This story appears in the Aug. 12, 2019, issue of Sports Illustrated. For more great storytelling and in-depth analysis, subscribe to the magazine—and get up to 94% off the cover price. Click here for more.
A pitcher is a catapult, at root a simple machine analogous to what the ancient Greeks invented to launch arrows or stones at the enemy. Its name survives from the Greek kata, or "downward," and pallo, "to hurl." The modern translation, as it relates to five-ounce spherical payloads, is "Koufax."
In function and form, no pitcher typified the engineering marvel of propelling a baseball like Sandy Koufax.