Appel: No longer unwritten

From SABR member Marty Appel at The National Pastime Museum on September 4, 2014:

There is a fascinating exhibition this year at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. It is called “Chasing Dreams,” and although the venue would suggest a Jewish theme, it is in fact an exhibition of how the nation’s immigrant population—Irish, Italian, Latin American, Asian, Jewish, and others—used baseball as a means of assimilating into American culture.

There is, for instance, focus on what Joe DiMaggio meant to Italian-Americans, what Hank Greenberg meant to Jews, or what Roberto Clemente meant to Puerto Ricans, and how prideful those groups were in having a hero of their own to embrace.

Baseball provided the forum for them to fit into conversations, when baseball conversations were abundant on every street corner.

I was walking through the exhibition when it opened in April, and I spotted a letter on Washington Senators stationery from 1953. My attention went to the three typed paragraphs, dictated to a secretary by Ossie Bluege, the team’s farm director, and sent to Mrs. Davis Sandlin, longtime assistant to Joe Engel who owned the Senators’ farm team, the Chattanooga Lookouts.

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Originally published: September 4, 2014. Last Updated: September 4, 2014.