Thursday, May 31, 2012

the last book I ever read (Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy, excerpt three)

from Jane Leavy's Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy:

In the hall outside the gym at Lafayette High School in Brooklyn, there is a display case heralding the names of the seventeen boys who became major leaguers--among them the Aspromonte brothers, Ken and Bob, Al Ferrara, Larry Yellen, John Franco, and Sandy Koufax. His pictures are long gone from the school library, empty frames in yellowing yearbooks. "Sandy's glove was here, too," longtime baseball coach Joe Gambuzza said. "But someone broke the showcase and took it."

The school, now called "Hell High," was unable to field a team for the 2002 season. Not enough interest. Not enough passing grades. The last generation of players trained and competed on Ben Sherman Field, named for the team doctor who, according to legend, set Koufax's broken finger, thereby enabling him to fulfill his unknown destiny. Players dress in dank, cinder-block bunker adjacent to the field where Gambuzza sat one spring afternoon, before he retired in 2001, in a three-legged chair dispensing the same paradoxical advice to two young pitchers given to Koufax fifty years ago. Don't throw so damn hard. Let 'em hit the ball.

No comments:

Post a Comment