web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Well-Traveled Ballplayers

Richie Scheinblum

Richie Scheinblum

The season has been underway for only a short time and already your favorite team has probably had spurts of looking playoff bound as well as days looking like a cellar-dweller.

Hitters can look good or bad more often than teams – often with each at-bat.

Pete Rose, who collected more hits than any other major leaguer (4,256) offers this advice to hitters on how to be more successful: “A hitter’s impatience is the pitcher’s biggest advantage. So take your time, get comfortable in the batter’s box, have nothing on your mind but who you’re facing.”

A hundred years ago, Ty Cobb, who ended his career with 4,191 hits (the best of all time until Rose passed him) said: “Every great hitter works on the theory that the pitcher is more afraid of him than he is of the pitcher.”

Fifty years ago, Stan Musial said, “The key to hitting is to relax and concentrate. But remember even if you hit safely only once every three times, you’ll be a superstar.”

As you know it’s a very long road to the major leagues. Most minor league players fail to reach the highest minor league level and only four of every hundred ever get a taste of the major leagues during the regular season.

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.

Scheinblum hit his first big league home run on July 20, 1969, the day man landed on the moon. Soon after that memorable day, he orbited around from team to team and league to league.

With Cleveland in 1969 for 199 at-bats, Scheinblum never hit another home run and only batted .186. It was back to the minor leagues in 1970, but two years later, playing for the Kansas City Royals, Scheinblum would have his best year in the big leagues, hitting .300 with eight home runs. He’s the only Jewish switch-hitter to bat .300 in a season.

In 1973 Richie started the season with the Cincinnati Reds before being traded to the California Angels. He ended the season with four homers, batting .307 in 283 plate appearances. He was back in the minors two years later. In the end he’d racked up a major league career that was spread over seven seasons with seven teams. He changed uniforms 16 times before ending his pro career in Japan with the Hiroshima Carp.

Scheinblum was the first Jewish player to play in Japan. Today, Kevin Youkilis, the Jewish third baseman/ first baseman who was with the Yankees last season, is trying to continue his pro career in Japan, hoping to impress big league scouts and earn a ticket back to the majors.

But no other Jewish player matched the wanderings of catcher/outfielder Burton Solomon. The Brooklyn native who was born in 1924 never reached the major leagues in a professional career that spanned from 1942 to 1952.

At times, Solomon only played one game with one team before moving on. He was literally “The Wandering Jew.” Only twice did he play in more than 10 games with one team.

Solomon played for teams in Americus, Ga; Utica, NY; Norfolk and Richmond, Va; Memphis, Tn; Watertown, NY; Topeka, Kan; Lynchburg, Va; Charlotte, NC; Welch, W. Va; Vicksburg and Natchez, Miss; Fulton, Ky; Hagerstown, Md; Augusta, Va; and Longview, Texas in only eight seasons.

In 1950, Solomon went to Quebec to play for St. Hyacinthe. In 1951 he was back in the U.S. and went south to Texas City, Texas and Lafrayette, Louisiana. He closed his professional playing career in 1952 with stints in Spokane, Washington, and Corpus Christi, Texas.

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.

2 Responses to “Well-Traveled Ballplayers”

  1. David Boone says:

    As a kid, I was Dodger fan in the early 60's living in the suburbs of L.A.. One of my favorite players was pitcher Sandy Koufax. One of the all-time greats in my book.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jawwal Cellular Communications HQ
Hamas Robs Bank of Palestine
Latest Sections Stories
Ganz-091214-Fifty

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

Goldberg-091214

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

Women's under-trousers, Uzbekistan, early 20th century

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

The interpreter was expected to be a talmid chacham himself and be able to also offer explanations and clarifications to the students.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

“On Sunday I was at the Kotel with the battalion and we said a prayer of thanks. In Gaza there were so many moments of death that I had to thank God that I’m alive. Only then did I realize how frightening it had been there.”

Neglect, indifference or criticism can break a person’s neshama.

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

The assumption of a shared kinship is based on being part of the human race. Life is so much easier to figure out when everyone thinks the same way.

Various other learning opportunities will be offered to the community throughout the year.

More Articles from Irwin Cohen
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.

Derek Jeter

“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.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/sports/baseball-insider/well-traveled-ballplayers/2014/04/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: