Let me tell you about my new book.
Like you, I’m interested in Jewish baseball players and Jewish history. So, after years of research, first-hand observations and interviews, I combined the aforementioned information from the post-civil war era to the present and came up with a book titled Jewish History in the Time of Baseball’s Jews: Life on Both Sides of the Ocean.
As I am one of the few around today to have interviewed the biggest Jewish sports hero of all time, the iconic Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg, the book will shed more light on him, his era and his post-playing years.
Another of the book’s perks is the foreword by Jewish Press Senior Editor Jason Maoz, which ties in well with the theme of the book.
The book was born when I took a tour of the new Holocaust Memorial Center in suburban Detroit about eight years ago. The docent turned out to be a former pro baseball player whose grandfather pitched in the major leagues. The docent and I became friends and he confided that he had married out of the faith and had never been inside a Jewish house of worship until his sixties.
I invited him to an Ohr Somayach Lunch ‘n Learn with one of those rabbis you always see in the Pesach hotel ads in The Jewish Press. My new friend liked what he heard and became a regular at the lunches. His wife also started to attend and eventually converted. You’ll read more about it in the book’s introduction.
Besides Jewish ballplayers, the docent and I shared an interest in Jewish history. We wondered what was happening to Jews on the other side of the ocean while Jews here were following Jews on the baseball field. We also wondered what would have happened to us if we’d been born on the other side of the ocean as Hitler dominated Europe and the targeting of Jews was the national pastime there.
The book contains information in narrative form on the following:
* The politician who went on to become president but kept it a secret that during the Holocaust he helped smuggle hundreds of Jews into the United States.
* The mayor of New York whose brother-in-law and nephew were murdered by the Nazis.
* The Jewish player who targeted Hitler’s top atomic scientist.
* The Jewish player who spied for America – and his final words.
* Sammy Cohen, who changed his name and had a long major league career.
* The Jewish player who suffered a heart attack during a game and died shortly afterward while still wearing his uniform.
* The pitcher who was scheduled to make his first major league start but was called home to sit shiva.
* Players who were sons of rabbis.
* Players became synagogue presidents.
* What every Jewish college student should know.
The aforementioned is just some of what you’ll find, along with more than 130 photographs.
So why isn’t the book, which is aimed at a national audience, in stores around the country?
Because mainstream publishers would have made an issue of my firm opinions on Israel and on what is happening on college campuses regarding Israel, which I write about in the book’s final chapter. Every word in this book is mine and I didn’t want an editor removing or changing my wording. So I had to pay for the printing and, hopefully, some day I’ll break even.
Maybe I’ll try to find a publisher in the future make some compromises so that the book can be seen by a larger audience. For now, though, the only way to get the book is by contacting me.
To order this informative book and get free shipping, send a check for $24.95, payable to Irwin Cohen, 25921 Stratford Place, Oak Park, Michigan, 48237-1027.
Of course you can buy several books. Each additional one is only $19.95. They make great gifts.
About the Author: Author, columnist, and public speaker Irwin Cohen headed a national baseball publication for five years and worked for a major league team, becoming the first Orthodox Jew to earn a World Series ring. His column appears the second week of each month. He can be reached in his suburban Detroit area dugout at email@example.com.
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