Menu JTA Search

Slants on Sports

Download PDF for this date

The end of the Easter holidays marks the time when the rah-rah boys from the metropolitan colleges and universities swing into the first leg of their spring sports program.

The crack of the ball against the old hickory stick; the starter’s "on your mark"; the thud of a lacrosse club on an opponent’s head; and the zoom of a tennis shot resound on every campus from the Brooklyn fiatlands to University heights.

New York University, Columbia, City, Long Island U, Brooklyn College and St. John’s are all primed for action. The old war cry, "Batteries for today," will be shouted all over town Saturday. Which all means that the grass is getting greener every day.

N. Y. U. opens its baseball campaign in a city classic against the Columbia nine. City College meets L. I. U. at the Lewisohn Stadium, and Brooklyn College takes on Pratt. St. John’s tackles the Savagemen and Manhattan plays Fordham. Ladies and Gentlemen, you pays yer money and youz takes yer cherce!


The Jewish ball players around town will have to go, it fast and furious to get some of the Matzoth balls out of their system. And unless they do nearly all of the games tomorrow will have to be called off. This is just a subtle way of saying that most of the metropolitan nines are composed in the main of Yidishe boyes.


Coach McCarthy, baseball mentor at the heights for the past thirteen seasons, is putting Bill Gottlieb on the mound for N. Y. U., tomorrow. Gottlieb is a crack southpaw of whom the coach says, "For spirit you can’t beat my pitcher Bill Gottlieb. When our veterans went bad last year I had to throw Bill, a sophomore, against Fordham. He came through with fine, smart performances."

Captain Leon Smelstor is slated to back up home plate. Up to now he has been holding down third base but McCarthy is badly in need of a catcher. Emil Friedman will play at shortstop and Nat Machlowitz will probably be at third. The wise money says that the Violets will make the Lion roar.


The Lavender nine from St. Nicholas Terrace meets the Red Devils from L. I. U. If these two baseball teams are nearly as good as the basketball quintets recently turned out at these institutions we should see a sterling brand of baseball performed. We have seen both teams in practice sessions and we’d risk two beers on Clair Bee’s ball cup from Brooklyn.

The most important changes in City’s starting lineup came about during the early part of the week. Sam Winograd, who was a sensation at shortstop last year and the second best hitter on the team, has been shifted to the catcher’s position. He has never caught behind the plate but Dr. Parker, the coach, has enough confidence in this star’s natural ability and will start him in that position tomorrow.

The rest of the team will line up with Hy Lefkowitz at first, Nat Gainen at second, Hal Legler at short, and Mike Zlotnik at third. Captain Irv Spanier, ace hurler, will open for the city nine.

The patrollers of the fence regions are Mel Davidson at left ##, Hal Zlotnik at center and Portnoy in the right field sec##. The exact batting order is still an unsolved problem so far as Doc Parker is concerned.


L. I. U., as City’s opponent, makes its metropolitan debut. Clair Bee has moulded a team from four veterans and the rest just promising material. Yet even with a dearth of reserves on the squad and a difficult schedule before him, we feel that the boys from Brooklyn will end up with more than a 500 average.

Julie Cooper, who graced an outfield berth last year, has been shifted to the initial sack. This versatile ball player is also capable of taking a turn on the mound. Red Segal has been delegated to the second-base post while Harry Miller, veteran second-sacker, has been moved to the hot corner. Miller was elected recently to the captaincy of the Red Devils.

Bender and Eli Frank. two seniors with years of experience behind them, will take care of the outfield. Coach Bee says that he has nothing to worry about in that territory as long as these players are out there.

Phil Rabinowitz is the Jewish half of the battery for L. I. U. and played behind the plate in every game last season.


Coxswain Solomon, of the Columbia crew, has the distinction of being the only Jewish lad in a Varsity boat in the New York watershed.

After all, when we realize that the shell game holds sway in only two of the metropolitan colleges, this is quite an honor.

Solomon says that he is looking forward to the ducking he expects to get after the Poughkeepsie regatta in June. The tradition among oarsmen in college circles is that the team that sweeps the boat-races collects the jerseys and sweatshirts of the men in opposing shells. For a grand finale the winning eight tosses the coxswain of their boat overboard.

Incidentally, Solomon will get his ducking whether the crew from Morningside Heights wins or not. The way he has been laying it on to the boys in blue in practice makes him out something of a slave driver. On any nice day along the muddy stretches of the Harlem river you can hear this laddie shout, "Stroke! Stroke! Pick her up number four! Number eight don’t drag your oar! Get the swing, number seven! Stroke, fellers, stroke!"


The lacrosse men around town are breaking all heads within reach. It’s getting so bad one can’t tell whether it’s a new umbrella fracas at City, a Communist strike at Columbia, or a bunch of freshmen at the Square. In all probabilities if the boys are in shorts they’re playing at the peaceful Indian game. Of course they’re out for your scalp. City just lost a game to the Army lads at West Point. We met Ben Smolian, giant tackle on the football team and crack coverpoint on the lacrosse outfit, and he told us this story:

"For the past few months the City athletes have been training intensely, pointing for this Army game. They realized the splendid physical condition of the cadets but they had high hopes of beating them.

"After the first quarter of the game the Lavender lads were almost pooped. The generals seemed to be tireless. Despite everything the New Yorkers could do the Army relentlessly kept rolling up the score. In the second half the City boys gave everything they had and held the Army to two goals and scored twice for themselves.

"The Army captain who had played the entire game came up to Ben. The latter was near the point of collapse from his tremendous physical exertions. The cadet leader suggested a mile run around the track to take the stiffness out of their legs and to get limbered up a bit. It was here that Ben fainted."

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund