As Purim approaches, thousands of Israeli children and families grapple with poverty
Detroit is in mourning.
The most popular sports figure around these parts will no longer be wearing a Detroit Tigers uniform.
Curtis Granderson, as you know, will be patrolling center field for the New York Yankees next year and probably for several years.
There were days of ranting and venting against Tigers’ management on Detroit’s sportstalk radio programs, but most didn’t realize the Granderson deal is a good one for both the Yanks and Tigers.
As you recall, in the three-team trade the Tigers gave up Granderson and pitcher Edward Jackson. The Yankees gave up center field prospect Austin Jackson (“A-Jax”) and pitchers Phil Coke and Ian Kennedy. The Arizona Diamondbacks surrendered pitchers Max Scherzer and Dan Schlereth.
The Yanks only get Granderson while Edward Jackson and Ian Kennedy go to the Diamondbacks and Detroit ends up with A-Jax, Coke, Scherzer and Schlereth.
The swap pays immediate dividends for the Yankees and will prove to be a great deal for the Tigers in the long run. The Diamondbacks may be the only losers.
A college grad whose parents are both teachers, Granderson is a great ambassador for baseball and a model citizen with an engaging personality. He’s glib, graceful, helpful and a favorite of groundskeepers and teammates. The New York stage will catapult him to superstardom.
Many of the off-the-wall doubles Granderson hit in Detroit’s Comerica Park will be home runs in cozier Yankee Stadium. Also, Yankee Stadium gives Granderson less area to patrol than the vast outfield at Comerica. With better hitters surrounding him in the Yankees’ lineup, Granderson should easily post a .280 batting average with 35 home runs.
* * *
As popular as Granderson has been among followers of the Tigers, George Kell enjoyed several decades of being loved during his long association with the Tigers.
Kell died last year at 85 and I think of him often. An All-Star third baseman and American League batting champion (he hit over .300 nine times) when I started following baseball 60 years ago in 1950, Kell joined Ernie Harwell in the Tigers’ broadcasting booth in 1960 and the pair was the best play-by-play team I’ve ever heard.
Kell’s voice was a combination of Mel Allen, Red Barber and Vin Scully. A friendly man with an Arkansas twang, Kell was also a great storyteller. A bad back and knee made traveling difficult and Kell left regular broadcasting duties after the 1996 season. But he would occasionally visit the broadcast booth and fans were treated to his calls at Tiger Stadium’s final game ever in 1999.
Kell was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983. I sent him a letter of congratulations and he responded with a longer letter. We corresponded at times through the years and I still have his letters.
In person, I enjoyed his stories; the modest Kell would always tell of the accomplishments of others, never his own. He broke into the majors a couple of years before Jackie Robinson and promised himself he would do what he could to help alleviate the plight of blacks. After gaining fame, Kell ran for the school board in his native Arkansas and was instrumental in integrating the schools.
I often prodded Kell to tell me about Hank Greenberg.
“Connie Mack traded me from the Philadelphia Athletics to the Tigers in 1946,” Kell said to my tape recorder. “That was Hank’s last year with the Tigers and the fans and writers loved him.
“I was in awe of him. I was a teenager in Arkansas and he was a big star and slugger in the late 1930s. Because of the war I never played against him until he returned late in the 1945 season and didn’t have much of a chance to get to know him.
“But when I came to the Tigers the following year, Hank greeted me warmly and took me out to dinner, something he did with all the new arrivals. He was a great charismatic guy and one of the smartest ballplayers of all time.
“Hank was the best I’ve ever seen at stealing signs when he was on second base. He would study the catcher’s moves and figure which pitches were coming and telegraph them with his own signs to us.”
Greenberg was the first inductee into the newly formed Michigan Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1986. He was, however, too ill to attend (cancer would claim him only a few weeks later).
Pinch-hitting for Greenberg at the kosher-catered affair attended by more than 300 people was Greenberg’s teammate and friend George Kell.
Irwin Cohen, the author of seven books, headed a national baseball publication for five years before earning a World Series ring working as a department head in a major league front office. Cohen, whose column appears the second week of each month, is president of the Detroit area’s Agudah shul and may be reached in his dugout at email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.
One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.
The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.
Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.
The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…
The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.
It captures the love of the Jewish soul as only Shlomo Hamelech could portray it – and as only Rabbi Miller could explain it.
Erudite and academic, drawing from ancient and modern sources, the book can be discussed at the Shabbos table as well as in kollel.
I’m here to sit next to you and help you through this Purim with three almost-too-easy mishloach manot ideas, all made with cost-conscious paper bags.
Kids want to be like their friends, and they want to give and get “normal” mishloach manos stocked with store-bought treats.
Whenever he did anything loving for me, I made a big deal about it.
“OMG, it’s so cute, you’re so cute, everything is so cute.”
A famous face from that first ’52 Topps set was Alvin Dark, who died in his South Carolina home recently at 92.
During 1939, anti-Semitic groups such as Fritz Kuhn’s German American Bund held rallies in New York and other major cities across the country.
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.
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“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.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/sports/reflections-on-a-pair-of-detroit-favorites/2010/01/06/
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