Menu JTA Search

Slants on Sports

Download PDF for this date

Alex Levinsky, one of the very few Jewish players to make the big league grade in hockey, will streak into town the latter part of this month as a new defense man for the wobbly Rangers. He will play alongside of Ching Johnson, battle – scarred veteran of the ice hockey game and one of the greatest counter attack men that sport has ever known.

Ching is good but he’s getting old. Nevertheless, he still is drawing $7,500 a season, the top salary that the National League allows to a player. Not only is he considered the Babe Ruth of the hockey game because of his price, experience, and ability but because, like the tottering Babe, he is weak in the knees.

Les Patrick, manager of the Rangers, knows the value of Ching Johnson. He realizes, too, that there must be a good man to team up with Ching on the defense and for this reason he purchased Alex Levinsky.

Levinsky is twenty-five years old and has played hockey for over fifteen years. He was born in Syracuse, in 1909, and moved with his family to Toronto in 1914. He learned to skate on double runners as a kid of seven, and took up hockey with a boys’ club when he was only nine. At the time he played on the forward wall of the Toronto Junior Hockey unit and developed such speed that he was nicknamed “Streaky. “


In 1925 he joined the Toronto Marlboros, one of the best amateur groups in the Ontario Hockey Association. He played with this club until 1930, shifting from forward to defense. He was considered one of the crack defense men of the Canadian hockey associations because of his speed, stamina, alertness, and ability to take it and hand it out near the net.

Four years ago, the manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League, dropped in to see Levinsky’s team in the championship playoffs. He was so impressed with the Jewish lad’s excellent defense exhibition that he signed him immediately.

Since 1930, Levinsky has been making a name for himself as one of the best counter attackers in the game. And, after the way the Rangers played last year, Les Patrick decided that what he needed to bolster his forces was a new team. The purchase of Levinsky was one of the first suggested and he was secured under option as early as last February. Patrick considers this a wise move for two reasons. The first, because of Levinsky’s playing ability. He seems to be the much needed spark that the former world champions so obviously lacked last year. The second, rapidly becoming the war cry of all pro sports on the books, a Jewish gate attraction. Patrick told your sports scribe at the end of the 1933-34 season, “The gate receipts have fallen off tremendously. We haven’t played to as many packed houses this season as we did a year ago. Maybe McGraw was right. . . .” Two months after his statement was made Alex Levinsky was purchased by the Rangers.

Hockey has fallen in line with the other big league sports. Baseball has its Hank Greenberg, basketball its Nat Holman, boxing a Barney Ross, and now the ice racket has Alex Levinsky. . . . Will he make good in New York?


There was tragedy on the bench for one of the N. Y. U. substitutes Saturday that far outweighed the final score.

Louis Cohen, father of Larry Cohen, Violet guard, out of action with an injured hand, came out to the stadium hoping that somehow his boy would get into the game. But when Larry didn’t jump out of his blanket the elder Cohen kept on rooting for N. Y. U. just the same.

Suddenly he slumped down in his seat and was rushed to the Yankee office, where Dr. Goldner, called from the crowd, pronounced him dead of heart trouble. Meanwhile the game went on and very few of the spectators knew what had happened—only a tight-lipped boy hurriedly dressing to carry the sad news home.


A chap who signs himself “A Reader” writes in to ask, “Who stands the best chance to defeat Maxie Rosenbloom?”

Rosenbloom meets Bob Olin November 16 at the Garden. However, we do not think Olin can score a kayo over the playboy fighter. And should the scrap go the limit Rosenbloom’s cleverness should win for him. However, John Henry Lewis and Joe Knight stand a better chance than Olin to win the title from Slapsie Maxie, Knight has been going great for the past few months.


Professor Sheldon Glueck, professor of criminology at the Harvard Law School, in a letter to David White, executive director of the U. S. Maccabi Association, writes in to say: “I am glad to endorse the program of the Maccabi Association from the point of view of my specialty, criminology. Healthy athletic pursuits are a major channel of outlet of the energy of youth. They are an excellent means of sublimation of natural biologic impulses. In addition, group athletics indicate an attitude of sportsmanship and tolerance. While these influences on delinquent tendencies are indirect, they are no less significant. Researches have demonstrated that the majority of delinquents and criminals have never had an opportunity for wholesome recreational outlets, and a constructive athletic program can do much to furnish such outlets. With all good wishes, I am, (signed) Sheldon Glueck. “


Last Saturday while we were watching Manhattan get all the breaks against C. C. N. Y. , we bumped into Louis Epstein, one of the very few Jewish boys who actually played on a Kelly Green football team. Lou was a star guard for three years—1928, ’29 and ’30. He once again narrated his famous story of the 1928 Beaver-Manhattan game and one of the humorous incidents connected with it.

Manhattan College, if you don’t know it, is a Christian Brother school, housing a bunch of genial Irishmen and where a Jewish student is seldom seen. During the ’28 season the City-Jasper game was played at the Lewisohn Stadium. There was a howling multitude shoving and pushing in a vain endeavor to crowd into the football arena. (This was a rare occasion—both schools had been undefeated up to this game. ) Epstein did not come down with the team because his car had been delayed in uptown traffic. When he arrived, he elbowed his way through the crowd and approached Mack, the manager of the field, who had drawn the moniker of Mack Stadium!

Lou said, “I’m a Manhattan player, can I get in here? Mack replied in the negative saying that the team had already entered and that he’d be jigsawed if he’d allow any crashers. But Lou was adamant and insisted. “I’m on the Manhattan team. My name is Louis Epstein. Ask anyone.” To which the white haired Irish doorkeeper replied, “I”ve been letting Manhattan teams in for the past twenty years and no Epstein has been on any of them. “

It was only when Schwartzer, coach of the Kelly Greens, spoke up for Epstein, that the latter was admitted.

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