Two of the outstanding Jewish athletes of the sporting world celebrated Rosh Hashonah in their own way. Hank Greenberg, Bronx bambino, clouted two home runs Monday and pulled both games of the Tiger’s doubleheader out of the fire. In the first he helped Schoolboy Rowe earn his twenty-second victory of the season. In the night cap special he slambanged the apple over the fence for the only home run of the game. Both victories in this twin bill feature were credited to the bat of Hank Greenberg. It was his way of bidding a Happy New Year to the Detroit fans.
Another thing that gave a laugh to the betting boys on Broadway was the Ross-McLarnin affair. There’s been plenty of publicity attached to the fact that Ross will not fight on Jewish holidays. Every sporting page in the land and even Walter Winchell carried this item in the papers during the last two days.
However, what we’re getting at is the scene that took place in Jimmy Johnston’s office in the Madison Square Garden building. Art Pian and Sammy Winch, comanagers of the triple champion, were arguing with Johnston, Mike Jacobs and Pop Foster about dates. Pop, McLarnin’s shadow, was for an immediate show. Winch and Pian were trying to convey to him that Ross could not fight on Jewish holidays and that the Jewish fight crowd would stay away from the fracas.
At this Foster inquired when the holidays would be over and he was told Tuesday evening. Banging on the desk of Johnston’s mahogany pride he was adamant in his statements for a Tuesday night battle.
Art Pian piped up and said, “How can a man fight if he hasn’t eaten for two days.”
This argument was sufficient for Foster and Johnston. They were convinced that the Jews fast over Rosh Hashonah and because they realized that a man couldn’t fight who has not eaten for two days the fight was postponed until this Saturday night.
The skeptics have derided the fact that Barney will not fight due to holy days. However, what isn’t so well known about the champ is that he is a very religious young man. When we visited Barney at Ferndale, while he was preparing for the first McLarnin fight early in May, Art Winch called us aside and told us that Barney attended synagogue twice a day. This information was not divulged to the general sporting press because of Barney’s special request. Ross thinks that if this news were to be broadcast it would reflect on him and his race. He claims that critics would throw up the fact that he is doing this merely for the sake of additional publicity.
This, however, is not the case, Barney said kadish for his father for an entire year in a Chicago synagogue. And, he is so sincere in his faith that he will not let the sporting papers of the country carry the story which we have just related above. Dr. Dino F. O’Connor, Barney’s personal physician, confirmed this story when we met him on the Manhattan upon his return from Europe.