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Slants on Sports

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“It’s Okay Joe, this guy is a friend of mine. He’s Weiner of The Bulletin.”

“Zat so,” said Sloppy Joe leering at us. “He’s the guy who’s always picking winners isn’t he and then forever bragging about it in every column he writes. And then again he took a poke at my pal Gallico and I don’t like that. Is he paying for the drinks?”

“Nope,” answered our pal, “he can’t. Didn’t you hear me say he works for The Bulletin. Make it another Peoria Twister for the two of us.”

As Sloppy Joe shuffled to the bar Tammany Young and One-Eyed Connolly crashed the back window and ambled up to our table. Connolly spoke as soon as he had chiseled two drinks, “Let’s make it a case of Scotch to a year’s subscription on The Bulletin that the Yankees beat out the Tigers in the drive for the flag.”

“You’re on,” says we. “We picked the Tigers to win three weeks ago in our column.”

Pipes up Tammany Young, “Ma, that man’s here again.” And so far into the night.

After our fourth Martini, the third Manhattan and the eleventh Kansas Cyclone special, the four of us staggered down the side alley and onto Fifty-second street.

“You know,” says we, “Phil Weintraub is back with the Giants.”

“So what?” was the three-fold retort. “Every paper in town carried the news last Monday.”

“Zat so?” replied this corner. “Well we said on May 16, 1934, in our very special blue ribbon Slants on Sports that Bill Terry, the playing boss of the world champions would need the services of this Jewish outfielder whom he had left behind in the grapefruit circuit early in the Spring.”

“Yep,” we continued, “this certainly has been a big year for Jews in baseball. If there were no other Jewish player in big league baseball today, the name of Hank Greenberg, first baseman of the Detroit Tigers would be sufficient. Greenberg, one of the rookies in the Tiger infield, has amazed even that old veteran, Bucky Harris. Harris calls this young Jewish slugger from the Bronx “the most feared batter in the American League today” — despite the fact that the American League boasts of such stars as Gehrig, Foxx, Manush and Gehringer. No one can tell when “Hard Hitting Hank” steps up to the plate whether he will powder the ball for a double, a triple or a four-bagger.

“However, Greenberg isn’t the only Jew in the big-time ball parks. There are three or four others. Moe Berg has just been released from the Washington Senators to make room for Cliff Bolton who really has been a holdout all along. Berg is a good ball player and a smart backstop. Frank Grantham the other day said ‘Will somebody please sign Moe Berg.’

“Now, the addition of Phil Weintraub to the roster of the Giants, even though he comes a pinch-hitter should boost the Hebraic stock to new heights.”


Weintraub is twenty-six years old and for a rookie trying to crash the fences of the big league stadiums he is pretty old. A man needs a year or two of seasoning in the majors before he can show what is really in him. However, in the case of Weintraub, this is another matter. While the Giants were on the cow pastures in spring training, stopping over at every way station and whistle stop where nine men could be hustled together, Phil would step up to the plate and hammer one for Old Glory, the meat packing business which he doesn’t like, and for Ma Weintraub, too.

“Nevertheless, it broke Bill Terry’s heart when he realized that he didn’t have enough carfare for the Jewish lad’s journey to New York. As a result, he left Phil in Nashville, parked him in the asparagus beds way beyond 3rd base and came North with the Giants. So what did Phil up and do? All season long he has been hitting the ball so heavily and so hard in the hope that one of his clouts might drop on Terry at the Polo Grounds. And one did. Weintraub hit the ball for a 450 batting average in his three-month stay with the Vols and Terry plucked him out of the Daisy fields for his debut with the Giants in the Boston bean parks.


Phil Weintraub’s history reads like the casebook of the Wandering Jew. The big fellow, who stands six feet one inch and weighs in the neighborhod of 190 pounds started playing ball for the Rock Island Club back in 1926. Believe it or not, he started his career as a pitcher and in the seven years that it took him to travel from Evanston to Birmingham he played first base, third base and fielded for a season. In every league that he was in he hit well over three hundred. And he was in plenty of them. Rock Island, Waco, Danville, Jersey City, Dayton, Dubuque, Indianapolis, Terre Haute, and Birmingham were his stopovers until he landed with the Giants at Miami early in February. Since then he has been with the Nashville nine and now is with the Giants. Even though he’s only booked as a pinch hitter, Weintraub will be heard from long before the season is over and the ball games run until October.


John McGraw had his belly laughs and his headaches when it came to finding a Jewish ball player who could play ball and hit. McGraw tried Solomon, Levy, Bentley and Andy Cohen in order to give the Jewish baseball fans all over the country a treat—which was the thing they wanted. All of these men were good in the minors but fizzles in the majors. Some proved flashes in the pan. None of them were big league timber. Then along came Phil Weintraub after McGraw had passed on to the tenth inning and gave Bill Terry both a headache and an idea.

Phil is twenty-six. He is a left-handed hitter and Bill needed a right hand man—all of them he could get. Terry needed outfielders and Phil had never spent much time catching flies or chasing grounders near the bleachers. But he could hit hard and he was willing to learn. Terry wasn’t much interested in the latter item but he certainly was impressed by Phil’s ability to dust the cover off the ball.


If our dreams come true, we shall see the Giants play in the World Series this year right here in New York against the Detroit Tigers. Now imagine the ninth inning of the ball game in the rubber match of the series. It is the fifth game. The Giants have two to their credit and the Detroit Tigers have also won two games.

In the early half of the ninth, Greenberg hit a triple with two men on and only the glad pole on the bleachers saved it from being a homer. The score is now three to two in favor of the Tigers and there are two outs on the Giants with a man on second. Bill Terry sends in Phil Weintraub as a pinch-hitter. The crowds are tense. If Phil comes through with a hit the tieing run will be scored. If he poles a homer he wins the game. The pitcher winds up, the batter crouches—and folks finish it for yourself depending on whether you are rooting for the Giants or plugging for the Tigers…

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