Archive for the ‘Sports on religious holidays’ Category


What Yom Kippur dilemma?

Posted on: September 25th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

It’s not just the Jewish ballplayers who have to deal with how to handle the High Holy Days (also happy to note that my main man, Tony Kornheiser, did not appear on Pardon the Interruption on the Day of Atonement).

Received an email from Jeremy Rosenberg, a 19-year-old ballboy for the Detroit Tigers, who made the decision to “honor his religion,” as they said about another Tiger, back in the day. I invited Jeremy to supply a guest entry. Here’s his story.

Being passionate about different things is great and can lead to countless opportunities. But what do you do when you have to choose between those passions? Sometimes one is just that much more important than the other.

I’m Jewish and I also happen to be a ballboy for the Detroit Tigers.

This fall, I was scheduled to work quite a few games, sitting on the first- or third-base lines or working in the clubhouse. Once August ended, I took a look at the September schedule and noticed my name was penciled in for both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

What was I to do? I thought about it and remembered that there had been great men in a somewhat similar situation before me: Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax. Greenberg, a member of my own team, had taken the day off during a pennant race, while Koufax abstained from his scheduled start in Game 1 of the World Series in 1965. Certainly I could miss a couple days of retrieving baseballs that are already out-of-play.

Honestly, it wasn’t a hard decision for me. I was obviously going to ask my boss for those days off so I could go to services with my family like I do every year. That being said, it did feel good to momentarily group myself with Jewish Hall of Famers who had done the same thing.

This wasn’t the first time that being a ball boy and my Judaism had come together. The first game I ever worked was erev Pesach and on that day I had the nerve to invite Ian Kinsler and [manager] Brad Ausmus to a seder that I wasn’t even hosting. They both said no, but it was cool to be able to ask.

Hopefully I’ll be back with the team next year, and though I might need to sit out again, it would be even more fun to see guys like Kinsler, Alex Bregman, Ryan Braun, Joc Pederson, Kevin Pillar, and others take a day off in observance of the holiday. You never know!

Where have you gone, Hank Greenberg (and Sandy Koufax)?

Posted on: September 19th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/0409/images/haven_14.jpgThe baseball-loving Hebrew nation turns its lonely eyes to you (woo-woo-woo).

Over/under: Zero JML will not play on Yom Kippur, which begins the evening of September 29. That means just one would have to take the day off specifically for that reason to make the cut. Very doubtful, although teams could easily rest some players since it’s the last series of the regular season. On the other hand, you want to please your fans by having your stars in the lineup.

The breakdown: The Houston Astros, Cleveland Indians, and LA Dodgers are all in. The only regular on those clubs is Alex Bregman, who’s battling a hamstring issue so the Astros might want to rest him for the playoffs. Joc Pederson has played sporadically and might not even be on the post-season roster. Craig Breslow hasn’t pitched in almost two weeks for the Indians and might not be in the Tribe’s plans.

Wild card issues: The Milwaukee Brewers are still in the hunt so they might require the services of Ryan Braun if it comes down to the wire. The Toronto Blue Jays and Kevin Pillar still have an outside shot. Danny Valencia has not been a regular since the Seattle Mariners acquired Yonder Alonso. Ryan Sherriff is a rookie and probably doesn’t figure in the St. Louis Cardinals’ plans.

Ian Kinsler and the Detroit Tigers are toast so he might he on his farewell tour.

Naturally, I’ve written on all this before. Here are a couple of items for your amusement


JFLers and the Yom Kippur dilemma

Posted on: September 8th, 2016 by Ron Kaplan 1 Comment

This year, the Day of Atonement begins on a Tuesday night and ends the following evening, so Ali Marpet, Nate Ebner, and Mitchell Schwartz don’t have to worry about missing a game.

Offensive liner Geoff Schwartz. Photo: Twitter.Mitchell’s brother, Geoff, an offensive lineman recently released by the Detroit Lions, is making the rounds to promote Eat My Schwartz: Our Story of NFL Football, Food, Family, and Faith, which they released earlier this month. He was on NPR’s Brian Lehrer Show on Tuesday and the issue came up.

