Sunday, April 15, 2012

Book Review: Jewish Major Leaguers in the Own Words

Paperback: 227 pages
Publisher: McFarland (March 5, 2012)

Written by Peter Ephross with Martin Abramowitz, this book is a oral history of 23 former major league baseball players.

When you think of Jewish ballplayers, the first three that people tend to think of are Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax, and Shawn Green. At least, that's how it is in my case. There have been well over 100 Jewish baseball players and appendix of the entire list follows at the end.

Sandy Koufax gets mentioned a lot, especially from Larry and Norm Sherry, but that's about it. He was not interviewed for the project as he's become somewhat of a recluse since he retired.

Peter Epross, a longtime editor for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, did a superb job editing down what probably could have been 1000 pages into 227 pages. We get more of a "what's it like" for Jewish ballplayers than anything else.

Jewish Major Leaguers, Inc. sponsored many of the interviews that were provided by president Martin Abramowitz.

While I think that there could possibly have been room for a Shawn Green, I can see why they limited to 23 players. Most of the players were from the pre-70s although there were some that made their debut later like Jesse Levis. He shared a funny story about Shawn Green wishing him and umpire Al Clark a "Happy New Year" on Rosh HaShanah.

That's another thing that's brought up. Taking off for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. One player, who had a Jewish coach, said he had no interest in taking off for Rosh HaShanah but then the coach talked him into it.

We get a sense of how players responded to anti-Semitism both on and off the field. We also see how they developed a rapport with the African-American players who were dealing with the restrictions in the Deep South.

In reading, I could not believe the numbers that played for the Chicago Cubs but also that Jose Bautista, a player who came from the Dominican Republic, is a member of the tribe.

Jesse Levis also shared a story of being invited to Bud Selig's house for Rosh HaShanah dinner.

If you are Jewish and a baseball fan, this is a very good book and I highly recommend it. In fact, I give it the following grade: A+

You can purchase the book directly from McFarland at 1-800-253-2187.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Giveaway Update

The trivia contest for the DVD Giveaway is on twitter. Also, I have 3 copies of the Highlight Film (including Game 5 from the NLDS) to be given away.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

More DVD giveaways

It looks as though I'll be doing another DVD giveaway. This time, though, one giveaway is a BluRay/DVD combo pack of Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. The DVD is a part of the Baseball's Greatest Games set. Let's be honest here--it's one of the best games ever.
The St. Louis Cardinals thrilled Cardinal Nation with a game full of heart-stopping comebacks, including a spectacular 11th inning walk-off home run. Hometown hero and budding star David Freese smashed the solo shot in the final inning that provided a fitting finale to a spectacular Fall Classic matchup.

In Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, on the edge of elimination, the Cardinals trailed five times and were twice down to their last strike. But Freese, Lance Berkman and a resilient lineup evened the score each time until Freese delivered the second of his incredible moments--the wondrous walk-off homer. All of the drama, thrills, exhilaration and jubilation of this Fall Classic masterpiece are here to enjoy for the first time in pristine HD with the roar of the crowd in 5.1 surround sound.

Direct from the archives of Major League Baseball, this extraordinary television broadcast includes the quintessential making of an iconic moment, and one unforgettable baseball game available for the first time on Blu-Ray!


A special audio feature allows fans to watch the television broadcast and listen to the radio play-by-play in English or Spanish!
The second giveaway is a chance to receive the full ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 2011 WORLD SERIES COLLECTOR'S EDITION DVD SET.
History unfolded before our eyes and every clutch pitch, game-winning hit, and record-setting moment is digitally preserved in THE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 2011 WORLD SERIES COLLECTOR’S EDITION DVD. Featuring every game of this remarkable Fall Classic–including Game 6 which instantly became one of the greatest postseason games ever played–this eight-DVD set celebrates the Cardinals unforgettable, exhilarating, dramatic, and uplifting comebacks and victories. Each World Series game is now on DVD and wrapped with stats, player facts, and historic notes.

This eight-DVD collection displays the fortitude of the Red Birds under manager Tony LaRussa and the heroics of David Freese, Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman, Allen Craig, Yadier Molina, and Chris Carpenter along with every glorious Cardinals moment.

A special DVD audio feature allows fans to watch the World Series television broadcast and listen to Cardinals Radio Network announcers!


Walk-Off Winners; Milestones; Cardinals clinch NL Wild Card: Last Out and Celebration; NLDS Highlights, Last Out, and Celebration; NLCS Highlights, Last Out, and Celebration; NLCS Trophy Presentations; World Series Last Out, Celebration and Trophy Presentation; St. Louis Victory Parade; Multiple Audio Tracks Featuring World Series Announcers: Joe Buck, Tim McCarver, Ken Rosenthal (Fox Sports), John Rooney, Mike Shannon (Cardinals Radio Network), Eric Nadel, Steve Busby, Bryan Dolgin (Rangers Radio Network), Ernesto Jerez, Guillermo Celis (ESPN Deportes Radio)
Keep an eye on my twitter account for more!

Special thanks to A+E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB Productions for sponsoring this wonderful promotion.

2012 MLB Preseason Predictions

In keeping with a longtime tradition, I'm posting these picks here and at The Kentucky Democrat. Bud Selig, though, has made it even harder with the addition of another Wild Card team, and thus allowing for a one-day play-in game. What's next, a First Four?

East: Philadelphia Phillies
Central: Cincinnati Reds
West: San Francisco Giants
Wild Card 1: Los Angeles Dodgers
Wild Card 2: St. Louis Cardinals

Battle of the Wild Cards: St. Louis over Los Angeles
NLDS: Philadelphia over Cincinnati, St. Louis over San Francisco
NLCS: Philadelphia over St. Louis

East: New York Yankees
Central: Detroit Tigers
West: Los Angeles Angels
Wild Card 1: Tampa Bay Rays
Wild Card 2: Texas Rangers

Battle of the Wild Cards: Tampa Bay over Texas
ALDS: New York over Los Angeles, Detroit over Tampa Bay
ALCS: New York over Detroit

New York Yankees over Philadelphia Phillies, 4-1

National League
ROY: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
MVP: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
Cy Young: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies

American League
ROY: Matt Moore, Tampa Bay Rays
MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
Cy Young: Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels