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.
Many of the baseball beat writers feel the Detroit Tigers are the best team in the major leagues. While I haven't seen all of the pre-season articles, the ones I have read pick the Tigers to top the Central division in the American League.
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.)
Last season the Philadelphia Phillies had a Rosenberg, the St. Louis Cardinals had a Rosenthal, and the Arizona Diamondbacks had a Goldschmidt.
As of early December, some 72 former major leaguers had died in 2012. The number is much higher than any of us would have guessed.
What an unusual postseason it was. The Yankees looked inept against the ferocious Tigers and the Tigers in turn looked toothless against the San Francisco Giants as they were swept in the World Series.
Ralph Kiner turns ninety on the 27th of October. Where have the years gone? Many Jewish Press readers grew up watching Kiner's Korner, the post-game television show featuring yesterday's heroes and the Mets' one-day wonders.
For the first time, Israel will participate in the qualifying round of the World Baseball Classic. That's the good news. The bad news concerns the dates they'll be playing in Florida. Earlier in the year it was thought the early rounds would start in other countries before moving to Florida in November. Assuming Israel would still be in the WBC games, the Florida site would be Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.
Last year I told you about my "mancation" (men only) to a city to check out its Jewish community and major league team and ballpark. Last year it was Pittsburgh and Cincinnati; this year's first "mancation" destination was Cleveland.
Every time Delmon Young come to bat, gets on base or makes a play in the field, we are reminded of his anti-Semitic rant in New York back in April.
The 40th yahrzeit of Abe Stark, who died at 77 in July 1972, is almost upon us. Those of you who remember Ebbets Field, abandoned by the Dodgers in 1957, can recall the Abe Stark sign on the bottom of the scoreboard embedded in the right field wall.
I was lucky enough to have met and interviewed many Hall of Famers including Joe DiMaggio, Hank Greenberg, Ted Williams and Stan Musial. I also had the chance to meet and gab with many of the stars from the old Negro Leagues who went on to play in the major leagues after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier – Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Larry Doby, Monte Irvin and Satchel Paige. But I never had the chance to meet Jackie Robinson.
The 2012 baseball season should be a most interesting one. Every game is important. No longer can a team just play for the Wild Card spot and have an equal shot with the three division winners at participating in the World Series (as St. Louis did last year).
Sixty years ago and fifty years ago. 1952 and 1962. They were memorable years for many of us.
Craig Breslow and Jason Marquis will be wearing different uniforms this season. The two pitchers also share a unique trait among those labeled “Jewish players” by the media: Breslow and Marquis both have two Jewish parents.
I was one of 2,400 people at the recent Yeshiva Beth Yehudah dinner held in downtown Detroit.
Seventy-eight degrees and sunny. That's what it was that Thursday afternoon in November when I arrived in Tampa, site of the Yankees Fantasy Camp. That's what it was that Thursday afternoon in November when I arrived in Tampa, site of the Yankees Fantasy Camp. After checking into the Sheraton Suites where the campers were staying for the Monday through Saturday camp, I shuttled to George M. Steinbrenner Field (where the Yanks play during spring training and also the home of the Tampa Yankees, three levels below the major leagues), to join the camp in progress.
Wow! What a finish to the 2011 baseball season. Even before the interesting seven-game World Series won by St. Louis, there was incredible drama in the final month.
Two months ago I told you about my "Mancation" (men only, we visit different cities, check out a ballgame and the shuls, etc.).
It was Hank Greenberg's 25th yahrzeit recently and I said Kaddish for baseball's biggest Jewish superstar.
On one of those cable financial stations the other day, one of the talking heads was explaining the concept of "Mancations."
While there are great rates on fares to the Miami area this time of year, it's not a place most people want to visit in the summer, unless, of course, they have relatives or good friends to visit or a simcha to attend.
Jason Marquis became the first Jewish pitcher in 31 years to collect 100 career victories. Pitching for the Washington Nationals this year, Marquis (pronounced Mar-kee) earned his first big-league win ten years ago by beating the Mets at Shea Stadium while pitching for the Atlanta Braves. Jason, who'll turn 33 on August 2, has also pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies.
A local Orthodox attendance record was set at Detroit's Comerica Park on Sunday Chol Hamoed Pesach as an estimated 500 frum fans were in the stands. They saw a good game as the Tigers downed the White Sox 3-0 on a beautiful sunny day. Seven families from my shul returned with suntans and they reported many shuls were represented in all sections of the downtown ballpark, about a 20-minute ride from my dugout.
Every team has a bad week. Good teams, however, go through it less often. It all play out over the course of the season, so don't pay too much attention to where good teams are listed in the standings early on.