Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jews and Baseball

Saturday we drove to the Kew Gardens Theater to see the documentary Jews and Baseball. Over the years there have been very few Jewish professional athletes, but this film tells a little about several Jewish baseball players. Much time was devoted to Hank Greenberg who played from 1933-47 except for his service in World War II. One season Hank hit 58 home runs and it was believed that many fans did not want him to break Babe Ruth’s record since he was Jewish.

Al Rosen who played for the Cleveland Indians and later worked as a baseball executive was also profiled.

Sandy Koufax was arguably the best left-handed pitcher of all time. Sadly, his career was cut short by an arm injury. Of course the film mentioned the fact that Sandy refused to pitch on Yom Kippur during the World Series of 1965 against the Minnesota Twins. I didn’t realize that Elliot Maddox who played for the Yankees and the Mets was Jewish. It is believed that Rod Carew was Jewish, but he was not. There was only a brief reference to Ark Shamsky of the 1969 Mets. Shawn Green who played for the Blue Jays, Dodgers and Mets was one of the more recent players profiled in the movie.

I recommend this movie for all baseball fans Jewish or not.

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