Western Brooklyn

Bensonhurst Native Son Sandy Koufax Memorialized In Wood

Baseball Dodgers Pitcher Koufax
Loren Kantor's woodcut of Sandy Koufax

Loren Kantor lived in Brooklyn and growing up, Bensonhurst native son Sandy Koufax was his hero.

It was that apotheosis of the famous Dodgers pitcher in Kantor’s childhood home that led him to make a woodcut print of Koufax.

“I never saw him pitch, I was too young. But my dad would talk about him over and over, as if speaking about a Biblical prophet,” he told Bensonhurst Bean.

And if woodcut seems like an odd way to memorialize someone in this digital day and age, well, we thought so, too. But Kantor explained to us that that art form is about definitive-ness, which perhaps lends some permanence to fleeting memories.

“Something about the boldness of the lines and the old-school nature of the images. My grandfather was a Torah scribe.  He used to tell me, ‘One mistake and you have to start over.’  Woodcuts are the same way. One bad cut and you have to start over,” Kantor said.

The Koufax woodcut further evokes the idea of perfection. From writing Torah or carving wood to pitching a World Series shutout game, in each man there is an unmatched dedication to their craft.
To see more of Kantor’s work, visit his website at woodcuttingfool.blogspot.com.
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  1. Not for nothing, but Koufax spent many of his growing up years in Borough Park too! After his parents divorce, there were also four years in Rockville Centre, before moving back to the homeland, and playing first base and basketball for Lafayette. Just another one of those many, regular guys from southern Brooklyn, who have made a major positive impact on American life! The biggest mystery though, is why at the Modell’s on Bay Parkway, along with all those seminal photographs of the 1955 World Champion Brooklyn Dodgers, a team he played on at the time, there is no photograph of this Hall of Famer, who is arguably the best pitcher, ever?! The only guy on that team who actually grew up, and played ball, in that general neighborhood! Go figure?


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