Schwartz said “there is a “’high standard’ people believe athletes with Jewish roots have to ‘live up to’ in regards to keeping Judaism. He referenced former baseball player Sandy Koufax, who famously refused to pitch in Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

“Schwartz, who used to play for the Detroit Lions and New York Giants, explained on the radio show that a move like Koufax’s would not be acceptable in the NFL.

“‘It’s different in football,’ he said. ‘In college you have 12 [football] games a year; in the NFL you have 16. You train for six months for this opportunity, so it’s hard to be starting off as an offensive lineman and then [you] tell your coach, “Hey, I’m not gonna be here this week to play a game.” It doesn’t really work that way.’

One of the first sports stories I did for the Jewish News, pre-Korner days, was a profile of Josh Miller, a punter for the Pittsburgh Steelers and other teams. Quoting from the story which originally appear in October, 2004:

Miller took a fair amount of criticism when he was with the Steelers and decided to play the Oct. 6, 2003, night game against the Cleveland Browns — erev Yom Kippur. He defended his position, telling the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “In reality, it’s my job. I need to be there…. I have to show up regardless of how I feel about it.”

Miller pointed out that as a punter, a very specialized position, the team didn’t have the luxury of backups as they do for other position, so the pressure to play was even more intense.

Of course, people will tell you a principle is a principle and sometimes it’s not easy to make that difficult choice. It always easy to tell other people what they should do. But when it comes time to put metal to the pedal (or however that phrase goes)… not so easy.

A New York invitation to Boston Marathoners

Posted on: October 24th, 2013 by Ron Kaplan

Brought to you as a “public service announcement” as per Peter Berkowsky, founder of the International Minyan for NYC Marathoners.

Tragedy interrupted the most recent runnings of the two most famous long-distance races in America.  The bombing at the Boston Marathon in April shook the entire nation.  And the New York City event last fall was canceled in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  In a gesture of solidarity, a longstanding institution at the NYC Marathon is reaching out to honor its visitors from Boston on Nov. 3.

The 43rd New York City Marathon, with its field of 48,000 entrants, is expected to attract as many Jewish athletes from around the world as participate in the quadrennial World Maccabiah Games.  And for the 30th straight year, the International Minyan for NYC Marathoners will be there to accommodate them.  The outdoor morning services are held in a designated tent at the Fort Wadsworth staging ground on Staten Island, just minutes from the Verrazano Bridge starting line.  The Minyan has become a tradition at the five-borough road race, and is now the oldest religious service at any sporting event in the world.

The inaugural service, in 1983, drew 26 participants, and over the years, the Minyan has attracted thousands of Jewish runners from all across the United States and six continents.  As many as 200 runners are expected to participate in three services this year, scheduled for 7:15, 8:15, and 9:15 a.m., to accommodate those assigned to the four starting waves of the race.

This year, for the fourth time in our history, the NYC Marathon will be run on Rosh Chodesh, a semi-holiday marking the start of the Jewish month.  This will necessitate a longer service, to include reading from the Torah.  Minyan organizers have announced that aliyas and other service honors will be offered first to mourners, and then to anyone who ran in this year’s Boston Marathon.

The NYC Marathon was previously run on Rosh Chodesh in 1986, 1993, and 2010, and this will be the last time this century that the first Sunday in November will coincide with the beginning of a Jewish month.  1986 was also the year the NYC Marathon was moved from October to the first Sunday in November, a switch made by Fred Lebow, the late President of the NY Road Runners Club, at the request of our Minyan, to avoid a conflict with Simchat Torah that year.  The later date for the event has remained a fixture ever since.

The Minyan tent is located just two blocks inside the entrance to Fort Wadsworth, and is identified on all the site maps and in the race program.  Runners are encouraged to bring their own prayer books, tefillin, and prayer shawls. Because Marathon officials now offer an incentive for runners not to check baggage with them at the start, JRunnersClub, the logistical manager of the Minyan, will provide its own checking service, respectfully transporting these personal religious items to a secure location in Manhattan, close to the finish line.  (This service extends only to religious items, and not to items of clothing or other personal belongings.)

The pickup location will be at Cong. Shearith Israel, the famed Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue at the corner of Central Park West and West 70th Street.  Continuous minyans for minha (the afternoon service) will be available for runners on the portico of the synagogue facing Central Park.

Join this truly unique experience for Jewish runners at the NYC Marathon, in celebration of the historic 30th International Minyan, and help to salute those who ran in the Boston Marathon this year.  For more information, contact Minyan founder and director Peter Berkowsky (fud42@comcast.net, 973-992-6775) or JRunnersClub in Brooklyn (info@jrunnersclub.org).


Yogi Berra Museum hosts program on Hank Greenberg

Posted on: April 11th, 2013 by Ron Kaplan

The Yogi Berra Museum, located on the campus of Montclair State University, will host a lunch program on Hank Greenberg on Friday, April 26, at noon.

Guests include John Rosengren, author of the new biography Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes; Aviva Kempner, producer/director/writer of The award-winning documentary The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, which has recently been re-released with additional material; and Steven Greenberg, son of the late Hall of Fame slugger and a former assistant to the Commissioner of  Baseball.

I spoke with Rosengren — who is not Jewish, by the way (not that there’s anything wrong with that when it comes to writing about perhaps the most famous Jewish athlete) — recently about his book. As Rosengren put it

I found it a fascinating story on several levels. One, yes, Greenberg was immensely important to the Jewish people. At the same time, he was immensely important to the non-Jewish people…because, as Rabbi [Michael] Paley says in my book, “He changed the way gentiles viewed Jews and, in turn, the way Jews viewed themselves.” But for someone like me, who comes at it from the outside, I learned about this person who faced adversity, rose above it, and, in doing so, brought hope to not just Jews, but to many people. To me, it’s a story of dignity and inspiration that transcends any ethnic affiliation….”

You can hear the rest of our conversation here:


Here’s a trailer for Kempner’s excellent documentary. There are places on-line to watch the entire film for free, but for me, the real pleasure is in the behind-the-scenes material that’s only available with the DVD itself.

I was curious about the song that plays in the video, so I did a little digging into “Goodbye, Mr. Ball, Goodbye.” In this version, it was sung by Bing Crosby and Groucho Marx (!), with a guest appearance by Greenberg himself. I wish there was a clip of that.

But as an official sports nit-picker, I feel compelled to point out a mistake in the lyrics.

Greenberg “sings” the following lines: “Wait a minute, when the count is 2-0 and I let that third one go/what happens then?” Crosby and Marx reply, “You’re out.”

You’re out after taking a 2-0 pitch (baseballspeak for two balls and no strikes)??? Obviously it should be 0-2 (no balls and two strikes), but that didn’t fit the rhyme scheme. I wonder if Greenberg put up any kind of fuss about that, or he didn’t want to seem ungracious, since the tune was a tribute to him.


Tickets to the Greenberg event are $20 and include lunch. To RSVP or for more information, call 973-655-2378. See you there.


Explaining the ‘Maccabees’ Moniker for Jewish Athletics?

Posted on: December 11th, 2012 by Ron Kaplan

by Jacob Kamaras/JNS.org

Jewish athletes from around the world gather every four years in Israel for the Olympic-style Maccabiah Games, not to mention the annual JCC Maccabi Youth Games in America. Most Israeli professional basketball and soccer teams preface their names with “Maccabi” (perhaps most notably the hoopsters of Maccabi Tel Aviv), and the athletic teams from Yeshiva University are dubbed—you guessed it—the Maccabees.

Does all of this mean Judah the Maccabee was a superstar athlete back in the day?

Actually, history suggests just the opposite. The story of Hanukkah was one in which the Jews—seeking to “Hellenize”—started to adopt Greek sports, only to have the anti-assimilationist Maccabees buck that trend as well as others that blended Jewish and secular lifestyles.

“Calling Jewish sports teams Maccabees is a contradiction in terms because the historic Maccabees were anti-sports,” Yeshiva University professor of Jewish History Jeffrey Gurock told JNS.org. He explained that the Maccabees’ goal was to “return back [to tradition], go away from these outside influences.”

Instead, Gurock said, the modern usage of the Maccabee moniker can be traced to 1898, when social Darwinist Max Nordau—founder of the Jewish athletic movement—coined the term “muscular Judaism” (muskel-Judenthum) at the Second Zionist Congress. Nordau believed the existence of strong and physically fit Jews could defeat the classic stereotype that Jews are physically weak and instead depend solely on their wit.

The great rabbinic figures of the Middle Ages were concerned with physical fitness, but sports remained “something foreign to Jewish culture” at the time, Gurock said. Nordau was looking to emulate Jews who fought against the world and were successful, and historically speaking, that was found most prominently in the story of Hanukkah.

“The only examples we have of Jews who were strong and successful were really the Maccabees,” said Gurock, who is also the author of Judaism’s Encounter With American Sports (2005).

From that point on, Gurock said the name Maccabees became a “badge of honor” for Jews pursuing sports. The same year as the Second Zionist Congress, Jews in Berlin founded the Bar Kochba athletics association, after which Jews in Eastern Europe (Galicia, Bulgaria) followed suit, according to the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Russia’s Maccabi society joined the fray in 1913, and in the 1930s Poland’s Maccabi federation included 30,000 Jewish athletes in 250 clubs, YIVO said. Before World War II, “probably every European country from Poland on east had some sort of Maccabee team, or Maccabea Club,” Gurock said, representing “an expression of Zionist pride.”

The trend continues today, with numerous Jewish sports teams calling themselves Maccabees or something similar—including the teams at Yeshiva University (YU). That led Gurock to another question: Since YU is an Orthodox institution, shouldn’t it call its teams the “non-Maccabees,” to accurately represent the anti-assimilationist protagonists of the Hanukkah story? Not quite, he answered.

“What we like in modern times [about the historic Maccabees] are not so much their religious values, but their success in competing against the world,” Gurock said.

Though the original Maccabees were against the concept of organized athletics, Gurock noted that they were still the first Jewish group to raise the question of “How can you be Jewish and engage in a foreign cultural activity called sports?” He explained that in ancient times, sports were associated with pagan culture and ritual rites, but in modern times, “the great challenge is to integrate that foreign cultural phenomenon called sports into Jewish culture, so that the two can live side by side, which is often a difficult task.” The Maccabees ultimately decided that mixing sports with their Jewish lifestyle would be too inconsistent, Gurock said.

At YU, the athletic teams themselves—not the school’s administration—decided how they should be named. Originally the “Blue and Whites,” YU’s teams were the “Mighty Mites” from the 1940s-1960s, when they struggled against athletically superior squads, according to Gurock. In the 1970s, the teams adopted their currents monikers: the Maccabees and Lady Maccabees.

“It’s not today a defiance of tradition, it’s appropriating the idea of struggle, of success and virility, and power, which is emblematic of sports,” Gurock said.

The name Maccabees fits, Gurock explained, because the university is particularly proud of its Zionist orientation.

“It’s the only place outside of Israel where before every game both the Star Spangled Banner and Hatikvah are played,” he said. “So what more can you say?”

Max Nordau, founder of the Jewish athletic movement, coined the phrase “muscular Judaism” at the 1898 Word Zionist Congress, a precursor to Maccabea Clubs in Europe and the eventual adoption of the name “Maccabees” for Jewish sports teams.

JML update, Sept. 14

Posted on: September 14th, 2012 by Ron Kaplan

Light action for the MOTs last night:

Sam Fuld entered the game for the Tampa Bay Rays against the Baltimore Orioles as a defensive replacement, starting in right field before moving to left field. He was 0-2 at the plate. The host Orioles won, 3-2 in 14 innings to keep pace with the NY Yankees, who beat the host Boston Red Sox, 2-0.  Ryan Lavarnway was 0-1 as a pinch hitter; Craig Breslow pitched one inning of scoreless relief, walking one and fanning one.

Ian Kinsler was 2-5 for the Texas Rangers, who lost to the visiting Cleveland Indians, 5-4. Scott Feldman starts tomorrow when the Seattle Mariners come into town.

The game between the Detroit Tigers and the Kevin Youkilis/Chicago White Sox was postponed by rain.

A few weeks back I wrote to Bob Beghtol of the White Sox to ask if Youkilis would participate in High Holy Day games.Now, I know I don’t work for the New York Times of the broadcast networks, so I’m used to not getting responses to queries addressed to various PR people (I’m still waiting to hear from the NY Giants about whether/why Jacquian Williams wears a Mogen David), so I take it with a grain of salt. But in this case he was sitting on the possibility that the team would indeed change the start time.

From the team’s press release:

The change of game time comes as a result of discussions and an agreement between the White Sox and Indians, after a significant number of White Sox fans reached out to the club with concerns over the original game time’s conflict with the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

“Over the past several weeks, we have had a number of our fans communicate their concerns with the game’s start time on September 25,” said Brooks Boyer, White Sox senior vice president of sales and marketing.  “Along with the Cleveland Indians, we have agreed to move up the start time of the game to 1:10 p.m. to accommodate many fans’ interests.”


Guest column: Rosh Hashana — A Time For A Winning Attitude, Transformation

Posted on: September 5th, 2012 by Ron Kaplan

The following comes courtesy of former NFL player Alan Shlomo Veingrad.

As an observant Jew and former professional football player, I am always struck by the proximity of Rosh Hashana and the start of the NFL season.The month of Elul leading up to the Jewish New Year provides an opportunity to renew, refresh and ready oneself for the start of another “season.”

And while making the team was not “who shall live, and who shall die,” there is no forgetting that adrenaline rush from home openers at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field, where legendary Packer Coach Vince Lombardi once roamed and was quoted as saying, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

I played offensive lineman for one of Coach Lombardi’s disciples, Forrest Gregg, and later, in Dallas under another from the coaching pantheon, Jimmy Johnson, as a member of the Cowboys’ 1992 Super Bowl championship team.

Gregg and Johnson preached discipline and improvement. Their assistants and I studied successes and failures: Did I make the right block? Was I in the right place at the right time? Did I follow instructions and prepare properly? Did I jump off-sides or get called for holding – costing my team the game?

In every sport and every endeavor there are fumbles, errors, misses and failures. There comes a time when we have to say, “I blew a big chance to make an impact. I forgot what you told me and it hurt the team. I accept responsibility and I am sorry. Will you forgive me, coach? This season, I’m ready to start over and be every bit the player you know I can be.”

In my transformation to a Torah-observant Jew and commitment to make my G-d, family and community proud of me, I carry the same attitude and willingness to learn and be better, to not raise a voice or step on a toe, to be capable of scoring a touchdown by meaningful mitzvah, to forgive and seek forgiveness.

The holiday of Rosh Hashanah gets us back in the game. It’s our time to seek forgiveness, make adjustments, to let G-d know that we’re going to learn his playbook, the Torah, like never before, and that we are going to make Him proud.

Alan Shlomo Veingrad has inspired thousands with his candid, humorous, inspirational and spell-binding tales on life in the ultra-competitive NFL, and how he took that fire to transform himself into a Torah-observant Jew following his playing days. Based in Boca Raton, FL, Veingrad has traveled from New York to South Africa speaking at camps, Shabbatons, school programs, yeshivas, scholar-in-residence programs, men’s clubs, as well as charity fund raising events. He is often asked to speak to businesses and corporations looking to inspire their employees, and is an inductee of the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. For speaking engagements, Veingrad can be reached at alan@alanveingrad.com. To read more and see videos about him, visit www.alanveingrad.com.

It was fun while it lasted: Beren Day School loses in finals

Posted on: March 5th, 2012 by Ron Kaplan

From the JTA:

Orthodox school falls short in Texas tournament

FORT WORTH, Texas — The Robert M. Beren Academy of Houston lost, 46-42, to Abilene Christian in the 2A private and parochial boys basketball state championship game.

Down by 11 points early in the fourth quarter, Beren closed the deficit to three with two minutes to play but could not cap the comeback effort.

Co-captain Isaac Mirwis and junior sensation Zach Yoshor each had 15 points to lead Beren. After a slow start, Yoshor hit a three-point shot to tie the game 19-19 at halftime.

Beren, which finished its season with a school record 25-6 mark, had grabbed national headlines with its push for a pre-Shabbat starting time for its semifinal game Friday. The Stars defeated Dallas Covenant, 58-46, to secure a spot in the title game on Saturday night after the Jewish Sabbath.

The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, known as TAPPS, originally ruled that the semifinal game would be played at its original 9 p.m. Friday start time — after the start of the Sabbath. Beren, a Modern Orthodox school, would have opted to forefit without a change in the schedule.

