Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

‘21 draftees blazing trail for Orthodox Jews

When Jacob Steinmetz was drafted in the third round by the Arizona D-backs and Elie Kligman was selected by the Nationals in Round 20, they became the first Orthodox Jews to ever get drafted, dating back to 1965.

To understand why this is so exciting, some historical context is necessary.

The history of Jews in the United States has been intertwined with baseball for decades. When my ancestors came through Ellis Island and saw the Statue of Liberty’s message, penned by Emma Lazarus—“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”—one of the quickest ways these newest Americans were able to breathe free and feel, well, American, was through the game of baseball. That’s why, for our people, it always has been, and always will be the national pastime.

With that embracing of the game, however, has come a certain measure of assimilation. Immigrants often gave up parts of who they were to fit in, and that included players who were good enough to make it to the Major Leagues. As MLB historian John Thorn wrote in his essay, “Overcome Adversity,” which originally appeared in the book Chasing Dreams: Baseball & Becoming American, names were often changed to avoid the hatred that sometimes came with being outwardly Jewish.

“Sammy Bohne and Phil Cooney were also born as Cohen, as were Harry Kane and Reuben Ewing,” Thorn wrote. “Jesse Baker was born Michael Silverman. Henry Lifschutz became Henry Bostick. Joe Rosenblum became Joe Bennett. James Herman Soloman became Jimmie Reese.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 04, 2021 at 11:59 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jewish baseball players

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.



<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF


Thanks to
Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'.
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogReport: MLB Owners Vote Unanimously to Institute Lockout
(25 - 3:02pm, Dec 02)
Last: John Northey

NewsblogA’s reportedly eyeing Tropicana site for possible Strip ballpark
(8 - 2:59pm, Dec 02)
Last: DL from MN

Newsblog'Chicago!' Stroman says he's joining Cubs
(37 - 2:46pm, Dec 02)
Last: sunday silence (again)

NewsblogNBA 2021-2022 Season Thread
(1224 - 2:35pm, Dec 02)
Last: KronicFatigue

NewsblogSources - Cy Young winner Robbie Ray, Seattle Mariners finalizing $115 million contract
(8 - 2:33pm, Dec 02)
Last: Jesus Luzardo Maraschino

NewsblogJackie Bradley, Jr. back to Boston in deal with Crew
(16 - 2:24pm, Dec 02)
Last: jacksone (AKA It's OK...)

NewsblogMLB, union stopped blood testing for HGH due to pandemic
(17 - 2:17pm, Dec 02)
Last: Ron J

Sox TherapyLocked Out and Semi-Loaded
(5 - 2:13pm, Dec 02)
Last: Darren

NewsblogMarcell Ozuna was choking wife as cops burst in, police video shows
(28 - 1:52pm, Dec 02)
Last: jacksone (AKA It's OK...)

Sox TherapyMeet the 2022 Red Sox
(73 - 12:50pm, Dec 02)
Last: Darren

NewsblogThe 100 Best Baseball Books Ever Written
(69 - 12:48pm, Dec 02)
Last: Perry

NewsblogClint Frazier nearing deal with Cubs after Yankees release
(10 - 12:41pm, Dec 02)
Last: jacksone (AKA It's OK...)

NewsblogSources: Boston Red Sox in agreement with Rich Hill
(13 - 11:47am, Dec 02)
Last: pikepredator

NewsblogJames Paxton, Boston Red Sox agree to 1-year, $10 million deal, sources say
(6 - 11:19am, Dec 02)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogMiami Marlins acquire Joey Wendle, send Kameron Misner to Tampa Bay Rays
(17 - 10:59am, Dec 02)
Last: jacksone (AKA It's OK...)

Page rendered in 0.1657 seconds
46 querie(s) executed