web analytics
July 23, 2014 / 25 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



The Jewish Father Of The World Series

Barney Dreyfuss

Barney Dreyfuss

The World Series was born 110 years ago. So were the New York Yankees, as New York inherited the remnants of the old Baltimore Orioles, a charter member of the new American League that was formed in 1901. A year later the team was headed to last place and bankruptcy. Manager John McGraw jumped to the National League New York Giants to assume the same position and brought some Orioles players with him.

What was left of the Baltimore Orioles became part of the new New York club, named the Highlanders. The name was chosen after a famous British army regiment and the lofty location of the new New York ballpark.

Hilltop Park, a wooden stadium that could accommodate 15,000, was rushed to completion in upper Manhattan along Broadway from 165th to 168th streets.

Many Jewish boys living in New York with Yiddish-speaking and reading parents spent most their free time in good weather playing baseball.

A popular feature of Abraham Cahan’s Yiddish language Jewish Daily Forward was Cahan’s “Bintel Brief” advice column. An immigrant from Russia, who couldn’t understand his son’s fascination with the popular American game, sent the following letter:

“It makes sense to play dominoes or chess. But what is the point of a crazy game like baseball? The children get crippled. Here in educated America adults play baseball. They run after a leather ball like children. I want my boy to grow up to be a mensh, not a wild American runner. But he cries his head off.”

The letter and Cahan’s reply appeared in the August 3, 1903, edition. Cahan’s answer was for all fathers with the same problem: “Let your boys play baseball and play it well,” Cahan advised, “as long as it does not interfere with their education or get them in bad company. Chess is good, but baseball develops the arms, legs, and eyesight. It is played in the fresh air. Let us not raise the children that they grow up foreigners in their own birthplace.”

A Jewish foreigner, Bernard Dreyfuss, developed a love for baseball and would eventually develop the World Series.

Bernard was born and educated in Germany. He apprenticed as a bank clerk before arriving in America in 1882 at age 17. A smallish fellow with a thick German accent, Barney as he became known, made his way to Paducah, Kentucky, to help out at a distillery owned by relatives.

Working his way up from scrubbing barrels to assistant bookkeeper, a bout with illness led a doctor to advise Dreyfuss to get more exercise by playing baseball.

Dreyfuss followed the doctor’s orders, enjoyed playing, and decided to invest in the game by operating a semipro team. In 1888, the 23-year-old Dreyfuss became a naturalized citizen and the distillery relocated to Louisville.

Dreyfuss met Florence Wolf in Louisville and the pair hit it off as both were Jewish and loved baseball. They married in 1894, and five years later they were the major owners of the Louisville club, which was a member of the National League at the time.

When the 12-team National League decided to contract to eight teams, the Louisville club was targeted for extinction. A deal was engineered to allow Dreyfuss to purchase a half interest in the Pittsburgh Pirates and take fourteen of his Louisville players with him. By the time the American League was born in 1901, Dreyfuss was the major owner of the Pirates.

The Pirates topped the National League in 1901 and 1902; however, when the season ended there was no series of games between the best team in each league to determine which one was baseball’s best.

The Pirates were on their way to topping the National League again in 1903 and the Boston club was on its way to clinching first place in the American League. Dreyfuss wrote his Boston counterpart, trumpeting the merits of a series of games between the two leagues’ best teams.

“The time has come for the National League and American League to organize a World Series,” Dreyfuss wrote. “It is my belief that if our clubs played a series on a best-out-of-nine basis we would create great interest in baseball, in our leagues, and in our players. I also believe it would be a financial success.”

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.

No Responses to “The Jewish Father Of The World Series”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The new peace partners; Hams leader Khaleed Meshaal (L) and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas
Khaled Mashaal Rejects Ceasefire and Says Israel Must Disarm for Peace
Latest Sections Stories
book-Family-Frayda

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

book-I-Kings

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

book-Unify-A-Nation

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten defines a mentch as “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character.”

Certainly today’s communication via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and the like, including the ubiquitous Whatsapp, has reduced the need to talk with people and communicate at length.

These two special women utilized their incredibly painful experience as an opportunity to assist others.

Maybe we don’t have to lose that growth and unity that we have achieved, especially with the situation in Eretz Yisrael right now.

Sleepily, I watched him kissing Mai’s chubby thighs.

I have always insisted that everything that happens to anyone or anything is min Shamayim.

My teachers like me and they tell my parents that I am a great girl with good middos.

The chicken and waffle nuggets were fabulous and were like chicken in a dessert form.

“Have you forgotten your dreams?” The Hope Merchant asks a defeated and hopeless Lily when she “happens” upon his shop.

The universe was created by God out of nothing; it has not always existed.

More Articles from Irwin Cohen
Baseball-Insider

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.

Baseball-Insider

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.

If you’re visiting spring training sites, Arizona has two advantages – fewer games are rained out and the facilities are much closer to each other than is the case in Florida.

There were 15 Jews in the major leagues during the 2013 season, but only a few from a Jewish mother.

Musial told the taunted Jackie Robinson: “I want you to know that I’m not like many of the other guys on my team.”

    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/sports/baseball-insider/the-jewish-father-of-the-world-series/2013/10/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: