A Jewish Star Shines On Jewish Heritage Day


Jewish Heritage Day at baseball games have a long list of established traditions that sometimes occur — the singing of “HaTikvah” on the field, kosher food at concession stands, an opening prayer by a rabbi, the ceremonial first pitch thrown by a member of the Jewish community. Always, there is an increased number of Jewish fans in the stands.

The New York Mets on Sunday established a new tradition — the game-winning, bottom-of-the-ninth, walk-off home run by a Jewish player.

That’s what first-baseman Ike Davis, the only Jew on the Mets’ roster, did in the team’s 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros.

Before a crowd of 25,071 fans, many in attendance because of Jewish Heritage Day, which has been sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council since 1988, Davis hit his second homer of the afternoon. His teammates mobbed him, above, as he leapt onto home plate.

Before the game, the Six13 a cappella group, left, sang the American national anthem, and the Parparim ensemble, below, performed Israeli dances.

Six13 also sang “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch.

But the real excitement came in the ninth inning, the first time a player of Jewish heritage won the game on Jewish Heritage Day.

Marc Levine is the Mets photographer.