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Friday, October 23, 2020

The Jewish World Series

The LA Dodgers-Tampa Bay Rays World Series, currently underway, presents Jewish baseball fans with a unique treat: the potential to present the first ever Jew vs. Jew pitcher-batter matchup in World Series history. Relief pitcher Ryan Sherriff, one of the Rays’ last-minute roster additions, is Jewish and, in the opposite dugout, Dodgers fourth outfielder Joc Pederson is also a member of the tribe.

Of course, it’s impossible to prove that this would be a first, but it looks that way. According to Jewish baseball historian and author Robert Wechsler, the 1915 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies was the first World Series in which a Jewish pitcher, Erskine Mayer, appeared. In his 12 World Series innings, Mayer never threw a pitch to a Jewish batter. Nor did Sandy Koufax in his 57 World Series innings. As far as Wechsler knows, there has never been a World Series plate appearance with a Jew on the mound and a Jew in the batter’s box.

This potential matchup, Weschler said, “is a big deal for the people who like to follow Jewish athletes. In the scheme of the World Series this will probably not even register. … But I love this kind of stuff.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 23, 2020 at 09:54 AM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: judaism

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   1. Rally Posted: October 23, 2020 at 11:54 AM (#5984727)
Would have happened in 1965 if Rod Carew* had made the majors two years earlier. He hit .303 in the FSL as a 19 year old. Obviously would have faced Sandy Koufax.

*I have heard he converted to the tribe, though not sure how old he was at the time.
   2. Adam Starblind Posted: October 23, 2020 at 12:02 PM (#5984729)
Hope it doesn't end up like The Chosen.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 23, 2020 at 12:03 PM (#5984730)
Would never happen - Roberts would never let Pederson face a lefty, Jewish or otherwise.
   4. salvomania Posted: October 23, 2020 at 12:03 PM (#5984731)
I can't believe this is accurate.

In less than three minutes of searching, I came up with Ken Holtzman vs. Steve Yeager in 1974, and I'm sure I could find more.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 23, 2020 at 12:07 PM (#5984732)
Carew never actually converted - he married a Jewish woman in 1970 and their children were raised in the Jewish tradition.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: October 23, 2020 at 12:18 PM (#5984734)
In less than three minutes of searching, I came up with Ken Holtzman vs. Steve Yeager in 1974, and I'm sure I could find more.


Is Jewishness retroactive? Yeager apparently converted after his playing career was over, if Wikipedia and a few other sources are accurate.
   7. salvomania Posted: October 23, 2020 at 12:21 PM (#5984735)
eager apparently converted after his playing career was over,

How dare you research my research!
   8. JJ1986 Posted: October 23, 2020 at 12:25 PM (#5984736)
Jason Hirsh was on the 2007 Rockies, but didn't pitch in the World Series (Kevin Youkilis, of course, did play).
   9. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 23, 2020 at 12:55 PM (#5984739)
Huh. Today I learned that Max Scherzer is not in fact Jewish. Apparently it's a pretty common misconception.
   10. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: October 23, 2020 at 02:01 PM (#5984741)
Carew never actually converted - he married a Jewish woman in 1970 and their children were raised in the Jewish tradition.
I think there's some room for interpretation there. He was a member of a synagogue and, as you say, participated regularly in the practice of Judaism. I'm sure there is a ceremony or declaration that never happened, but he was more Jewish than 99.999999999999% of people who aren't Jewish.

Either way, as a Minnesotan born in 1969, it took me a long time to figure out that trying to get your CG a foot behind your back foot and peeking around a cheek full of bubble gum was not the correct way to hit. JFC we loved him, though.
   11. . Posted: October 23, 2020 at 02:22 PM (#5984743)
Guess who eats at the Carnegie Deli? //
The Dodgers Joc Peterson //
And Arthur Fonzarelli ...
   12. . Posted: October 23, 2020 at 02:27 PM (#5984744)
Hearkening back to baseball's Peak Years, pretty sure the White Sox' Ross Baumgarten lit the menorah. He clearly faced Rod Carew. Did he ever face Dave Parker in an all-star game?
   13. . Posted: October 23, 2020 at 02:31 PM (#5984748)
Either way, as a Minnesotan born in 1969, it took me a long time to figure out that trying to get your CG a foot behind your back foot and peeking around a cheek full of bubble gum was not the correct way to hit. JFC we loved him, though.


I quasi-imitated his batting stance when I hit left-handed, to somewhat ok effect. Although saber lemon-sucking has tried to take all the fun out of it (*), his 1977 flirtation with .400 was very cool. His 1982-ish headband over curls look in an SI article, maybe the baseball preview issue, presaging Rockwell and the like -- same thing.

(*) See, for a more modern example, Miguel Cabrera's triple crown.
   14. BDC Posted: October 23, 2020 at 03:32 PM (#5984765)
So what would be the all-Jewish matchup with the most (regular-season) plate appearances? I'm going to guess Al Rosen vs. Saul Rogovin, at least to start. That was 40 plate appearances; Rosen hit .250/.325/.361 (9 for 36) - a bit worse than all RHB hit Rogovin for his career, and well worse than Rosen hit other RHP.

