, statistical analysis, and coaching in order to bring out the best in a player…highly informative and enjoyable work that baseball fans, both of the statistical and ‘regular’ variety will surely enjoy”—Sport in American History