Rewind: The Left Arm of God

Since then only his address has changed – and many times, at that. DiMaggio, baseball’s other legendary protector of privacy, was practically Rodmanesque compared with Koufax. DiMaggio was regal, having acquired even the stiff-handed wave of royalty. We watched the graying of DiMaggio as he played TV pitchman and public icon. Koufax is a living James Dean , the aura of his youth frozen in time; he has grayed without our even knowing it. He is a sphinx, except that he doesn’t want anyone to try to solve his riddle.
Koufax is 63, in terrific shape and, thanks to shoulder surgery a few years back, probably still able to get hitters out. (In his 50s Koufax was pitching in a fantasy camp when a camper scoffed after one of his pitches, “Is that all you’ve got?” Koufax’s lips tightened and his eyes narrowed – just about all the emotion he would ever show on the mound – and he unleashed a heater that flew damn near 90 mph.)
I am standing in a tunnel under the stands behind home plate at
Dodger Stadium on a clear summer night in 1998.

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