Remembering forgotten Jewish baseball players

From Robert Gluck at The Jewish Standard on October 12, 2012, with mention of SABR member Ralph Berger:

For major league baseball fans, October is a time to focus on the playoffs (which started Oct. 5 this year) and on the World Series.

Those were events that thrust Jewish Hall of Fame players, people like Sandy Koufax and Hank Greenberg, into the national spotlight.

To the average fan, the names Lipman Pike, Moe Berg, and Al Schacht may be forgotten — but the impact of those Jewish ballplayers is still felt in and around America’s pastime.


According to Ralph Berger of the Society for American Baseball Research, Jewish fans should not be forgotten, either.

“I think there is another area that should be broached,” Berger said. “That is the Jewish fan of baseball. Being a fan was a way for them to enter the mainstream of America, as well as for the players.”

Berger said Greenberg and Koufax should be remembered not only for their prowess on the diamond, but also for their guts in response to anti-Semitism.

“Hank never backed down from anyone and he refused to play on the High Holy Days,” Berger said. “Koufax had guts in his response to Carl Furillo’s anti-Semitic remarks. We should remember all the Jews who played in the big leagues, overcame outright bigotry, and proved they had the right to be there.”

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 12, 2012. Last Updated: October 12, 2012.