But TAPPS reversed itself just hours after the announcement that Beren’s team captain, along with teammates and parents, had enlisted the support of prominent Washington attorney Nathan Lewin and filed a lawsuit against the association; the lawsuit also named the Mansfield Independent School District, whose facilities are hosting the semifinals and finals of the 2A tournament. The 2A category includes schools with enrollments of 55 to 120.

The championship game was originally set for 2 p.m. Saturday, which also conflicts with the Sabbath.

“We feel this was a success,” said Rabbi Harry Sinoff, Beren’s head of school, in an interview with the Houston Chronicle. “We got to compete in a basketball game, but the whole experience for the school was really remarkable. It brought the community together. Sometimes you don’t have an event like this to do that. We’re not pioneers. We just thought it was right for us to play. It was good for basketball.”

TAPPS in a statement posted on its website Wednesday had said that when the Beren Academy met with the association’s board in 2009 to discuss membership, it was told that tournament games are scheduled on Friday and Saturday, and that the school’s athletic director said he “understood” and “did not see a problem.”

Beren’s plight made international headlines this week and garnered support from several public figures, including the mayor of Houston, the former Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). The team had earned a spot in the state semifinals last week with a 27-point victory in the quarterfinals.

* * *

It was actually gratifying to find so many articles in favor of Beren. The New York Times ran several stories, including this one that showed TAPPS was an equal opportunity organization when it came to not affording equal opportunity.

Even ESPN covered the story.

Braun's day in court coming soon

Posted on: January 11th, 2012 by Ron Kaplan

Micah Stein published this piece on Braun, Jews, and PEDs on the Jewish Ideas Daily blog.

Naturally, being the contrarian I am, I had a few problems with some of his statements.

* Stein say, “That Ryan Braun is Jewish is probably irrelevant—but it certainly makes the story a whole lot more interesting.”

I say, it is irrelevant, just as it would be to say that Barry Bonds or Sammy Sosa, ethnicity/religion/identity would be relevant. And if it is irrelevant, don’t bring it into the conversation.

* Stein says, “With this positive test, Braun has crushed the hopes of Jewish mothers and sons everywhere.”

I say, a) What about the dad? They don’t care or count?  b) Everywhere? and c) Why? Do Jews hold themselves up to a higher moral standard? Doesn’t that smack of some of the stereotypes some non-Jews have, that Jews think they’re superior?

* Stein says, [E]ven if the case is overturned, this incident will remain a blemish on Braun’s sterling reputation.”

I say, huh? If the case is overturned, that means that Braun would be exonerated, thereby expunging the “blemish.” No one, as far as I know, is saying he didn’t take something. It’s the reason he took it that’s important. Now for some the reason is unimportant. According to the letter of the “law,” if he took it, he’s out. I have no trouble with that; it’s just like Olympic swimmers whose records are thrown out because their necessary asthma medicine contains banned substances. It’s too bad, but rules is rules, as they say.

* Stein says, “[I[t is important to remember that Braun is not the first of his kind to use questionable supplements to gain a competitive advantage.”

I say that’s neither here nor there. That’s the argument your kid makes when he does something wrong. “All my friends have done it…” Secondly, the whole argument here is that Braun did not take whatever to gain a competitive edge.

* Stein says, “Finally, studying talmudic medicine may also solve another part of the problem: Why would Ryan Braun take steroids in the first place? In seven years of major and minor league baseball he had never before been implicated in a drug test, and with baseball’s increasingly strict testing policy, it was likely he would be caught. Why risk it?”

I say, exactly. Look at his record and you’ll see nothing pops out. His stats are basically the same since he came into the Majors. So why would he? Doesn’t make a lot of sense.

* Finally, Stein says, “What about sin? Well, on October 7, days before Braun tested positive, he went 2 for 3 and scored a run in the clinching game of the National League Division Series, a 3-2 Brewers’ victory.

It was Yom Kippur.”

I say, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” (and you’ll excuse the New Testament reference). Out of all the Jews who have played in the Majors, aside from Koufax, Greenberg, Green, and a handful of others, I’m guessing (since I’m too lazy to do the actual research) that the majority have played on Yom Kippur when it fell within the season.

* * *

More on Braun:



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