The 1951 season also saw the last Jewish player in the history of the St. Louis Browns (who became the Baltimore Orioles in 1954).
Harry Duquesne Makowsky was born in Paris, France, and was seven years old when the family moved to New York and changed their last name to Markell. Living four blocks from Yankee Stadium, Harry mastered baseball and English and idolized Hank Greenberg.
After serving in the military in World War II, Markell began his pro baseball career with the nickname “Duke” and reached the majors in 1951. Markell appeared in just five games, winning one and losing one with a very high ERA of 6.33.
Duke Markell would be released the following spring and continue his career in the minors before becoming a New York City police officer.
The 1951 World Series took place within walking distance of where Markell grew up. Only the Harlem River separated Yankee Stadium from the Polo Grounds.
Looking for a good Chanukah present for a baseball fan Irwin Cohen’s book is titled “Tiger Stadium/Comerica Park,” but it’s the story of an Orthodox Jew in the baseball field and how the whole thing was bashert. To order, send a check for $19.95, payable to Irwin Cohen, to 25921 Stratford Place, Oak Park, Michigan, 48237. Cohen, the president of the Detroit area’s Agudah shul, can be reached in his dugout at firstname.lastname@example.org.