Sessions

Jewish Baseball - More than Koufax and Greenberg

On an average baseball day back in September 1996, Jewish hitter Shawn Green walked up to the plate. He looked back at catcher Jesse Levis, and then at umpire Al Clark. He greeted them with the words “Hello Yids.” The men had a good laugh and exchanged wishes of Shana Tova, and the game went on. That day is believed to be the only time when all three men at the plate were Jewish.

Jewish involvement with baseball is filled with similar stories, records and myths. There were star Jewish ballplayers as early as the 1800s. Later, baseball became a way for immigrant Jews to feel included in American culture. Parents often said their sons could grow up to become “a doctor, a lawyer or Sandy Koufax.” Jews also had a major impact on building many of the institutions of the modern game.

Come and explore the deep connection between Jews and baseball, as early as Lipman Pike being considered baseball’s first home run king. (He hit 4.) Bob has collected stories of Jews that will ignite your passion for the game, and will show some original artifacts from his private collection.

Since Bob is also a teacher, you can expect a test at the end, in the form of a Jewish trivia challenge to test your knowledge of the history of Jewish baseball. So you may want to brush up on your knowledge beforehand.

Play ball!

Personalities

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Bob Cooper

Baseball Enthusiast