What a week for Bregman, Pederson, Kapler and Koufax
#1 Kasım 11, 9:44 am
What a week for Bregman, Pederson, Kapler and Koufax
When Sam Bregman was a youngster, he would hang around the clubhouse of the Washington Senators. His father, Stan, was the attorney for the ballclub, which gave him access to such greats as manager Ted Williams and outfielder Frank Howard. One of his favorite players, though, was a big first baseman and left-handed power hitter named Mike Epstein, who hit 30 homers for the 1969 Senators.
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"Mike would draw the Star of David on the handle of his bat," recalls Sam, now an attorney in Albuquerque, New Mexico. "You can imagine what that meant to a Jewish kid like me. He gave me one of the bats once, but I'm afraid I don't know what happened to it."

Not to worry. Sam found another way http://www.officialauthenticbroncosshop.com/WOMENS... to pass on both Judaism and baseball. His son, Alex Bregman, became the first Jewish player with a walk-off hit in a World Series game -- 10th inning, Game 5, Houston Astros 13-12 -- in what might have been the biggest week in Jewish baseball news since ... ever.

"Let's see," says Scott Barancik, the editor of The Jewish Baseball News website. "The Phillies named Gabe Kapler their new manager. Joc Pederson homers three times in the World Series. Sandy Koufax throws out the first ball in Game 7. And Alex Bregman gets a World Series ring."During the Series, there was a certain glow in synagogues across the land, lit by a visceral longing among Jews for baseball stars of their own. "Even in Los Angeles, where I wore my Bregman jersey, members of the tribe kept coming up to me to tell me how excited they were for Alex," Sam says. "I hear that rabbis were saying blessings."

Rabbi Craig Marantz of the Emanuel Congregation, in Chicago, more than 1,000 miles from either Houston or Los Angeles, devoted an entire blog post to Pederson and Bregman, writing, "It's comforting and inspiring to know we can watch this sport event and see a couple of hard-working athletes represent our community and exemplify wholesome and redeeming goals like teamwork and shared triumph."

There have been books, websites, even a 2010 documentary entitled "Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story" and narrated by Dustin Hoffman. How to explain the obsession? In a way, it's a Dee Gordon Authentic Jersey synapse between the American dream and the national pastime.

As immigrants and the descendants of immigrants, we feel a need to belong. What better way to do that than in sports followed by the general populace? At the same time, we want to be open and honest about our faith. And Dee Gordon Authentic Jersey what better way was there to honor our ancestors than by doing what Koufax did: declining to start Game 1 of the 1965 World Series games because it fell on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism?

The history of Jewish baseball players is actually quite long, if not terribly rich. One of the first professional players was a diminutive power hitter named Lipman Pike, who was paid the princely sum of Dee Gordon Authentic Jersey $20 a week by the 1866 Philadelphia Athletics. Five years later, professional baseball started in earnest with the National Association, and Pike played for the Troy Haymakers, tying for the league lead in homers (four!) and racking up an impressive OPS of 1.054 -- too bad they didn't keep track of it. Before he retired for good in 1887 at the age of 42, Lip Pike played for the Haymakers, Baltimore Canaries, Hartford Dark Blues, St. Louis Brown Stockings, Cincinnati Reds, Providence Grays, Worcester Ruby Legs and New York Metropolitans.

It wasn't until the 1920s, though, that Jews made any real impact on the game. That's when Andy Cohen became the Giants second baseman and Moe Berg began his career behind the plate with the Brooklyn http://www.officialbluejacketsshop.com/authentic-1... Robins. (Berg would go on to bigger, more clandestine things as a spy for the Allies in World War II.) The '30s brought four-time All-Star catcher Harry Danning and the first Hammerin' Hank -- Hank Greenberg.

But that's not all they called Greenberg. Because anti-Semitism runs deep, the Tigers' Hall of Fame first baseman was subjected to constant verbal abuse. As he once rhetorically asked, "How the hell could you get up to home plate every day and have some son of a b---- call you a Jew bastard ... without feeling the pressure?" Though Greenberg wasn't particularly religious, he did sit out games on Yom Kippur. After one such decision in 1934, the syndicated newspaper poet Edgar Guest wrote a tribute to him that ended, "We shall miss him on the infield and shall miss him at the bat/But he's true to his religion -- and I honor him for that!"

The next great Jewish star was Indians third baseman Al Rosen, who came within one hit of a Triple Crown in 1953 (.336, 43 HRs, 145 RBIs) and won the American League MVP. Then along came two Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers: reliever Larry Sherry, the MVP of the '59 Series, and the transcendent Koufax. Jews of a certain age and baseball statheads alike can recite the stats from his last season in 1966 when he won his third Cy Young Award, then given to the best pitcher in both leagues: 27-9, 1.73 ERA in 323 innings.


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