Furthermore, [Koufax] says, he and Larry King have never been friends.
In fact, he says, even though they grew up in the same neighborhood, he didn't get to know King until long after both had left Brooklyn behind. King was on the radio by the time they met, and the Carvel story had already become a part of his life.
"I asked him about it," Koufax remembers.
"He just laughed."
At the end of the piece, Finkel asks King why he keeps telling the Koufax story. Finkel writes:
"I don't know," King says.
He becomes indignant. "I would not regard it as significant," he says of a story that he has been telling for more than 30 years. "I don't think it has anything to do with my credibility."
He gets defensive. "What makes Sandy's memory perfect?"
He turns humble. "I'm embarrassed."
Koufax is so deeply embedded in King's psyche that almost two decades after his public humiliation in the Post, he still can't give him up. On Page 291 of My Remarkable Journey, King writes:
I barely have time to stop and look at the scrapbook of my seventieth birthday party or the picture of me and Sandy Koufax on the street corner with a bunch of kids when we were teenagers. I really don't look back.
Addendum, May 22: More on Larry King's twisted relationship with his personal history in the June GQ.
Derek Jeter and I used to drive to Paw Paw, Mich., on Sunday afternoons to play a little pickup ball with Charlie Maxwell. It's a true story! One time Jeter said to me, he said, "Shaf, I'll betcha if we drove to Lake Michigan right now, I could drink that whole sumbitch in one gulp." Charlie—we called him "Paw Paw"—Charlie said, "It's time we call Jeter's bluff." And we did. Boy were we surprised when he sucked that lake dry and spat it out like a fountain. See my Twitter feed for more of the same or send e-mail with your own inventions to firstname.lastname@example.org. (E-mail may be quoted by name in "The Fray," Slate's readers' forum; in a future article; or elsewhere unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)