web analytics
November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Brooklyn Dodger Memories

Gil Hodges as a Brooklyn Dodger and as manager of the New York Mets.

Gil Hodges as a Brooklyn Dodger and as manager of the New York Mets.

A few months ago I wrote about the passing of my brother-in-law, Rabbi Shmuel Kunda, z”l, and how  he never got around to a project I urged him to take on. I wanted him to title it “Boruch Goes to Ebbets Field” and tell the story of how Boruch bonds with Brooklyn’s beloved Dodgers – with Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges and the rest. (The Duke was my brother-in-law’s favorite.)

The column evoked many e-mails from readers. One was from Mrs. Chavie Zelmanowitz of Brooklyn, who also had a special  brother-in-law and who was a frequent visitor to Ebbets Field.

“The Duke,” she wrote, “was my favorite and I have my autographed Duke Snider baseball to go along with my husband’s autographed Mickey Mantle baseball (in a safety deposit box) – my husband being the ultimate Yankees fan. When I went to work for a Manhattan firm in 1956 the best perk were season box seats at Ebbets Field.”

You’ve probably heard of her special brother-in-law, Abe (Avremel) Zelmanowitz, z”l.

“He worked with a quadriplegic man for 12 years at Empire Blue Cross and they became close friends,” Mrs Z. wrote about the events of September 11, 2001. “They were on the 27th floor of Tower One and Avremel could have saved himself but he chose to remain with his friend Ed, after telling Ed’s aide to leave since she had been on a higher floor and was affected by smoke and coughing badly. Sadly, they and a fireman who was with them all perished.”

How does a youngster born on the other side of the ocean and who doesn’t speak much English develop a fondness for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Gil Hodges? I posed that question to Rabbi Moshe Bergstein, one of the respected and beloved rabbis of the Detroit community.

“I was born in a displaced persons camp in Eshwege, Germany, and my first language was Yiddish,” Rabbi B. began.

“I first learned English in yeshiva in Brooklyn and my first real contact with baseball was at Ira Brustein’s apartment in 1953,” the rabbi continued. “He was watching a Dodgers game. We got a television the following year and I was hooked on the Dodgers. Gil Hodges became my favorite player. He was a great hitter and a great first baseman and the other players respected him.”

Rabbi Bergstein is one of many who want to see Hodges enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

“After all,” the rabbi reminds us, “for seven consecutive seasons, 1949-1955, Hodges drove in at least 100 runs and at the time of his retirement in 1963 he had 370 career home runs, which was the National League record for a right-handed hitter at the time. He was also the  best defensive first baseman of his era. And he won the World Series as manager of the 1969 Miracle Mets.”

It’s been 41 years since Gil Hodges, still a relatively young man, died suddenly and shockingly after playing golf in West Palm Beach, Florida. I pass the area each time I go on the 15-mile jaunt from my winter dugout in West Palm’s Century Village to Jupiter, spring home of the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins. Current and former Jewish Press employees winter here because of the Aitz Chaim shul a  pop-up away from the Village and the lower prices for housing than is found at other Florida sites.

Fifteen big league teams use Florida sites (Grapefruit League) and 15 clubs are housed in Arizona (Cactus League). Spring training should shed some light on the questions most bandied about by the national media:

● Is Toronto baseball’s most improved team?

● Are the Yankees beginning a steep decline?

● Are the Red Sox just an average team?

● Does Detroit have a lock on the top spot of the American League Central?

● Are the Angels the best in the West?

● Is Cincinnati the best team in the National League?

● Can the Dodgers spend their way to the top?

● Are the Phillies good enough to contend?

I’ll try to answer these and other questions next month.

About the Author: The author of 10 books, Irwin Cohen headed a national baseball publication for five years and interviewed the legendary Hank Greenberg. He went on to work for a major league team and became the first Orthodox Jew to earn a World Series ring. He can be reached in his Detroit area dugout at irdav@sbcglobal.net.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Brooklyn Dodger Memories”

  1. Walter Stolz says:

    all my friends growing up were Dodger fans and when we spoke about them they were known as the boys..as in did you see what the boys did today? when the Boys Of Summer was published it fast became my favorite book, I still have a poster of the.
    1955 World Champs on the wall in my den.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Is that a chicken or Tzipi Livni ready to be sacrificed?
Coalition Plays ‘Chicken’ and Runs Away from New Elections
Latest Sections Stories
Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Astaire-112114-Horse

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

L to R: Sheldon Adelson, Shawn Evenhaim, Haim Saban

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

South-Florida-logo

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

It was a land of opportunity, a place where someone who wasn’t afraid of a little hard work, or the challenges of adapting to a different climate and culture, could prosper.

Rule #1: A wife should never accompany her husband to hang out with his buddies at a fantasy football draft. Unless beer and cigars are her thing, that is.

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

The two World Series combatants, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, were Wild Card teams (meaning they didn’t win their respective divisions) that got hot at the right time.

More Articles from Irwin Cohen
J.D. Martinez

The two World Series combatants, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, were Wild Card teams (meaning they didn’t win their respective divisions) that got hot at the right time.

War hero Lou Brissi’s card was a much-sought-after one in Topps’s inaugural 1952 collection.

Many former baseball players who left us with happy memories also passed away in the past year.

“No kid is worth a million dollars to sign,” Newhouser said, “but if one kid is, it’s this kid.”

Zimmer was popular with veteran teammates like Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese and Duke Snider – and with a rookie lefthander named Sandy Koufax.

I’m sure readers noticed those full-page advertisements that ran prior to last month’s meeting about the situation at the Brooklyn home of Rabbi Moshe Tuvia Lieff, rav of Agudas Yisroel Bais Binyomin. Avrohom chaired the even along with his brother Menachem, a prominent askan and the president of Lubicom.

I spoke twice during Pesach. The first topic was the Holocaust and Jewish ballplayers and the second was how I, a frum-from-birth Jew, ended up in major league baseball.

Even if a player reaches the big league level, there’s still no guarantee he’ll remain with one team for long. Former Jewish outfielder Richie Scheinblum comes to mind.

The snow has melted in most parts of the country and here in Florida, where I have my winter dugout in the Orthodox enclave of Century Village in West Palm Beach, I had the opportunity to take in several spring training games.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/sports/baseball-insider/brooklyn-dodger-memories/2013/02/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: