Slants on Sports

We asked our chief at the city desk whether he would be willing to send us to Florida to cover the Jewish boys in big league baseball. He threw us out with a fast query, “Are there any?”

Quicker than a double play from Tinkers to Evers to Chance, we replied, “Sure there are! How about Jonah Goldman and Greenberg, the big guns of the Detroit club? Don’t forget Al Cohen and Moe Rosenfeld of the Dodgers, and Buddy Meyers of the Senators. In case you haven’t heard, Hank Leiber, that new kid with the Terrymen who was recruited from the Pacific Coast League, and Phil Weintraub, another Giant rookie, are slated for the majors.

“Let me remind you also, that McGraw was always on the lookout for a Jewish baseball played.”

“Can’t fool me,” came the sage retort from desk. “McGraw has been dead for a month. Talk about something lively in your column for a change.”

We thought this speech was a low outside curve. At any rate it cut home. We walked over to the switchboard and pitched right into a conversation with the girl there.

WEINTRAUB A HARD HITTER!

“What do you think of Phil Weintraub’s chances to make the big time ball parks this season? You know, of course, that he’s the fellow Bill Terry bought from the Birmingham club last September. Phil’s a hard hitter and when he connects he swings from the heels. Not a fence buster exactly but he sure can lay it on to the old apple.

“Just the other day it was Phil’s clout that gave the game to the Giants. He hit Dizzy Dean, of the Cards, for a triple, sending another man in to score. That’s great stuff for a rookie in any man’s league.

STARTED PLAYING IN 1926

“Weintraub began playing baseball with the Evanstons, a Chicago semi-pro team, back in 1926. Later he signed up with the Rock Island {SPAN}##{/SPAN} club. It may be surprising to you but while Phil was on these teams he was a left-handed pitcher.

“During the following season he played for the Dubuque and Dayton outfits but he didn’t get any-where with these Central League clubs. It was this reason which made him give up baseball and go back to his wholesale meat business. But believe you me, once this baseball virus gets in your blood, you can’t quit. Thus, the very next year he was holding down first base with another minor league team.

BECOMES OUTFIELDER

“In the middle of the {SPAN}##{/SPAN}29 season he received a very bad arm injury. The medicos told him he’d never be able to play the national sport again. However, by careful and steady exercise, Phil brought his arm back to its one time form. For the next two years he knocked around from one club to another. Last season, however, he got a break with the Birmingham outfit. It was there that he began playing in the outfield, his present position with the Giants.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

“Clyde Mylan, who knows the baseball business from the spikes upward, gave him that job. This former star of the Senators told Phil that it was a question of playing in the outfield or asking for handouts somewhere else. And it was chasing balls in the tall grass where Terry first saw him. If his fielding didn’t seem so impressive to the young manager, a glance at his batting record would dispel such minor doubts. Last season Phil beaned the old apple for twenty-one doubles, ten triples and fifteen home runs.

“But Weintraub knows his fielding can be improved and says him-self, “I know I have a long distance to go but I picked up a lot last year. If I could work regularly at it, my fielding would improve. There hasn’t been much wrong with my throwing as yet. And then again, I know I can hit in big league competition.

O’DOUL HAS EDGE

“Here’s the catch. Terry still has such veterans as Mel Ott, Joe Moore and George Davis, still doing anything but picking daisies in the Giant outfield. O’Doul has the edge on Phil too. Through Weintraub can hit almost as good as Lefty, the latter is Terry’s first reserve man because of his big league experience.

“However, the training and exhibition period runs another month before the managers have to decide upon whom they are going to keep on the payroll. We believe Phil will make the grade.

THE PAY-OFF

“Remember,” we continued, “I haven’t said a word about the crowd of Jewish baseball players we’ve got in the minors. Why, right here in the minor leagues of the east the boys are making splendid records for themselves. Look at Jack Grossman, with the Jersey City club, and George Weiss of the Newark Bears, and Max Posnack with the Birmingham team.”

SPEED DEMONS

Irving Jaffe, holder of most of the speed records for distances over the ice tracks, is breaking more world marks for steady nerves. He hasn’t been so very active since he entered the professional skating ranks. However, Miss Kit Klein, one of this country’s foremost woman skaters, is burning up the ice with new marks. She is leaving for Norway to compete with that nation’s best speed demons in amateur competition.

We missed these two Jewish youngsters at the fancy skating carnival at the Garden last Wednesday night. Of all the talent displayed there no Jewish skater participated. We believe the following to be the reason. Jaffe and Miss Klein may hold most of the speed records between them but when it comes to fancy skating they cut no figure whatsoever.

MORE MACCABI MOVES

We learn from the Maccabi Headquarters that this organization is going to concentrate in athletes 18 years and over. The purpose of this campaign is to start an elimination process for the second Maccabian team.

Leagues are forming in the following sports: tennis, boxing, swimming, wrestling, track and field. Meets will be held each month in various cities so that the coaches and trainers may get a slant on the prospective material for the coming games in April, 1935.

Members of the crack Maccabi team which scored a second place in international competition will act as coaches and trainers of the new enthusiasts. For further information write to David White, secretary U. S. M. Maccabi Association, 217 Broadway, New York City.

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