But I may be overlooking some obvious pair.
   15. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: October 23, 2020 at 03:41 PM (#5984767)
And I thought this was going to be about Andrew Friedman and Matthew Silverman. And maybe Chaim Bloom. And Stan Kasten and Stuart Sternberg.
   16. Itchy Row Posted: October 23, 2020 at 03:52 PM (#5984771)
Sid Gordon faced Ralph Branca 64 times and hit .278/.391/.611.

Wikipedia says Branca was raised Roman Catholic, but his mom was Jewish. She had a brother and a sister who died in concentration camps.
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: October 23, 2020 at 03:57 PM (#5984772)
Wikipedia says Branca was raised Roman Catholic, but his mom was Jewish. She had a brother and a sister who died in concentration camps.


Branca didn't learn his mother was Jewish until about nine years ago.
   18. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: October 23, 2020 at 03:58 PM (#5984774)
I can't find another example (didn't look into Ralph Branca).

Jason Marquis pitched for the Cardinals in 2004 but unfortunately the Red Sox didn't put Youkilis on the roster (rookie) and Gabe Kapler was only used as a pinch runner / defensive replacement.

Mike Epstein didn't get to bat against Ken Holtzman in 1972 because they were on the same team.
   19. dejarouehg Posted: October 23, 2020 at 04:19 PM (#5984781)
Jason Marquis pitched for the Cardinals in 2004


Saw him hit the last grand slam ever by a Jewish pitcher. Of course, the real question is, was it the only one?

Mike Epstein didn't get to bat against Ken Holtzman in 1972 because they were on the same team.


Nor did Art Shamsky, who was with that team for a week or so.



   20. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: October 23, 2020 at 04:21 PM (#5984782)
I do not know why I said that about Youkilis above. I confused at least 3 different pages I was looking at.
   21. JJ1986 Posted: October 23, 2020 at 04:42 PM (#5984786)
How often did Marquis face Shawn Green in their careers?
   22. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 23, 2020 at 05:15 PM (#5984793)
.
   23. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 23, 2020 at 05:16 PM (#5984795)
#21 Green went .308/.400/.462 against Marquis in 30 regular season plate appearances.

They faced each other in Game 2 in the 2004 NLDS; Green went 1/2 with a solo HR. Marquis was chased in the fourth inning but the Cardinals won the game (and the series).
   24. The Honorable Ardo Posted: October 23, 2020 at 07:17 PM (#5984812)
In David Cone's Hall of Merit thread, there was a funny anecdote about the Mets trading for him and Jewish NYC fans briefly getting psyched because they heard his last name as Cohen.
   25. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 23, 2020 at 07:34 PM (#5984817)
An Israeli newspaper sent a reporter to New York to interview Cone, who politely never corrected his assumption.
   26. Howie Menckel Posted: October 23, 2020 at 07:49 PM (#5984819)
Today I learned that Max Scherzer is not in fact Jewish.

the percentage of people who think Bruce Springsteen is Jewish is astonishing.

"In David Cone's Hall of Merit thread, there was a funny anecdote about the Mets trading for him and Jewish NYC fans briefly getting psyched because they heard his last name as Cohen."

and all these years later, Steve Cone is about to buy the Mets!
   27. AndrewJ Posted: October 23, 2020 at 07:53 PM (#5984820)
I worked in Philadelphia for several years with Sid Gordon's grand-nephew. A nice guy.

An amateur genealogist recently discovered that Ted Williams's maternal grandmother was Jewish, thus making Teddy Ballgame technically Jewish. An all-time Jewish team with Williams, Greenberg and Al Rosen in the lineup looks awfully good.



   28. BDC Posted: October 23, 2020 at 08:04 PM (#5984823)
Ken Holtzman pitched in the AL for three seasons in which Ron Blomberg was a semi-regular – and never faced him. Blomberg rarely faced LHP, certainly not those as good as Holtzman.
   29. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 23, 2020 at 10:31 PM (#5984851)
Sheriff is in the game! Pederson is three batters away!!
   30. asinwreck Posted: October 23, 2020 at 11:14 PM (#5984860)
Ross Baumgarten never pitched in an All-Star game. He was traded for Vance Law of the Church of Latter Day Saints, and that particular interfaith transaction may be unique in MLB history.
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: October 24, 2020 at 12:55 AM (#5984866)
Ross Baumgarten never pitched in an All-Star game. He was traded for Vance Law of the Church of Latter Day Saints, and that particular interfaith transaction may be unique in MLB history.


It is not. On July 26, 1996, member of the tribe (and BBC favorite) Brad Ausmus was dealt with Doug Bochtler and a player to be named later to the Padres for Greg Harris and Mormon Bruce Hurst. Andy Ashby was the PtbNL. Alas, I don't know the faith traditions of Messrs. Bochtler, Harris and Ashby, though if you want to assign them to Buddhism, Zoroastriansm and Wicca, I wouldn't object.
   32. asinwreck Posted: October 24, 2020 at 09:02 AM (#5984871)
I did not know Bruce Hurst was Mormon, or that he pitched long enough to be traded for Brad Ausmus!
   33. JJ1986 Posted: October 24, 2020 at 09:07 AM (#5984872)
I remember Hurst as a Padre, but I had no idea Ausmus was a Rockie (he was taken in the expansion draft).
   34. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 24, 2020 at 09:29 PM (#5984951)
O.J. Simpson: not a Jew
But guess who is?: Hall-of-famer Rod Carew (he converted!)

--A. Sandler, 1994

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