My mother still gets emotional when she remembers how Sandy Koufax chose not to pitch the first game of the World Series in 1965 because it fell on Yom Kippur.
An old friend gave me a baseball with a photo of Shawn Green on it that has a place of prominence on my desk.
And determining if there are enough Jewish players in the Major Leagues to form a minyan (maybe if you reach down into the minors) is something akin to a parlor game.
Well, apparently there have been enough Jews in the Major Leagues for a fifth edition of “Jewish Major Leaguers” baseball cards, which Upper Deck is to begin shipping next week. The 2009 edition of 50 cards purports to include all Jews in the majors in 2008, including Milwaukee Brewers left fielder and former Hurricane Ryan Braun; Scott Schoeneweis; Gabe Kapler; Brad Ausmus; Ian Kinsler; and Kevin Youkilis (who knew?). Actually, as it turns out, lots of people knew -- check out Denis Leary discussing Youkilis' faith a few years ago here.
The set also includes “a newly-discovered player from the past,” according to a release: Bill Hurst, who was born in Miami Beach and pitched in two games for the Marlins in 1996. The set includes three former team owners – Andrew Freedman of the New York Giants (1895-1902); Julius Fleischman of the Cincinnati Reds (1902-1925) and Judge Emil Fuchs of the Boston Braves (1923-1935). Also in the set: Jerome Holtzman, MLB’s official historian, who died last year.
Jewish Major Leaguers is selling 3,000 of the sets for $36 apiece plus $3 for shipping. Find out more at jewishmajorleaguers.org.