Posted this to my blog about baseball books, so rather than reinvent the wheel, I’m simply offering the link for the event which featured fellow MOT authors Howard Megdal (The Baseball Talmud) and Lincoln Mitchell discussing their work.
The entry includes the nearly one-hour video of the panel.
You can see that the Maccabi movement in Great Britain is very active. One of my regrets during my recent trip to England was not being able to visit them, as well as missing out on the British Baseball Federation. Oh, well, maybe next time.
Finally, On December 9…
You can’t click on the image to access the page, so just drop them an email or call ’em up.
Here’s a piece from the NJ Jewish News I wrote about Jeff Bukantz and other locals who participated in the 2013 Games. I know there are other stories about JB, including a discussion of his book about his dad, Daniel, himself a fencing legend, but unfortunately they don’t appear to be on the NJJN website.
The Gallery at LPR (Official site, map)
158 Bleecker St. (between Sullivan St. and Thompson St.)
New York, NY 10012
Blocks from ACE/BDF/MNR/1/6 trains
Doors open at 7.
Event starts at 7:30.
There is no admission charge.
Attendees must be 21 or older, as per Le Poisson Rouge rules. (Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are under 21 and would like to attend. The farther in advance, the better; no guarantees.)
Then, on August 16 at 1 p.m., I’ll be serving as “closer” for the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Annual “Author’s Series.” From the Hall’s announcement:
Our Authors Series brings noted baseball authors to Cooperstown for special lectures and book signings during the summer months. These programs are included with the cost of admission.
On Wednesday, August 16th at 1pm, the Hall of Fame will welcome author Ron Kaplan as he talks about his new book, Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War.
From his first day in the big leagues, Hank Greenberg dealt with persecution for being Jewish. The Hall of Famer always did his best to shut out the bigotry, but in 1938, that would prove more difficult then he could have imagined.
Author Ron Kaplan examines Greenberg’s 1938 season in incredible detail. While Greenberg was battling at the plate, the Jewish people overseas were dealing with a humanitarian crisis. Adolf Hitler had taken direct control of the country’s military in February of 1938 and then began a methodic takeover of all neighboring countries, spreading Nazism and the Holocaust.
Hank Greenberg in 1938 chronicles the events of 1938, both on the diamond and in the streets of Europe. As Greenberg took aim at Babe Ruth’s home run record, Hitler’s “Final Solution” was beginning to take shape. Jews across the United States, worried about the issues overseas, looked to Greenberg as a symbol of hope. Though normally hesitant to speak about the anti-Semitism he dealt with, Greenberg knew that he was batting for so many of his own people, particularly those living with life and death on the European continent.
The program includes a presentation in the Bullpen Theater, followed by a book signing in the Library Atrium. Presentation at 1 pm. Book signing at 1:30 pm.
It’s also nice to reconnect with old friends and Bergino regulars like author and educator Lee Lowenfish and Perry Barber, a professional umpire and former Jeopardy winner. Perry presented me with t-shirts she had made bearing the book’s cover, a very sweet gesture. And Jay gave me a goodie bag that rivaled those handed out at the Academy Awards as far as I’m concerned. Oscars are a dime a dozen, but I’m willing to bet cash money that none of those people has an official Bergino bobblehead, so there.
As the various teams start to get together in preparation for the World Baseball Classic, here’s what’s doing with Team Israel, as well as the JMLs who have plighted their trough elsewhere.
Ian Kinslerwants to win, just not for the Israeli team apparently.
Lincoln Mitchell, author of Will Big League Baseball Survive?: Globalization, the End of Television, Youth Sports, and the Future of Major League Baseball, contributed this piece to the Forward, asking “Is The World Baseball Classic An Error For The Jews?” While I enjoyed his book, I take issue with some of his assertions which seem to be based on his claim that “there happen to be no Jewish players on the American team,” which is simply not true. In addition to Kinsler, Houston Astros’ sophomore Alex Bregman is on the USA roster. I also take exception to his statement that “because the US team is much better than the Israeli team, the WBC will give some credence to the tired and offensive notion that Jews stink at sports or other physical activities.” On the other hand, there is merit to his concern that allowing American Jews to play for Israel “provides fodder for those who believe that Jews are not quite true Americans and are more loyal to Israel than to the US. During a time when the President of the United States promotes the old anti-Semitic slogan, ‘America First,’ this is something that cannot be ignored.” There are lots of players in the WBC who will be playing for the countries of their ancestry but only Israel seems to bring up that loyalty issue. Can you imagine a Major Leaguer on Team Jamaica being accused of dual loyalties?
while plenty of athletes figure they can be a school coach or private instructor, it’s refreshing to see someone like Hyman — a center for the surprising Toronto Maple Leafs — look outside the both. I can’t say for sure since I’ve never met any, but the word is that despite the violence and “thuggery” of ice hockey, the players are the nicest, generally speaking, in any of the major professional sports. Considering Hyman’s work, I’m inclined t give that the benefit of the doubt.
As you might have noticed from my weekly posting about baseball best-sellers, I’m not overly happy that Lenny Dykstra’s new memoir, House of Nails, is doing well. It came in at No. 11 on the most recent New York Times best-seller list for non-fiction.
This isn’t a case of schadenfreude. It’s that people are more interested in dirt from someone who many wouldn’t even consider a celebrity than more important issues from writers who toil so hard for such little return. As landsman Richard Sandomir, the Times‘ sports media columnist observes in his recent review, several interviewers — mostly, it seems, of the low-brow sports-talk radio shows, dote on Dykstra as if he was some sort of hero, kissing his butt with bro-praise, ignoring the terrible things he claims to have done to get ahead, including hiring private detectives to get dirt on umpires as possible blackmail material.
This is what holds our interest at a time when citizens and polic offers are being killed with sad regularity and the November elections portend such dire results?
In Sandomir’s considered opinion, House of Nails
… is not an eloquent autobiography, like Andre Agassi’s Open, and is more in keeping with the spirit of Jose Canseco’s Juiced. It is not explosive, unless his accusation that the former Mets manager Davey Johnson drank a lot is big news. It is rather a narcissist’s delight, so relentlessly focused on Dykstra’s ego and antics that you need to rest occasionally from the Lenniness of it all.
At least Canesco’s book served a purpose in bringing to light the reach of PED, even though many in the baseball hierarchy sought to turn a blind eye to the situation. What life lesson is Dykstra offering?
Add to that his firing of veteran author Peter Golenbock (another landsman) as his co-writer because, as Sandomir writes, “Dykstra said he had needed to take control of the book to preserve his singular voice, which is notably profane and blustery and as obsessed with sex as a pubescent boy.”
Arrested development (pick whichever meaning you will)?
(I’ve also lost some respect for Stephen King, whose blurb is featured on the cover. Unless it’s one of those situations where the publisher cobbled together words that King included in his assessment, although not necessarily in the order in which it appears.)
I often link the books in these entries to the Amazon page, hoping to earn a few coins if some of you readers decided to order the various merchandise. Not this time.