Saluting Murray Franklin

"I had to grow a tough little hide as everybody was fair game to be razzed and needled."

2017 Season Preview

Admittedly, I took a liking to and saw a lot of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals, who share the new spring training facility.

The Summer Of ‘67

Events morphed into what became known as the Six-Day War. While the war lasted less than a week, millions of words were devoted to it in newspapers and magazines over the days and weeks that followed.

Rocky Colavito, A Mid-Century Champion

On the last day of spring training in 1960, Colavito, his fans and the baseball world were shocked as he was traded to Detroit for Harvey Kuenn.

The Origins Of My Baseball Career

I saw pictures of him in the sports section of the newspaper delivered to our house, and I devoured any story and box score with his name.

1956: Nasser, Larsen, And A Rebbi’s Slap

For Americans, baseball provided an escape, and Jewish Americans followed the exploits of their favorite teams and of the relatively few Jews who wore baseball uniforms.

A True American Hero

Those of us who grew up when television was considered kosher in its black and white days remember "The Stratton Story," a 1949 movie that aired often on TV in the '50s starring Jimmy Stewart as Chicago White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton, who lost a leg in an off-season hunting accident in 1938 near his Greenville, Texas home.

The Jackie Robinson Trade That Shocked Brooklyn

Jackie Robinson finished his tenth major league season with a .275 average and 10 home runs. He was slowing down and saw action in only 117 of the Dodgers' 154 games.

Hank Greenberg In 1938

Greenberg was the biggest Jewish hero in America at the time, but the Tigers actually had a second Jewish player in 1938.

Victor Zalta’s Unforgettable Encounter

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.

Random Thoughts On The 2015 Season

Perhaps the biggest shock for Tigers fans was the firing of president and general manager Dave Dombrowski after the trades of Price and Cespedes.

Spring Training Is Finally Here!

It hit me like a baseball bat on my head. I had been sitting next to Red Smith, the legendary sports columnist who knew Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb and other baseball greats.

A Taste Of Summer

Spring training is underway in Arizona and Florida and we're all looking forward to our favorite teams coming home to start the regular season in April.

Remembering New York’s Old Stadiums

Last month I predicted the Yankees, Indians and Angels would top their divisions in the American League, while the Mets, Cubs and Diamondbacks would do the same in the National League.

Greenberg To Green To…Braun?

The 1947 baseball season was Jackie Robinson's first and Hank Greenberg's last. It also marked the debut of another Jewish slugger, Al Rosen.

Just One Pitch

Adam Greenberg holds a major league record. He was hit in the head by the very first and only pitch he ever saw - or almost saw - in his big league career.

Non-Perfect Perfect Game

It's been all over the news. You had to be in solitary confinement not to hear about umpire Jim Joyce's blown call at first base that should have ended the perfect game by Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga against the Cleveland Indians in Detroit.

A Hundred Years Ago

The Jewish population of America was estimated at almost three million in 1916. Most did not have the means to afford even a basic Ford automobile ($440), let alone the most expensive model ($975).

The Origins Of My Baseball Career (Part III)

The next day, I opened the paper to the first page of the sports section where Falls' column appeared several days a week. I was surprised to see my picture below his usual masthead.

2010 Season Preview

As we clean for Pesach, several players will be cleaning out their lockers after being released by teams paring down their rosters for Opening Day.

They Will Be Missed

He was the oldest former major league ballplayer when he died last month at the age of 100. Bill Werber was a teammate of Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth with the Yankees in 1930 and again three years later. He also played for the Red Sox, Philadelphia Athletics, Cincinnati Reds and New York Giants before retiring in 1942 with a .271 career batting average. He outhit Hank Greenberg .370 to .357 in the 1940 World Series, leading the Reds over the Tigers in seven games.

Hammerin’ Hank’s 100th

January 1 will be the 100th anniversary of the birth of Hank Greenberg. And Greenberg's 25th yahrzeit will be marked next August.

Random Thoughts A Month Into The Season

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.

Baseball 50 Years Ago

Jewish baseball fans were still missing Sandy Koufax, who retired after the 1966 season at the age of 30 because of risk of permanent damage to his arthritic arm.

The Jewish Father Of The World Series

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.

Designated Hebrew

The year 1973 was an interesting one indeed. Forty years ago, the Conservative movement’s commission on law and standards adopted a new regulation admitting women into the traditional minyan.

If You Like My Column, You’ll Love My Book

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.

2013 Crystal Ball

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.

1940: Baseball Amid The Approaching Storm

The New York Giants’ Jewish catcher thrilled Giants fans by hitting for the cycle.

Farewell To Four Baseball Legends

Ernie Harwell, Bob Sheppard, George Steinbrenner, Ralph Houk - four legendary men long associated with baseball, all of whom died during this baseball season.

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