Jewish Major Leaguers in Their Own Words: Oral Histories of 23 Players

Jewish Major Leaguers in Their Own Words: Oral Histories of 23 Players

by Peter Ephross, Martin Abramowitz
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Between 1870 and 2010, 165 Jewish Americans played Major League Baseball. This work presents oral histories featuring 23 of them. From Bob Berman, a catcher for the Washington Senators in 1918, to Adam Greenberg, an outfielder for the Chicago Cubs in 2005, the players discuss their careers and consider how their Jewish heritage affected them. Legends like Hank

…  See more details below

Overview

Between 1870 and 2010, 165 Jewish Americans played Major League Baseball. This work presents oral histories featuring 23 of them. From Bob Berman, a catcher for the Washington Senators in 1918, to Adam Greenberg, an outfielder for the Chicago Cubs in 2005, the players discuss their careers and consider how their Jewish heritage affected them. Legends like Hank Greenberg and Al Rosen as well as lesser-known players reflect on the issue of whether to play on high holidays, responses to anti-Semitism on and off the field, bonds formed with black teammates also facing prejudice, and personal and Jewish pride in their accomplishments. Together, these oral histories paint a vivid portrait of what it was like to be a Jewish Major Leaguer.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As of the 2010 season, 15 Jewish players were on Major League Baseball rosters, a distinction ascribed to only 165 men between 1870 and 2010. In this niche collection of rambling oral histories, 23 former (and many now-deceased) Jewish players discuss their childhoods, their careers, and the impact their religious heritage had on their time spent playing America's favorite pastime. Anti-Semitism once ran deep among ballplayers and fans, although Harry Danning of the New York Giants admitted African-Americans suffered worse treatment. Hank Greenberg, who spent most of his long career with the Detroit Tigers, "was a hero to Jewish and non-Jewish fans alike" for sitting out a game on Yom Kippur in 1934, but journeyman Saul Rogovin, who played during the 50s, confided he never felt accepted among his peers. Elliott Maddox explains his decision as an African-American to convert to Judaism during his playing days in the 70s, while Jose Bautista, who last played in 1997, is indifferent to religious affiliation, maintaining that "We're all the same." Ephross, former editor for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, pared down the lengthy interviews (conducted by numerous journalists) and converted them from Q&A format to first person narratives, making for an easy read. However, notable players like Sandy Koufax, National League MVP Ryan Braun, and three-time All-Star Kevin Youkilis are unfortunately missing. B/W photos. (Mar.)
The Kentucky Democrat
a very good book and I highly recommend it
Nine
The greatest contribution of this ambitious book is the opportunity to read players' perspectives on Jewish identification and to understand the choices they made. This book will satisfy readers interested in learning more about the lives of a diverse group of Jewish major leaguers...all of the players' stories will be informative and interesting, engaging and enjoyable
Washington Jewish Weekly
the stories of the trials and tribulations of Jewish ballplayers are brilliantly recounted...a solid job

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786465071
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
03/05/2012
Pages:
227
Sales rank:
983,107
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Peter Ephross was a longtime editor for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service and has published in Publishers Weekly, the Village Voice, and Forward. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Martin Abramowitz is the president of Jewish Major Leaguers, Inc., which documents American Jews in baseball and sponsored many of the interviews in this book.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >