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Baseball Commissioner Says World Series Cannot Be Changed to Avoid Holiday Conflict

Baseball Commissioner Gen. William Eckert has informed the executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis that “scheduling difficulties” and other factors make it impossible to change the traditional period of the World Series games so that they do not conflict with the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays. Gen. Eckert conceded, in a letter to Rabbi Harold Gordon, that the problem was one of many years’ standing and had been given a great deal of consideration.

Rabbi Gordon brought the matter up in a letter to the commissioner on Oct. 3 which noted that the opening game of the 1968 World Series coincided with Yom Kippur when millions of American Jews were prevented from witnessing the game personally, listening to it on radio or television or reading about it in the early afternoon newspapers.

In a telephone interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, he termed Commissioner Eckert’s reply “unsatisfactory” and said he planned to pursue the matter further. Rabbi Gordon stressed that he regarded the problem as one of relatively minor importance compared to other issues facing the Jewish community.

He added however that he had brought it up because a situation that deprives millions of American Jews from enjoying a major national sport was not consistent with fair play. He said he intended to raise the matter with the presidents of the major league ball clubs “long before the next season begins.”

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